By infrastructure I mean roads, railroads, bridges, canals, seaports, airports, schools, hospitals, cemeteries, parks, beaches and the like. Things that people need to get from point A to point B. Things whereby the productive folk can move their goods from source to marketplace to consumer. Places to teach the young, places to care for the sick, and places to inter the dead. Recreation in the forms of parks and beaches are useful and I think necessary.
Protection takes a number of forms. Protection from natural disasters could be viewed as part of the infrastructure but I view this as the duty of weather services, both local and national. Protection from crime, from fire, from stupid people (there are reasons for zoning laws, some being better than others).
On a national level the people require (not need but require) protection from invaders, both armed and otherwise. (Trust me, illegal immigrants are a massive drain on local services. Those who don't wish to assimilate are here to make our home like their home. If their home is so damned wonderful, why are they here?)
It is not the business of government to involve themselves in the private lives of their citizens as long as those citizens are not harming anyone else. (For instance, an individual's right to go where they wish ends at someone else's property line. Your right to free speech does not mean that that speech need not have consequences. While I have the God-given right to call my boss an idiot, he has the God-given right to fire my ass should I do so.)
Different levels of government should not meddle at other levels. For instance, the Federal government has no business dictating to the individual states what those states can and cannot do, as long as those states are not in contravention of the Constitution of the United States as a whole.
By the same token the individual states should not meddle in Federal territory. For instance, Rhode Island may not enact a mutual defense treaty with Croatia. (I know that would be impractical and illogical in addition to being illegal under the Constitution.) But if Rhode Island wants to make common cause with Connecticut in an area of mutual interest, what right does the Federal government have to interfere? Provided of course said common cause does not violate the Constitution.
A number of distractions currently in play have the Feds interfering with state governments. Things which they have no business interfering with, such as who goes to the bathroom and where. Really DOJ? Aren't there existing Federal laws being broken which should demand your attention? (And threatening to cut off Federal funding? Where do you think that money came from? Washington DC? No. It came from the states. How about we cut off your funding?)
It's all bread and circuses. Distractions meant to entertain and confuse. If you think the nonsense coming in over the transom every damned day is not orchestrated, you probably need to rethink the way you look at things. There's an agenda out there and reasonable, limited government is not on that agenda. I'm not saying I know what's going on, but I smell a rat.
I think we've lost our way. Let's start making noise and get back to the ideal. Damn it, this is our country we have a right and a duty to make it work for the benefit of all citizens. Not just a privileged few. And yes Congress, I'm looking at you!