big government

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English[edit]

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Noun[edit]

big government (uncountable)

  1. (chiefly US, politics, uncountable, sometimes capitalized) Governance that consists of large-scale programs, numerous departments and employees, and that entails substantial spending, especially liberal or left-wing governance which emphasizes social entitlements and regulation, and that is considered intrusive by some citizens, especially by conservatives.
    • 1940 March 18, "Life on the Newsfronts of the World: Big Government," Life, p. 26 (retrieved 13 Dec 2011):
      Because he is liberal, temperate and articulate, and because he freely recognizes past Big Business abuses, Wendell L. Willkie, president of huge Commonwealth & Southern Corp., is in a class by himself as a persuasive businessman-critic of the New Deal. . . . "Today it is not Big Business that we have to fear," concluded Businessman Wilkie. "It is Big Government."
    • 1998 Aug. 2, John M. Broder, "The Nation: Big Deal," New York Times (retrieved 13 Dec 2011):
      Mr. Clinton inherited a Presidency that had been downsized by Watergate and the end of the cold war. . . . Two years ago he declared the end of the era of big government and embarked upon a program of bite-sized policy initiatives.
    • 2009 May 7, Michael Grunwald, "One Year Ago: The Republicans in Distress," Time:
      Big Government is never popular in theory, but the disaster aid, school lunches and prescription drugs that make up Big Government have become wildly popular in practice.

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