Member of Libertarian Cato Institute Has Kind Words for Fred Thompson

Discussion in 'Politics' started by KenH, Sep 18, 2007.

  1. KenH

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    May 18, 2002
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    by Chris Edwards

    Chris Edwards is director of tax policy studies and author of "Federal Aid to the States."


    Reagan believed that the federal government had grown too big and swallowed up too many activities that, in the words of the 10th Amendment, should be left to the states and the people. Education, welfare, food stamps, and other such activities were not properly federal roles in his view. Here is Reagan kicking off his run for the presidency on November 13, 1979:
    The federal government should do only those things specifically called for in the Constitution. All others shall remain with the states or the people ... The federal government has taken on functions it was never intended to perform and which it does not perform well. There should be a planned, orderly transfer of such functions to states and communities.
    When in office, Reagan worked to effect that "orderly transfer." He took aim at the massive system of "grants-in-aid" for the states that had been built up in the 1960s. He managed to cut the number of these subsidy programs from 434 in 1980 to 335 by 1985, and to shrink aid spending by 24 percent relative to the size of the economy. He also killed "revenue sharing," which was a no-strings-attached spigot of federal cash for the states....

    That's why I'm pleased that Fred Thompson has thrown his hat into the ring. Thompson has been talking and writing about his belief in federalism. In a recent speech, he argued that "centralized government is not the solution to all our problems...this was among the great insights of 1787, and it is just as vital in 2007."

    Thompson rightly argues that the abandonment of federalism has caused a range of pathologies including a lack of government accountability, the squelching of policy diversity between the states, and the overburdening of federal policymakers with local matters when they should be focusing on national security issues.

    Federalism "is a tool to promote freedom" as Thompson puts it. So for the supposed heirs to Ronald Reagan who are running for president, let's hear more about expanding our freedom by cutting the federal government down to constitutional size.

    - rest of commentary at
  2. Ivon Denosovich

    Ivon Denosovich
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    Sep 6, 2007
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    As usual, I agree with Cato. Thanks for posting this, KenH.

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