Corrupted big government is the problem, a huge fucking problem.
Let's get something straight from the beginning. We are a nation of 330 million people and growing. You cannot run a country that big with a government the size of Waterloo Nebraska, home of the Weiner & Kraut Festival. I don't care how fucking smart you think you might be. Waterloo has about 900 people, probably one cop, several bars, and a dozen churches. Try running the United States of America with that crew.
The problem we have and an issue that has plagued governments since the beginning of time is corruption. Governments, big or small, mean that money is going to be spent, a shitload of money in terms of billions and trillions of dollars. That much money opens the doors to favors, bribes, and outright criminal activities. Even little old Waterloo probably has its scandals when the Mayor's son-in-law gets some government contract. When there is money to be made, the worst in most of us come out.
In ancient Greece, corruption around the noble Olympic Games was a problem. Anywhere on the planet that humans have come together, and there is the opportunity to gain wealth, fame, power, or all three, there has been corruption. That is the nature of the human species. Even our pets have a degree of this in them.
Assume you have more than one cat or dog in your home. Buy a new toy and toss it on the floor. One of them will pounce on the toy. Chances are, on seeing the toy, the others will bound across the room to try to take it away from the first animal. Often, what seems like harmless play can turn into a war. We see this in primates (our cousins), our children, and in ourselves as adults.
When it comes to big government, the main difference between the two parties is not how much to spend but where to spend it. The so-called conservatives, currently in the driver's seat of our run-away bus-wreck-waiting-to-happen-bus, is being driven by the maniacal Trump and a morally bankrupt GOP. They have rocketed the deficit and national debt through the roof to provide tax breaks to corporations and their country club buddies. They are taking us to the edges of fiscal bankruptcy. They want a bloated defense budget, more regulations, and cuts in most public and humanitarian programs that they see as waste.
Turn it all over to the Democrats, and we'll see the spending redirected to programs to help the elderly, children, the destitute, all while trying to keep the main functions of government moving along. The focus will be on functions like the FAA, FDA, CDC, FEMA, VA, our military, infrastructure, environment, parks and wild areas, wildlife. Regulating the fossil fuel industry and trying to ensure that GM doesn't sell you a car that is in danger of having the wheels come off at 80mph on the freeway with your kids in the car will get attention. Interestingly, over the last four or five decades, the Democrats have done a better job of managing the budget and national debt than the Republicans.
The human focus of both parties and what to fund is where the differences lie. The GOP wants to line the pockets of their rich friends. They want to end single-payer insurance and Medicare & Medicaid programs because their rich friends own and are making a shitload of money off of human illness. They see programs like Social Security as some sort of give-away despite it being funded by payroll taxes. The GOP embraces a John Wayne mentality that says if you are in the dumper, it is because you didn't have the gumption to pull yourself out. Their philosophy is "pull yourself up by your bootstraps or starve on the streets; don't look for us to help you". Their priority is on things like the military because they and their friends have a vested interest in that industry. The manufacture and sale of arms to almost anyone allow them to make a lot of money. They will spend on the infrastructure only because their rich friends are contractors who will make a lot of money from government contracts.
The lefties, when in power, will turn toward helping the working class and down and outs. Don't get me wrong, the liberals will feather the beds of business and contractors, too, but they seem to have a soft spot for the common man that is missing in the conservative lexicon. Due to the way our political system relies on large donors, all politicians are on the take. Does the mechanic working at Jiffy Lube have that kind of money? No, so any politician ends up going where the money is, and the fatcats don't hand out cash without expecting to get something in return.
There is your source of corruption in our and any government on earth. We will only begin to move away from that recipe for corruption when we set up public-funded campaigns and elections. The devil is in the details, but we need a system where money from taxes goes to an election fund and is then doled out equally to all qualified candidates. No one candidate can solicit or spend more than any other candidate, thereby purchasing an election. This ensures that, first and foremost, they need to take their message to the voters, and hopefully, the best message will win.
Discussing life, politics, and philosophy in the language of the bar.