Cato Handbook on Policy, 2005 by Edward H. Crane, David Boaz

By Edward H. Crane, David Boaz

Information how legislators can go back the federal goverment to the scale and scope estimated through the Founding Fathers.

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That leads to the second reason why care must be taken in restoring power to the states and the people, namely, that the task must be undertaken, as noted earlier, with the support of a substantial portion of the people— ideally, at the urging of those people. Given the difficulty of convincing people—including legislators—to act against their relatively short-term interests, it will take sound congressional judgment about where and when to move. More important, it will take keen leadership, leadership that is able to frame the issues in a way that will communicate both the rightness and the soundness of the decisions that are required.

But the magnitude of the task is only one dimension of its difficulty. Let us be candid: there are many in Congress who will oppose any efforts to restore constitutional government for any number of reasons, ranging from the practical to the theoretical. ’’ Others simply like big government, whether because of an ‘‘enlightened’’ Progressive Era view of the world or because of a narrower, more cynical interest in the perquisites of enhanced power. Still others believe sincerely in a ‘‘living constitution,’’ one extreme form of which—the ‘‘democratic’’ form—imposes no limit whatsoever on government save for periodic elections.

In less than 15 years, the national retirement program will begin to run a deficit, spending more on benefits than it takes in through taxes. The IOUs in the Social Security Trust Fund are merely a claim against future taxes, not real assets that can be used to pay benefits. Overall, the system is more than $26 trillion in debt. Former president Bill Clinton laid out the very limited options for fixing the problem: raise taxes, cut benefits, or invest privately. Certainly it is possible to raise taxes or cut benefits enough to prop up the existing system for a little while longer.

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