What do these questions have in common? They’re factual questions, with factual answers — and they have absolutely no necessary relationship to the “proper scale and scope of government”. You could, in principle, believe that we need a drastically downsized government, and at the same time believe that cutting government spending right now will increase unemployment. You could believe that discretionary policy of any kind is a mistake, and at the same time admit that the expansion of the Fed’s balance sheet isn’t at all inflationary under current circumstances.
I don't agree with that--I think everything is political. The problem arises primarily when the political is facilitated by the delusional. In other words: want what you wantt but at least own your own shit. If you are proposing, as the GOP branch of the NRA is, that there can be no restrictions on gun ownership or gun carrying at least admit that it has real world consequences which include the deaths of innocents. The 3000 or so children who were killed in "accidental" shootings since the Newtown massacre were, every one of them, killed by lax gun owners who exist because of overly permissive gun regulations. That's just the fact. The hard Second Amendment position is that those deaths don't matter--but you can't argue that they don't happen. But of course that is exactly what the pro-gun position seems to force its holders to do. Read any comment thread under the innumerable local stories of children who shoot children and you will find variations on "it didn't happen, it was an accident, these people are not representative gun owners, its cruel to discuss this too much, this is a rare occurence." This is factually incorrect. Whether you want unrestricted gun ownership or not does not affect the facts of the case: more guns means more accidental gun deaths.
Ditto for the austerity position: if you want to argue that slashing budgets releases the animal spirits of investors and that therefore people won't be unemployed for long because of all the "jerbs" created then go ahead: but have the decency to admit that your little experiment can be falsified by, well, the facts. The same for tax cuts create increased tax revenue. Own. It. Mean it. If you can do it, you can say it. And if you can't admit to the actual consequences of your own policies then have the decency to STFU and bow out of civil society.