The Republicans claim to want small limited government, but do they mean it? As usual the devil is in the details. As a quick Casual Observation; the Republican loudly proclaim with much fanfare to be unfailing advocates of the Tenth Amendment of the US Constitution. The Tenth Amendment holds that: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." In casually observing the various Republican debates, it seems that downsizing government under the Tenth Amendment only applies to eliminating social service programs, environmental protection, and entitlement programs.
However, when it comes to so-called "security" and fighting the various so-called "wars", it seems that the Republicans foam-at-the-mouth to toss aside the Tenth Amendment along with the First and Fourth Amendments. If this trend continues, we will soon have a police state. (Obama has already taken the initiative to diminish the First, Fourth, and Tenth Amendments). Of the Republican candidates, only Ron Paul seem to clearly recognize that the Tenth Amendment really means downsizing the Federal government in ALL areas and that we should not trade "liberty" for "security".
As an editorial aside, I tend towards a Federal government that will be involved in issues that are nationally significant, such as environmental protection. Regulations that establish a level playing field for business is a valid government action. Republican claims to eliminate these types of regulations are equivalent to granting a license to private enterprise to "steal". I will also concede that some Federal government programs such as Education and all loan subsidy programs should be eliminated.