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Re:CAP Recommends | 10 questions and answers about America’s “Big Government"

February 17, 2017

Re:CAP Recommends: “10 questions and answers about America’s 'Big Government'” by John J. DiIulio, Jr. for Brookings

Who: John J. DiIulio, Jr. is a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and the Frederic Fox Leadership Professor of Politics, Religion, and Civil Society at the University of Pennsylvania.

What: “Big government” is a term with a deep and murky meaning. Rhetoric from both sides of the aisle cloud what it means to have big government and what the impacts are on the U.S. In this research article for Brookings, Professor DiIulio deconstructs the issue in ten key insights, ranging from the relevance of the federal employee hiring freeze to the debt problems the U.S. faces. 

Takeaway: In Federalist Paper No. 68, Alexander Hamilton notes, “the true test of good government is its aptitude and tendency to produce a good administration.” Becoming aware of the underpinnings of "big government" helps arm contemporary public administrators with the tools to guard against its shortcomings. The insights here are as succinct as they are powerful, and are useful for framing future reasoned dialogue across all levels of government.

Contact Information

Fels Institute of Government
University of Pennsylvania
3814 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Phone: (215) 898-2600
Fax: (215) 746-2829