The Size Of Government

The following information comes directly from and it’s very important to know:

Let’s start with President Carter.

On December 31st 1976 (Not Carter’s term yet), total nonmilitary personnel was 2,883,000. By December 31st 1980 the end of his term (minus a month), the total in nonmilitary personnel was 2,875,000.

Federal government nonmilitary employees shrunk by 8,000 employees under Carter.

On January 21st, 1981, President Reagan started with 2,875,000 nonmilitary federal employees.

By the end of Reagan’s terms the total number of nonmilitary federal employees was 3,113,000. That is an INCREASE of 238,000

Let’s move on to President George H.W. Bush.

On January 20th, 1989, total federal nonmilitary employment was 3,113,000
by the end of his only term, President George H.W. Bush had 3,083,000 federal nonmilitary employees on the books. That is a REDUCTION of 30,000 employees.

President Bill Clinton came into office with 3,083,000 and by the END of his TWO TERMS he reduced the number of Federal employees to 2,703,000. That is a reduction of 380,000 federal employees.

Now finally, President George W. Bush came into office with 2,703,000 nonmilitary employees and by the time his terms were through, the total nonmilitary federal employees on the books were 2,756,000, which is an INCREASE of 53,000 employees.

The small government, lean and mean political party, seems to be the Democratic Party. President Clinton reduced the size of the federal government’s nonmilitary employees by OVER 10%.

The “so called” small government President Reagan INCREASED the nonmilitary size of government by almost 10%.

In fact, Democratic president Bill Clinton reduced the size of the federal government employee size to PRE- REAGAN levels.

Clinton left office with 2,703,000 and Reagan started his term in 1981 with 2,875,000

The Reagan conservatives, in fact the entire GOP TODAY are trying to frame President Obama as a big government liberal but again, the numbers don’t lie.

By the end of 2010, the United States STILL has less employees on the books than we did back in 1980 even though the population has grown from 226,545,805 to approximately 330,000,000 in 2010.


We have 35,000 less nonmilitary employees under President Obama than we had 30 years ago.

So it comes to mind that those who claim to be Reagan small government conservatives and blame Democrats for growing government are either lying to the American people or are themselves willfully ignorant.


About Kevin Barbieux

I have been diagnosed as being chronically homeless. I write about my experiences and opinions of being homeless


  1. I like the relationships shown about government employment vs. president. Homeless Guy, I hope that you will complete the picture with Bush2 and Obama levels of government employment.

    Beside the negatives of war are several items that impact the cost of living; the huge growth in cost of medicine since Johnson’s Medicare and Medicaid and his “war on poverty” and others tacked on below.

    Homelessness is brought about by the fact that the cost of living exceeds a given person’s ability to pay his cost of living.

    The huge increases in the cost of medicine increased the cost of living.

    Probably the bigger factor is the increase in cost of living brought about by the government paying people for not working. This principle should apply to those not working because they are receiving unemployment or because they are on welfare.

    I believe we must limit unemployment pay to two weeks and totally end welfare.

    To allow people to work we must reduce hurdles that keep persons from working such as the minimum wage and other bad law hurdles.

    The safety net for handicapped could be provided by the Churches and Charities.

    Add a few no brainers; end foreign aid, bring the troops home from 700 bases around the world and quit paying federal employees at a rate that is double the private sector.

    Take these actions and we can begin to export as much as we import; and our economy will blossom as it did prior to when we became progressive and lost our way.


  2. Most of what government does is protect the honest citizens from the unethical activities of the unethical citizens. If you want to have a smaller government, then get your fellow citizens to stop treating others with disrespect. Every time a giant manufacturer dumps a bunch of chemicals into the drinking water, every time some stock broker takes bigger risks than he should with other people's money, every time someone cheats on their taxes, etc, they are in essence, disrespecting their fellow citizens. To keep these people in line, our government must develop agencies and programs to deal with these disrespectful people, and to stop them from committing such acts in the future. Sadly, though, there's always someone else coming along trying to find some other way to cheat the system, and our government has to find a way to deal with them. And so it is that we have the size of government that we do.


  3. Anonymous

    Your use of numbers is an interesting viewpoint on the issue of big government. However your opinion seems a bit mis led? Big government has always been the programs that have been put into place that widens the scope of government influence over the American public. Whether an administration has 100,000 more employees doesn't really matter depending on whether or not they are encroaching on the citizens freedom of choice. Programs like social security, Medicare, the patriot act, Obamacare, the entire department of homeland security, and many more are what makes a government “big” not simply the number of employees. A small governmen is one that has the smallest scope of power over the American public and follows the constitution strictly as far as the role of government. And yes the number of employees may differ under these two styles of government, however they are not the defining characteristic to either of the ideologies. So therefore they should not be used to define an administration “big” or “small”


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