But we did not define what "government" means to many of the voices who are shouting that word out loud in public.
I finally figured out what "government" means to the "small-government" hard right-wing of the "conservative movement", who use that word within the context of an obvious agenda.
I think that the word "government" means the 1% who own or control 90% or so of the wealth of America who have by now turned the once "democratic economy" of the USA into a plutonomy.
They are the government now, in the sense that "money talks and bullsh*t walks", or "the golden rule is, whomever has the 'gold' makes the rules":
I could go on and on, but the bottom line is this: A highly complex and largely discrete set of laws and exemptions from laws has been put in place by those in the uppermost reaches of the U.S. financial system. It allows them to protect and increase their wealth and significantly affect the U.S. political and legislative processes. They have real power and real wealth. Ordinary citizens in the bottom 99.9% are largely not aware of these systems, do not understand how they work, are unlikely to participate in them, and have little likelihood of entering the top 0.5%, much less the top 0.1%. Moreover, those at the very top have no incentive whatsoever for revealing or changing the rules. I am not optimistic.(Investment Manager View). The "federal government" (including the politicians, the military and the vast spy realm), as well as state governments, are essentially the tools of these plutocrats who really run The American Plutonomy Show (think plutarchy).
Regular readers of Dredd Blog know we call the hard core within this small meme complex, MOMCOM.
That core neoCon hard right wing is composed of the plutocrats who use the politicians, the military, and the vast spy-on-America agencies, as puppets.
Their agenda is to make "the government" smaller, evidently meaning that the 1% want to push downward on the 99% (the upper middle class, the middle class, the lower middle class, and the poor).
There are some indications that there are even some within the 1% of prominence who feel that some of that 1% should be pushed down too, purifying the plutocracy down perhaps to a holier-than-thou elite:
This document focuses on the "Top 1%" as a whole because that's been the traditional cut-off point for "the top" in academic studies, and because it's easy for us to keep in mind that we are talking about one in a hundred. But it is also important to realize that the lower half of that top 1% has far less than those in the top half; in fact, both wealth and income are super-concentrated in the top 0.1%, which is just one in a thousand.(Who Rules America). Of course their dogma is that they worked hard to do this, to pull it off, to become different from the other 99% of America.
If we ask the question "who knew?", the answer for the most part is probably "only them", because they own and control the media:
Some of the information may come as a surprise to many people. In fact, I know it will be a surprise and then some, because of a recent study (Norton & Ariely, 2010) showing that most Americans (high income or low income, female or male, young or old, Republican or Democrat) have no idea just how concentrated the wealth distribution actually is.(ibid, Who Rules America). Their hue and cry this election season is to rid the nation of the scourge of "entitlements", not mentioning that the 1% acquire the largest entitlements of all, or that workers pay for their Social Security retirement all of their working lives.
In addition to their hue and cry this election season, they have been pushing their number one product, their brand, what they use to justify their plunder, which is our liberty:
The military portion of MOMCOM has from 800 to 1000 bases around the world that depend on free handouts from the public trough.(MOMCOM: A Mean Welfare Queen). Yes, they have the hubris to try to take our freedoms as their own creation.
They are not required to pay it back.
Food, weapons, housing, weapons, clothing, weapons, and careful MOM control is always free in the sense the military does not pay back the money that comes its way from the taxpayers.
It is like Wall Street bonuses with khaki on.
The main claim to fame is that the military portion of MOMCOM gives new meaning to freedom, which is what they claim is their number one product: MOMCOM Freedom.
It is what you get instead of getting your money back. No refunds from MOMCOM.
MOMCOM Freedom is not free, they like to say. Clearly they are right because their brand (MOMCOM Freedom) costs us more than all the rest of the world combined pay for it.
The president, congress, and the judiciary think this is a real bargain, exclaiming "you get the freedom you pay for".
Their oil wars which they fight with our kids and our tax dollars are called wars to "bring democracy to the world" or "war on terror".
Based on that death circus they claim they are producing our freedom, then selling it back to us at a bargain price.
That bargain price is the massive loss of our jobs, our homes, our savings, and a better life for our children.
They are too proud of "their" product.