Limited Government for the American Dream

On Limited Government in his Contract for the American Dream Congressman Chaffetz lists our situation as:

The government is omnipresent in our lives, restricting our basic liberties. The proper role of government is a strictly limited one. We recognize that the States created the federal government. The federal government did not create the States. Further, it is not the government that will create jobs, wealth, or propel the United States of America to reach its fullest potential. It is the American people who will drive America forward.

He suggests that our goal should be:

Imagine a federal government that recognized it could not solve every problem. Imagine a government focused instead on the most important federal roles, such as national defense. Individuals should have the freedom to succeed or fail in this country. It is not the government’s role to stand in the way of either outcome or to choose winners and losers.

To achieve this goal he recommends:

  • Repeal TARP and commit to no more “stimulus” bills that are merely a ruse to grow government.
  • Appoint a bi-partisan “Sunset Commission” to identify at least 100 federal departments or programs recommended for elimination by December 31, 2011.
  • Reduce the corporate income tax to a flat 10%. This will eliminate the wide array of corporate loopholes, incentivize business in the U.S.A., and simplify the tax code.
  • Reject the “Cap & Trade” scheme and repeal all EPA funding related to carbon policy.
  • Sell back to private ownership the three million acres of federal land identified under the Clinton Administration as having no federal purpose.

My thoughts on those steps is as follows:

  • No more stimulus is a great idea.
  • A bipartisan commission would only identify 100 departments by having half the commission identify at least 49 departments or programs and then trade those with the 49 other “crucial” departments or programs identified by the other half of the commission as recommended for elimination. Added to the two departments or programs that the majority could honestly agree on they would scrape together the recommended 100 – none of which will actually get eliminated. Mmmm, sausage.
  • As I said before, a flat tax rate without loopholes allows the private portion of the economy to act with more confidence.
  • All of our government “green” legislation and policies are more political than scientific. It’s too bad that our government can’t stick to facts and let opinions sort themselves out instead of the other way around.
  • The government should sell off any federal land that has no federal purpose.

1 comment for “Limited Government for the American Dream

  1. Charles D
    January 16, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    We need to recognize that none of these ideas, regardless of their merit, are going to be enacted unless they are in the best interests of the corporations who own our government.
    So you can repeal TARP and commit to no more stimuli to business assuming you can get the enthusiastic support of Wall Street – no chance there.
    The Sunset Commission idea is ridiculous on its face. All you will do is eliminate 100 programs that either are not beneficial to business or actually impose some regulatory control on business. This will make matters worse rather than better.
    The problem we have with corporate tax is not the rate or the method, the problem is that they don’t pay it. We allow corporations to avoid taxes by purchasing post office boxes in Aruba or the Bahamas and claiming they are foreign, not to mention a zillion other ruses. All Congress has to do is get strong corporate support for taxing corporations, another non-starter.
    Cap and trade won’t reduce carbon emissions but simply defunding any and all federal programs that might curb carbon emissions is a disaster for the nation and the world but it is great for short-term business profits, so this one might be enacted.
    The selling off of federal land would probably be good for business in spite of the destruction it would wreak on our natural environment so another winner.

    The problem with so-called conservatives like Chaffetz is that the only part of their agenda that is ever likely to see passage are programs that benefit big corporations by socializing their risk, lowering their cost of labor (and thus the incomes of most Americans), and insuring that the working and middle class taxpayers bear the cost of the infrastructure and military prowess they exploit for profit.

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