Oh, god, yes. Nanny state. This is great. Wait ’til you see how it backfires.
Users of this term want you to think of the government as the boring frowny lady your parents hired to come over and stop you from having any fun.
The idea they want to get across is that the government should not be able to come to your house and tell you what to do, especially if you have a six-figure salary in your house and the nanny wants you to pay higher taxes on it.
Interestingly, there is only one group of people in the world who would ever be in a position to say, “How dare that nanny come into my house and tell me what to do!”
One more thing: I seem to hear about nanny states only when the subject is taxes or business regulations or vegetables in public school cafeterias. The government is way out of line telling people what to do about this stuff, just like a mean old nanny. But when the subject is government-mandated invasive medical procedures for women who don’t want or need them, the nanny vanishes in a poof of rhetoric.