Most helpful critical review
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A film with a valid idea, whose presentation is marred by typical partisan spin
on December 14, 2012
The core argument at the heart of this film, which is that government works best, and freedom for the individual citizen is maximized when government is limited to its role in protecting our rights, instead of sticking its nose into running the economy and sticking its hand into our taxpayer pockets, would've been far made far more effectively, clearly and fairly if it didn't spend so much time on the pro-Reagan and anti-Obama theatrics. The truth is, EVERY administration since the end of World War II, Republican AND Democrat (which right now, is an even 6 and 6), has increased taxes and expanded the size of government, in one way or another, but the film cherry picks facts in order to pretend that Obama is somehow the only President who has ever advocated greater government intervention into our lives. It doesn't mention that Republicans do this too, as it tends to focus its ire on ECONOMIC intervention (stereotypically the domain of liberals and Democrats), but ignores PERSONAL incursions into people's bedrooms and other personal habits, which is has been a problem for the Republicans, in particular the right wing. It gives some lip service to the fact that George W. Bush (the caricature of which is oddly depicted in a green suit, for some reason) departed from economic conservatives, but for the most part, it tries to paint Reagan as a saint and Obama as a misguided would-be dictator. It even tries to credit the dot com boom and 1990s prosperity to *Reagan*, while denying Clinton any credit for balancing the budget or producing a surplus, or anything aside from being a philanderer. The animated sequences are cute, but too much time is given to them, bringing the film closer to the realm of parody than polemical. The film could've benefited from a more even-handed approach that was driven by consistent adherence to small-government principles (what John Stossel, one of the interview subjects, practices on his show) instead of the typical partisan hypocrisy and pro-Reagan hagiography.