Every single Republican today talks about being a Reagan conservative. This is a conservative that believes in small government, reducing federal spending and ultimately runs a lean and mean government. They talk about this stuff in campaigns, but in practice they failed miserably.
In fact HISTORICALLY, it is has been Democratic presidents who have reduced the size of the federal government. The Republicans have lied to the people so much that I believe the current crop somehow BELIEVES the history as they have been told, rather than researching the facts for themselves. This may be a stretch, but I am trying to give them the benefit of the doubt.
According to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, which tracks the number of employees per year, the data shows that the “conservatives” for small government are really just big government conservatives. I know that is an oxymoron, but numbers don’t lie.
Let’s start with President Carter.
On December 31st 1976 (Not Carter’s term yet), total nonmilitary personnel was 2,883,000. By December 31st 1980 the end of his term (minus a month), the total in nonmilitary personnel was 2,875,000.
Federal government nonmilitary employees shrunk by 8,000 employees under Carter.
On January 21st, 1981, President Reagan started with 2,875,000 nonmilitary federal employees.
By the end of Reagan’s terms the total number of nonmilitary federal employees was 3,113,000. That is an INCREASE of 238,000
Let’s move on to President George H.W. Bush.
On January 20th, 1989, total federal nonmilitary employment was 3,113,000
by the end of his only term, President George H.W. Bush had 3,083,000 federal nonmilitary employees on the books. That is a REDUCTION of 30,000 employees.
President Bill Clinton came into office with 3,083,000 and by the END of his TWO TERMS he reduced the number of Federal employees to 2,703,000. That is a reduction of 380,000 federal employees.
Now finally, President George W. Bush came into office with 2,703,000 nonmilitary employees and by the time his terms were through, the total nonmilitary federal employees on the books were 2,756,000, which is an INCREASE of 53,000 employees.
The small government, lean and mean political party, seems to be the Democratic Party. President Clinton reduced the size of the federal government’s nonmilitary employees by OVER 10%.
The “so called” small government President Reagan INCREASED the nonmilitary size of government by almost 10%.
In fact, Democratic president Bill Clinton reduced the size of the federal government employee size to PRE- REAGAN levels.
Clinton left office with 2,703,000 and Reagan started his term in 1981 with 2,875,000
The Reagan conservatives, in fact the entire GOP TODAY are trying to frame President Obama as a big government liberal but again, the numbers don’t lie.
By the end of 2010, the United States STILL has less employees on the books than we did back in 1980 even though the population has grown from 226,545,805 to approximately 330,000,000 in 2010.
TOTAL NONMILITARY EMPLOYEES IN 1980 — 2,875,000
TOTAL NONMILITARY EMPLOYEES IN 2010 — 2,840,000
We have 35,000 less nonmilitary employees under President Obama than we had 30 years ago.
So it comes to mind that those who claim to be Reagan small government conservatives and blame Democrats for growing government are either lying to the American people or are themselves willfully ignorant.