Conservatives who advocate hawkish U.S. foreign policies might rethink their bellicose stance if they better understood the growth the welfare state. U.S. wars have contributed to numerous tools of Big Government, including the federal income tax, progressive taxation, tax withholding, the estate tax, gas taxes, the Internal Revenue Service, federal relief for the poor, public works, Social Security, government registration of marriages, public housing, wartime inflation, price controls, employer-based health insurance, banks bailouts, and more.

Ivan Eland is Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute and Director of the Institute’s Center on Peace & Liberty.
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Defense and Foreign PolicyEntitlements and WelfareFederal Tax PolicyGovernment and PoliticsGovernment PowerTaxes and Budget
Other Independent Review articles by Ivan Eland
Fall 2022 The Right: The Hundred-Year War for American Conservatism
Summer 2022 America’s Rise and Fall among Nations: Lessons in Statecraft from John Quincy Adams
Fall 2016 “Independent Internationalism” and the Military Forces Needed for It
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