All across the country right now, local and state governments are finding they can’t pay their bills. Schools are losing teachers, street lights are going dark, garbage is piling up in public parks, and cops are suddenly an optional expense.
This week we travel to Colorado Springs, to Trenton and to the office of Grover Norquist to ask: Is the kind of country we want? One where government gets smaller? Or should we all pay higher taxes, and keep government bigger?
In the town of Nowthen, MN, residents held meetings to debate whether a police force is worth the cost. And in Springfield, IL, the state police motorcycle division has been cut, leading to an increase in highway fatalities. Host Ira Glass talks about these and other examples of the battle between proponents of small government and those fighting to maintain public services.