The Boston Globe’s Jeff Jacoby has a great column today, leading off with Governor Rick Perry’s promise to do all he can to make Washington as inconsequential as possible. Talk like that, however, sends the Praetorian Guard of statism into convulsions — Chris Mathews, for example, who denounces the idea of downsizing the federal government as “anarchy.”

I think it’s so obvious that much of what Washington does today is wasteful and damaging that the only line of defense for the statists is to pose the false dilemma of the status quo or no government at all. Even I don’t want to get rid of the federal government. Scaling back to the level of, say, Grover Cleveland would be just fine.