Government functions to serve as a defender of the country from foreign threats and invaders, along with economic and pandemic troubles. Government also serves to regulate the flow of taxpayer money to needed infastructure like transportation, education and energy. Finally, government needs to work out diplomatic relationships and contacts with other countries. All of these factors depend on each other to support a strong economy, and the government should seek to do the job of working all of these factors into positive outcomes.
The size of the government also influences how it works. The Declaration of Independence was written as a statement of our independence from England, and it was followed up by the Bill of Rights. Government was originally very small, which is why they had to give it more rights; yet it reflected America at the time, small and ready to grow. As America developed and technology influenced its growth, the government grew larger to accomodate these new functions as America grew to be the largest economy in the world. Currently, the government is at large and has become a titan as it continues to explode. We have many 'departments' and sectors that could be much more efficiently run by the private sector, and many of these departments are simply a drain of taxpayer money. With the coming of a new election in November 2010, we need to find people who are responsible and knowledgable enough to shrink government back to its former size.