Bastiat told us what government use to be:
Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.
I’m not sure this is entirely accurate any longer. Over the years we stopped trying to live at the expense of everybody else alive at the time and expanded the fiction to include those in the future as well.
With debt to fund government during peace times, government became the way to avoid tough choices, leaving those for future generations to deal with.
Lately it seems the role of government has expanded even more. Now it seems to be the way to avoid making any choice that might be politically unpopular or slightly uncomfortable, not just tough ones, and passing those on to future generations.