Government spending as a percentage of GDP, 1900-2010

Daniel Foster at The Corner likes this quote from Mike Pence’s remarks at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference.

The time has come to limit federal spending to 20 percent of our nation’s economy in the Constitution of the United States.

Only a spending limit amendment to the Constitution will be strong enough to restrain the explosive growth of federal spending. If God can get by on 10 percent, Uncle Sam ought to be able to keep getting by on 20.

Like any phony fiscal conservative, Pence didn’t specify in the speech what specifically he’ll cut to achieve that. But the takeaway is that Pence wants to shrink the US government to Dust Bowl levels, while presumably maintaining a Cold War Pentagon. Great plan.

Now remind me. What was that big thing that sprang forth from the New Deal and post-WWII government investment in the United States, and grew to unprecedented levels between 1945-1975?

Oh, yeah. The middle class.