I was a little startled by Jim Shella’s statement that, in Indiana’s Fifth District, 30% of the voters are retired. Given the context of the blog post, I think that means that maybe that number are also on Social Security.
This is Dan Burton’s district; a reliably conservative district. It reinforces my sense that the talk about “small government” is usefully inexact. What is desired is not really less government; but, rather, government benefits that go to Us – the deserving and not government benefits that take from Us (the deserving) and give to Them (the undeserving.)
The utility of “small government” is that it tends to short circuit a close examination of who Us and Them might be and what it is that makes Us deserving and Them undeserving. When someone points out this or that part of government that isn’t small and that isn’t getting objected to by small government advocates, they can just protest, “we’re not anarchists!”