Try as he might to cut the size of the federal government, Ronald Reagan only succeeded in containing its growth (and curtailing its regulatory power). And giving the resourcefulness of Americans and the resilience of the entrepreneurial sector, that containment was enough to foster explosive growth and extraordinary job creation.
No president, Republican or Democrat, since has even attempted to cut government as did the Gipper. And although a spirited Republican congressional caucus helped prevent Bill Clinton from expanding government as he would have liked, they did not succeed in cutting federal spending.
Despite the increase in the amount of federal spending in recent years, some Democrats (as well as liberal pundits and left-leaning academics) still believe that the experiment in smaller government has failed. Yesterday, with one simple question and one chart, Jim Geraghty pointed out that that experiment hasn’t even been tried (at least not in the US:
When was that, exactly?
Do wonder if any reporter has ever asked the Empire State’s senior Senator to back up his claim. Indeed, wonder if any reporter has asked any Democrat making that claim to support his argument by referencing actual federal spending.