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

By Edward H. Crane, David Boaz

Info how legislators can go back the federal goverment to the dimensions and scope expected through the Founding Fathers.

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Social Security system. It is a program that touches almost every American. The Social Security payroll tax is the biggest tax paid by the average American family. In fact, nearly 80 percent of American workers pay more in Social Security payroll taxes than they do in federal income taxes. At the same time, millions of seniors rely on Social Security for their retirement income. More than half of seniors receive the majority of their retirement income through the program. Yet Social Security is deeply flawed and facing a growing crisis.

This time, of course, the boilerplate was included—even as Sen. Fred Thompson of Tennessee was reminding his colleagues from the floor of the Senate that the Supreme Court had recently told them that they ‘‘cannot just have some theoretical basis, some attenuated basis’’ under the Commerce Clause for such an act. The prosecution of gun possession near schools—like the prosecution of church arsons, crimes against women, and much else—is very popular, as state prosecutors well know. But governments can address problems only if they have authority to do so, not from good intentions alone.

To do that, it is not necessary or even desirable, in the present climate, that every member of Congress be a member of the caucus—however worthy that end might ultimately be—but it is necessary that those who join the caucus be committed to its basic ends. And it is necessary that members establish a clear agenda for reaching those ends. To reduce the problem to its essence, every day members of Congress are besieged by requests to enact countless measures to solve endless problems. Indeed, listening to much of the recent campaign debate, one might conclude that no problem is too personal or too trivial to warrant the attention of the federal government.

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