One softball that Donald Trump missed in Monday’s debate was to point out that the economic plan Hillary Clinton is so proud of could be boiled down to the same failed liberal formula: tax/spend/regulate. She’s got a long list of giveaways, from free college tuition to paid family leave. And she’ll create thousands of “green jobs” with clean energy subsidies for building solar panels. She’ll reinvigorate the economy with stimulus spending (where have we heard all this before?) And where will the money come from? No worries: she’ll just make the rich pay their “fair share.” Considering that the top 20% of earners already pay 84% of all incomes taxes, I’m not sure how raising that would be “fair;” but then, we conservatives, unlike liberals and five-year-olds, don’t build our lives around the false premise that life is “fair.”

Nowhere in any of that litany of tried-and-failed government cheese that’s given us a $20 trillion national debt is there any consideration of the idea of Washington doing LESS. No, Washington will micromanage everything from policing every businesses’ pay scales to giving sensitivity training to local cops. To liberals like Hillary, the solution to every problem is always more government and more federal spending. Never mind that a study last year by the New York Federal Reserve found that the increase in college tuition was driven almost entirely by federal college loan subsidies, with every dollar of extra federal spending on subsidies being matched by an average 65-cent increase in tuition.

“But hold on, you hard-hearted conservative! Surely, you aren’t suggesting that the government actually cut some of this spending?! Why, people would starve, there would be riots in the streets, dogs and cats living together! Mass hysteria!”

Or maybe not. It turns out one government actually did once eliminate an entire field of federal subsidies (not our government, of course). During a fiscal crunch in the 1980s, New Zealand did away with long-entrenched farm subsidies. To cushion the blow, government-dependent farmers were offered aid in shifting to another line of work. Only about one percent took it. It was a rough transition, but farmers quickly learned to cut costs, diversify and boost production. Today, New Zealand is a world leader in agricultural exports without government interference (read more about this extraordinary story at the link).

While nobody is suggesting that the US eliminate farm subsidies, this might at least serve as an object lesson that trying to fit everyone with a set of government crutches isn’t necessarily helpful. It might just be keeping them from standing on their own two feet.