Many years ago, shutting down the Department of Energy, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Department of Education was part of the Republican party platform. We had eight years of Reagan, the Republican Revolution, the Contract with America, and even a brief Republican hegemony under George W Bush.
All these are now history; yet the two DoEs and the NEA remain, there are more government departments now than thirty years ago, and government’s share of the domestic economy today exceeds what it was during World War 2.
The only significant conservative inroads into liberal occupied territory that spring to mind are the ending of the welfare entitlement and the creation of school vouchers for Washington, DC inner-city students. Pretty small beer compared to Obamacare, eh?
One hundred years ago, Americans would have reached for their shotgun at the very idea that government had any ability to tell them what they could or could not build on their own private property. Today, it’s assumed and accepted that permits must be obtained to repaint your house. Permits, for paint! Thomas Jefferson would have run for his torches, tar, and feathers.
It is not possible to solve the problems confronting America today by snipping bureaucracies at the margins. It’s far too late for that and our debts far too vast.