Ruth Porter writes for the Times

Those of us who believe in smaller government need to practise some delayed gratification. If we want to reduce government in the long run, we may need a little bit more government in the short run.

This requires a big intellectual leap for many on the libertarian right who have lost sight of any good that the State can do. Those who believe in smaller government neglect the role that good policy can play in helping to produce the self-sufficient citizens that underpin low-tax societies.

Much growth in public spending is driven by family breakdown, health problems such as obesity, and a justice system that boomerangs people in and out of prison. While it may be true that government is partly to blame for exacerbating many of these problems in the first place, it is also essential that — on occasions — it becomes part of the solution.

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