In the aftermath of the twin hurricanes and the need for federal spending for reconstruction, two primary issues have arisen. Firstly is the appropriate use of reconstruction funds. There is absolutely no question that the corrupt local governments partially to blame for the disaster in New Orleans, and any other corrupt politicians are kept away from access to reconstruction, at least without tight oversight and review.
The second issue is what should be the role of the federal government. Within this discussion are two aspects of the same dilemma. The two aspects are the size of the government's response and the intrusiveness of the government's response; this is the fundamental question. Is there a difference between big government (size of government) and intrusive government (big brother)? Certainly. A big government if often time necessary to maintain for the national defense, maintain uniform standards across the states, and provide the social safety net in times of peace and time of crisis, as well as protect the framework of law as guaranteed by the constitution. To do this oftentimes necessitates a large budget. This does not mean the federal government should be fiscally irresponsible. Does having a large budget means control of the purse translate to control of action? No. For example, congress is responsible for the budget but congress hardly qualifies as an intrusive big brother.
Big brother is a government ever present daily awareness of what you can do and what you cannot do. The key is the intrusive nature in everyday life.
I think it is inevitable that Government gets big, and this is OK. What is unacceptable is for Government to become intrusive and burdensome to its citizenry, i.e. become big brother.