Government and Taxes In the Big Picture
Posted on February 15, 2017
A substantial majority of what government does consists in providing insurance policies that private markets could not possibly provide. This portion of government consists in transfer payments plus direct provision of what are basically private goods like education and health care. The government provides (or should provide) insurance that you and your children and your grandchildren and other descendants will receive adequate education and health care and old age income and other necessities of life, no matter what. And it is well worth the money we spend on taxes.
Around a third of government consists in true public goods like police, national defense, highways, antitrust policy, parks, and environmental regulation.
And around half of that third is national defense and national security, which is (economically speaking) a total waste. It produces nothing of value. Instead it prevents others from destroying somethings of value we already have.
Therefore if you truly want to eliminate government waste and lower taxes, you need to focus like a laser on reducing the causes and risk of war and terrorism. If you are buying guns and bombs and secret agents, that means you have already messed up on national defense.
Libertarian nutcases tell you otherwise, but in the long run, there is no substitute for world government. World government is the only feasible replacement for national armies, just as the American federal government is the only feasible replacement for state-level armies.
In the short run, there is no replacement for the increasing web of international agreements and alliances that are an imperfect substitute for world government. And don’t let Trump tell you otherwise.