THE BLOG
04/11/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Colorado Springs and "Limited Government"

I just want to reiterate a key point about Colorado Springs City Councilman Sean Paige's recent claim that Colorado Springs' economy is "a magnet for transplants" specifically because the city is supposedly "putting America's limited government ideals into practice." I did a little more digging on whether this was true, and found this little fact from the Colorado Springs Business Journal:

One of every three residents of the Pikes Peak Region depends directly or indirectly upon the military. According to the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce, the total economic impact of the military in Colorado Springs is $4.58 billion. This represents more than one third of the total regional economy.

That's right, one of every three people living in the Colorado Springs area "depends directly or indirectly upon the military" - ie. upon Huge Government. Add in city, county and state workers, and you are probably approaching half of the entire Colorado Springs economy relying on the government. In that sense, Colorado Springs is an American version of almost pure Marxism: a city that is as close as any major city in the United States to being a full-fledged ward of the state (only one that is now planning to stop its road/park maintenance, cut police/firefighting forces, etc.).

The real story is much less convenient to conservatives. It is the story of a city whose economy would completely collapse - or may not even exist in any form - without the hugest of Huge Government.

* To those right-wingers who might argue that the Constitution specifically calls for the funding of defense, and therefore massive Pentagon spending represents "limited government," let me add two things: 1) The Constitution does not specifically call for a defense budget so wasteful that the Pentagon has literally lost $2 trillion (and here's hoping nobody will actually argue that the Founding Fathers would be happy with that sad state of affairs) and 2) The Constitution has a "general welfare" clause, too - and yet, I don't hear conservatives saying that, say, municipal police, fire fighters, roads, parks, etc. (much less national health care) represents "limited government."