Cato Handbook on Policy, 2005

Cato Handbook on Policy, 2005

Cato Handbook on Policy, 2005

Cato Handbook on Policy, 2005

Synopsis

Details how legislators can return the federal goverment to the size and scope envisioned by the Founding Fathers.

Excerpt

Today our federal government faces a monumental task: responding to the serious threat of terrorism. That challenge requires that we reconsider the priorities of our vast federal bureaucracy, to redefine and refocus our government on responsibilities that are truly governmental and truly national. This Handbook offers much advice on how and how not to confront the terrorist threat. It also offers advice on the proper constitutional boundaries of the federal government and the policies that would reflect those boundaries and enhance the liberty and prosperity of the American people.

In particular, we urge Congress and the president to move firmly toward the “ownership society” that President Bush called for in his campaign. An ownership society empowers individuals by giving them ownership of and control over important aspects of their own lives, such as retirement, health care, and education. We would note that in three national elections now, the old claim that Social Security is the “third rail of American politics” has been disproved. Most recently, in 2004 President Bush consistently talked about Social Security reform in his campaign for reelection; so did several senatorial candidates, who were attacked by their opponents and won. and that’s no surprise, as numerous public opinion polls have shown support for private retirement accounts at anywhere from 56 to 70 percent. in Chapter 4 we offer a comprehensive plan for Social Security choice.

Social Security is not the only area where reform is needed. Congress and the president must reduce the burden of government on taxpayers and economic growth. They must deal with the unimaginably large fiscal imbalance in Medicare and allow more Americans to control their own health care dollars. They must learn to deal with homeland security within constitutional constraints, as the Supreme Court has recently reminded us in the Padilla and Hamdi cases. and they must find a way to extricate the United States from Iraq and confront the threat from Al Qaeda.

Defending the life, liberty, and property of Americans is the fundamental responsibility of the federal government. Clearly, that task requires a fairly . . .

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