That’s the big question voters have a chance to address in November, global economist David Malpass posits in the latest Forbes.

We’ve come to a critical juncture in our history. The federal government is buying trillions of dollars of its own debt and plans to spend $47 trillion over the next decade in the belief that such expenditures will motivate the private sector to hire more workers.

By its nature government wants a bigger mission, more workers and ­pensions, and a greater scope for intrusions into people’s lives. It wants ever more taxes on income, consumption, property and wealth. It believes in the Orwellian view that taxes equal fairness more than it believes in growth.

The November election may come down to whether voters feel strongly about government’s increasingly dominant role in the day-to-day functioning of our society. As Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney puts it, President Obama “has spent the last four years laying the foundation for a new government-centered society.”

The federal government’s debt is now 105% of GDP, having doubled its share since the end of the Reagan Administration. Debt is projected to top 120% of GDP within the decade, greased higher by a fake debt limit–which should be repealed and replaced–and an eerie absence of any cabinet meetings to control spending.

We know the issue well. Washington gets bigger, richer and more intrusive every year and is so powerful and self-contained that it runs without any budget. The hottest economic news, gossip and party invitations come from Washington. Businessmen spend more and more of their time trying to curry Washington’s favor–the most profitable corporate investments nowadays are in lobbyists, not research or worker training. A core purpose of the Declaration of Independence was to define the ­relationship between individuals and their government, which was to play a supporting role. But in recent years government has become deeply controlling.