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Mr. Holtz-Eakin concurred.

“We start by making it about wasting people’s money and then talk about effective government,” he said.

However, Bob Barr, the former Republican congressman who is running for president on the Libertarian Party ticket, said entitlements are the issue causing many younger voters to wake up to the issue of big government.

“Younger people are the ones who are going to be shafted,” Mr. Barr said.

Nonetheless, he said, any path back to an era of limited government will require “a long period of education.”

“It’s not going to happen quickly.”