With the beginning of 2015, what might be a “New Year’s resolution” for a friend of freedom? I would suggest that one answer is for each of us to do our best to become “lights of liberty” that will attract others to the cause of freedom and the free society.
Tagged: limited government
After a sweeping Republican win in the 2014 midterms, some at The Heartland Institute are reluctant to take a sigh of relief. With the Republican party in firm control of congress, many new challenges and concerns face those who advocate limited government.
Suppose that there was a button in front of you that if you pushed it would, in one instant, abolish all the governmental controls and regulations on the U.S. economy. Would you push that button, and transform America into a society of free men associating with each other on the basis of voluntary exchange, with government limited to protection of life, liberty and honestly acquired property?
Changing our country and its laws back to a manageable and sane state is more complicated than the average small-government advocate may think. One cannot simply look at the situation in black and white, right and wrong mindset. A longer term strategy must be established.
We live at a time when politicians and bureaucrats only know one public policy: more and bigger government. Yet, there was a time when even those who served in government defended limited and smaller government. One of the greatest of these died one hundred years ago on August 27, 1914, the Austrian economist Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk.
Occasionally, someone who, like myself, loves history will add Madison, the fourth President, but Lynne Cheney’s new biography of Madison rightly identifies him as the man most responsible “for creating the United States of America in the form we know it today.” It was Madison who guided the process by which the Founders arrived at the Constitution, contributing the fundamental principles it incorporated and writing the Bill of Rights, amendments that ensured its ratification by the original states.
Limiting the term of office served by elected politicians has been a controversial issue in the United States for many years. At one time the federal government had no term limits, with the president and Congress allowed to remain in office as long as they could get reelected. Today, the president is limited to two terms, but congressmen and senators are still free to run again and again. And they do.
A demonstration of just how far the United States has moved from its original founding principles is seen in the fact that in all the jousting over ObamaCare, the general rise in “entitlement” spending, and the burden of government regulation over American enterprises, there is one question that seems rarely to be asked: What should be the size and scope of government, and what would it cost if government were cut down more to the size delineated in the original Constitution?
Regardless of where someone may view himself along the political spectrum (conservative, libertarian, or modern liberal), there are always a variety of government programs and activities that they either think are not worth the money or should not be the business of government in the first place. Yet, it seems almost impossible to rein in government. It keeps growing in size and scope in one direction after another. Why? And is there any way to reverse it?
Conor Friedersdorf responds to my points regarding the importance of limited government as the core to conservative reform. “But George W. Bush, the last Republican to win the presidency since[…]
The goals of limited government, fiscal responsibility, traditional values, and strong defense have been an ever-present litany of bullet points from Republican politicians – but talking about limited government and actually delivering on it are two very different things.
I delivered the following remarks on February 23, 2013 at the Eighth Annual Wisconsin Conservative Conference, Bluemound Gardens, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. Thank you for the introduction, thank you all for being[…]
As crazy as it sounds, it could be a possibility. Last month, Senator Harkin and Senator Sanders held hearings to explore replacing 401(k) accounts with Government Retirement Accounts (GRAs). Mark[…]