Tea Party protestors can pick up Reagans mantle
ALG Editor's Note: The tea party movement made a significant statement on April 15th against more than $12 trillion committed, lent, or disbursed by the federal government for bailouts, the unaccountability Federal Reserve and its easy money policies that led to the crisis, the Obama $75 billion mortgage refinancing plan, the exploding $11.3 trillion debt, the $1.8 trillion deficit, the trillion dollar stimulus, bank nationalization, excessive taxation, and on down the line. Clearly, government is out of control. In the following featured editorial, The Washington Examiner suggest that the movement can pick up Ronald Reagan's mantle, and “re-energize the essential principles of constitutionally limited government in an enduring and lasting way.”
Tea Party protestors can pick up Reagan's mantle
Frustrated Americans participating in Tea Party protests across the country upheld the nation's proud tradition of citizen participation, even though they are under increasing assault from politicians and bureaucratic planners in Washington. But demonstrations alone are not enough to reverse excessive government intrusion into the private sector. The challenge now is to re-energize the essential principles of constitutionally limited government in an enduring and lasting way. With Americans using the power of the Internet to organize and galvanize a growing anti-tax movement aimed at restoring limited government, the time is ripe to revisit the unfinished business of the Reagan Revolution. This is especially relevant in the nation's capital this week as a bust of the 40th president is unveiled in the Capitol and former first lady Nancy Reagan visits with Michelle Obama.
In a speech at the Jefferson Memorial on July 3, 1987, Reagan reminded Americans that political freedom cannot long survive unless economic freedom is equally respected. To that end, Reagan used the address to propose a series of legislative initiatives that went largely unheralded at the time, but that could serve as a detailed blueprint for Tea Party protesters seeking to link their demonstrations to a compelling program for reform. Reagan's “Economic Bill of Rights” was built around four fundamental freedoms: The freedom to work, the freedom to enjoy the fruits of one's labor, the freedom to own and control one's personal property, and the freedom to participate in a free market. To secure these freedoms, Reagan outlined 10 initiatives folded into a series of constitutional amendments that have a special salience today. For example, Reagan called for a balanced budget amendment and the line-item veto. Would we face a $1.7 trillion deficit today had Congress acted on Reagan's ideas in 1987?
Steven Hayward of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) has suggested that Tea-Party protestors apply Reagan's 1987 reform package to the contemporary crisis by, among other things, adding provisions for term limitations and anti-earmark legislation. “We're still Thomas Jefferson's children, still believers that freedom is the unalienable right of all God's children,” Reagan said in his 1987 speech. Jefferson fervently believed that restraints were needed on the federal government to protect individual freedom. Contemporary revolutionaries now have the opportunity to channel the best of Jefferson through Reagan.