Why is it so hard to roll back even a flawed program? One reason is practical: Once people are given a government benefit, they will howl if you take it away. This is true in every aspect of life. Imagine that your company buys you lunch every Friday. You’ll get used to it, even if the food is mediocre. If one day your boss realizes he’s over budget and tries to cancel this benefit, workers will kick and scream because something is being taken away from them. It’s only natural.
But there’s more to it than that. In a way, the difficulty in shrinking government is also due to Democratic supporters of expanded government often getting the benefit of the doubt. They’re trying to do good deeds! Their motives are assumed to be pure as snow, and their preferred policies are often judged by intentions as much as results.
Not so anyone who wants to cut spending or even control its rate of growth. “Tactics to get a good deed done are a lot different than tactics that hurt people just to help the wealthy,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) in a rather revealing admission.