Libertarians believe in smaller government for two reasons: Constitutional reasons, and economic reasons.
Politicians who have taken an oath to "support the Constitution" have violated one of its most central principles: that of "enumerated powers." They have exercised powers which were never given to the federal government in the Constitution. This includes job training, environment, education, nutrition, housing, income security, health, and inflating the currency by creating huge amounts of "fiat money." Cutting "unconstitutional" programs would mean cutting more than 90% of the federal government.
Then there are those pesky laws of economics. The best economists have shown that capitalism works better than socialism. Politicians and bureaucrats lack the fundamental economic incentives of profit, competition, and calculation that that motivate businesses to make our food, computers, cell phones, cars, and houses better every year, yet with fewer and fewer hours of our labor required to purchase them.
America was a great idea. A land of "Liberty Under God." A land where anyone could work and save and eventually live safely under his own "Vine & Fig Tree." America was once the most prosperous and admired nation on earth. Today it is bankrupt and despised.
So why do we have a federal government? Why not abolish it entirely?
America's Founding Fathers did not believe we needed a federal government to invade foreign nations. America's Founders thought we needed a federal government to protect the new united States from foreign invasion. The most important justification for a federal government is "national security."
But as we've seen this past weekend, by looking at the atomic bombing of Hiroshima (August 6, 1945) and Nagasaki (August 9 - see the list of posts here), the federal government has been a miserable failure at providing "security." Not just for Americans who lived under the threat of nuclear annihilation during the "Cold War," and not just for the millions of people the federal government has intentionally killed, but for millions of people whose deaths might have been prevented if the U.S. federal government had not gotten involved. As arm-chair quarterbacks, we can speculate about what might have happened, but Ralph Raico makes a good point when he speculates,
it is quite possible that Japan would have been in a position to prevent the Communists from coming to power in China. And that could have meant that the thirty or forty million deaths now attributed to the Maoist regime would not have occurred.
Japan would have been worse than Communism? Does anyone still believe the federal government is omniscient, or a prophet? Overwhelmingly and undeniably, the real winner of World War II, thanks largely to the U.S. federal government, was communism in Europe (Stalin), and communism in Asia (Mao) -- for the benefit of whom millions of German and Japanese civilians were killed by the U.S, enemies unquestionably worse than the declared enemies of the U.S. federal government (Hitler and Hirohito).
The federal government failed to protect us from foreign invasion at Pearl Harbor, where 2,345 military and 57 civilians were killed, and then retaliated by killing over a million Japanese, in acts that were arguably "war crimes," described by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Truman as "not worthy of Christian man."
The federal government failed to prevent the 9-11 attack, where 3,000 Americans died, but the federal government has killed perhaps a million Iraqis during the Bush-Clinton-Bush regime, most of whom probably didn't like Saddam Hussein any more than we did, and Iraq is now an Islamic Theocracy.
In both Japan and Iraq, the real core problem was the worldview of the people, which led to Emperor Worship rather than Liberty Under God. The federal government would have better served America and the entire world by holding a going-out-of-business sale and encouraging capitalists and missionaries to go to Japan and Iraq a generation before the pretext for war became a reality.
If we had no federal government at all, Missouri would be the 38th largest nation on earth. And who would be the enemy of Missouri? Nobody, except perhaps those terrorist regimes and emperor-worshipping thugocracies that have been the recipients of billions of dollars in federal aid and military support during the 20th century.
The only way to save the idea of America is to Abolish the Federal Government.