A large fraction in Republican Party in US is what's known as "small government" faction. Their guiding ideological principle is to reduce the size and/or power of Federal government (and they obviously existed since well before United States was formed in the first place, if you look at the reason Federalist Papers were written).

What exactly are Donald Trump's views on "small government" philosophy and practice, as expressed by him, either post-election; or during election; or during his prior life when he was a registered Democrat before 2008? (it's OK if the answers for the 3 circumstances are different as long as they are clearly labeled to a time period).

  • 1
    Difficult question. Very. I think you are going to find him pro-growth for existing businesses on America soil rather than small government, although there are overlaps
    – user9790
    Feb 3, 2017 at 13:10
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    "A large fraction in Republican Party in US is what's known as "small government" faction." - No I really do not think that it is... the GOP is definately a big government party its just a matter of disagreement about how it should do these things not if they should do it. Feb 3, 2017 at 20:37
  • @DrunkenSanta9035768 - I said "a large fraction", not "GWB fraction" or "entire party" :)
    – user4012
    Feb 4, 2017 at 0:46
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    I think any question starting with "What exactly are Donald Trump's views on..." is just going to be nearly impossible to answer conclusively. Even if you can find quotes, they often contradict.
    – user1530
    Feb 4, 2017 at 5:28
  • No doubt it is "My government is the biggest! Its bigger than you would believe! Nobody has ever had a government as big as me! My government is much bigger than that loser Obama! Crooked Hilary would never have had a government as big as me! Its only the CNN Fake News that says I have a small government!" Apr 15, 2020 at 14:48

1 Answer 1


I don't think that Trump himself has explicitly stated his views on small government. But we can look at his proposed policies and existing political commentary, which shows that Trump is not a proponent of small government.

During the election

The Washington Post has a list of proposals by Trump during the election which would generally not be considered "small government":

  • mandated maternity leave
  • increase in defense spending
  • increase spending to rebuild infrastructure
  • support use of eminent domain
  • not reducing social security

Obviously, Trump also opposes parts of the federal government or their current practices, such as the EPA, food stamp programs, etc, but he supports others and wants to expand them.

During the election, various right-leaning websites also described Trump as supporting big government.

The Federalist for example names these points showing Trumps support:

  • support for the "welfare state"
  • support for "socialized healthcare"
  • support for eminent domain
  • increased border control

The National Review also described Trump as big-government, as did the Washington Examiner.

Forbes also said: "Trump loves government".

After the election

After the election, Bannon was a bit more explicit:

The conservatives are going to go crazy. I’m the guy pushing a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan. [...] It will be as exciting as the 1930s, greater than the Reagan revolution — conservatives, plus populists, in an economic nationalist movement.”

Looking at the actual actions Trump took, some are "small government" - spending freeze, hiring freeze, regulatory freeze -, while others would be considered big government - border wall, deportations, -. It remains to be seen if he enforces some of the other big government plans he suggested.


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