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Paring Back The U.S. Government

Call it extremism, but conservative Yuval Levin doesn’t apologize. The U.S. government  needs a radical paring back, he says. We’ll hear him out.

The U.S. Capitol building. (AP)

The U.S. Capitol building. (AP)

For decades, Democrats and Republicans argued over how to divide the pie and burden of national spending and entitlements.  Now there is a significant wing of the GOP that wants to blow up the pie.  To radically pare back government spending.  To hit the reset button on America’s social compact and economy.

To get lean, they say, to get competitive in the 21st century.  President Obama says let’s invest in our common future.  They say sure, but only after an obsolete governing model is gone.  And they want Mitt Romney to say that, too.

This hour, On Point:  the unvarnished call to radically remake government.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Yuval Levincontributing editor, The National Review and The Weekly Standard. New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote that Levin’s piece in The Weekly Standard titled “Our Age of Anxietywas the “definitive essay” on how America’s welfare state model was in its death throes.

Robert Kuttner, co-editor of the American Prospect, and author of A Presidency in Peril: The Inside Story of Obama’s Promise, Wall Street’s Power, and the Struggle to Control our Economic Future.

From Tom’s Reading List

Weekly Standard “There is something very strange about the 2012 presidential race so far. The election comes at a time of extraordinary public unease, which clearly demands some response from the political system, and especially from the men running for the highest office in the land. But the two presidential candidates are both running campaigns oddly detached from what is rightly worrying voters. ”

National Affairs “The most significant cause runs deeper. We have the feeling that profound and unsettling change is afoot because the vision that has dominated our political imagination for a century — the vision of the social-democratic welfare state — is drained and growing bankrupt, and it is not yet clear just what will take its place.”

The New York Times “What Descartes was doing for knowledge, others would do for politics: sweep away the old precedents and write new constitutions based on reason. This was the aim of the French Revolution.”

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