You’ll often hear Tenth Amendment Center founder and executive director Michael Boldin or me say we are facing the “biggest, most powerful government in the history of the world.”
Is this just hyperbole?
I don’t think it is.
Consider the power the U.S. government wields globally. I’m not just talking about military power – although that is unmatched. Perhaps more significant is the economic power the United States wields. The world literally runs on dollars.
The SWIFT system enables financial institutions to send and receive information about financial transactions in a secure, standardized environment. Since the dollar serves as the world reserve currency, SWIFT facilitates the international dollar system. That gives the U.S. the ability to effectively cut other countries off from the global economy. The U.S. has used this power to bend countries such as China, Russia and Iran to its foreign policy will.
You could argue that the British Empire or the Roman Empire wielded similar power. But neither of those mega-governments had nuclear weapons and the ability to literally destroy the world. The power of the United State government is arguably unmatched in human history.
And even if the relative power of the U.S. government compared to past regimes is debatable, the size of the U.S. government isn’t.
One metric we can use to compare the relative size of governments is expenditures. Based on IMF data, the U.S. government spent $7.66 trillion in 2019. The next closest country was China with outlays of $4.14 trillion.
Obviously, China has a lot more people than the U.S. The disparity in the scope of government becomes even more apparent when you compare the two country’s per capita spending. The U.S. spent $20,674 per capita in 2017. China spent a paltry $2,735 per capita. In other words, the United States’ “limited constitutional government” spends nearly 8-times per capita than China’s “socialist state under the people’s democratic dictatorship.”
So, when I talk about facing off against the biggest, most powerful government in the history of the world, I mean it literally. On a macro level, the federal government bullies the world into doing its will and on a micro-level, it interjects itself into virtually every corner of our life. It dictates what kind of plants we can grow in our backyard and how much water we can have in our toilets.
That leaves you with a question: why would you ever trust such an entity to look after your interests?