Accomplishing Smaller Government

On September 2, 2007, in General, by Neil Stevens

A notable criticism of Presidential candidate and Representative eRon Paul is that despite his lengthy tenure in the US Congress, he has achieved nothing significant. His supporters counter that only a left-winger thinks members of Congress can and should be judged by what positive accomplishments they have, rather than the negative rejections they maintain.

While I do agree that the left more than the right benefits from a “pragmatic, getting-things-done” approach to government, it is possible for small-government Republicans to do good. I hold up the 104th Congress of the United States as the perfect example.

A list of notable accomplishments of the 104th Congress (source: Wikipedia)

  • National Highway Designation act: repealed 55 mph speed limit.
  • Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act: placing sanctions on Cuba and those that deal in property stolen from Americans by the Cuban Communists.
  • Line Item Veto Act: Attempted to modify the spending process to favor lower spending.
  • Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act: reduced the power of the federal courts to interfere in state law, among other law and order provisions.
  • Taxpayer Bill of Rights 2: Reining in the IRS
  • Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act: Welfare reform, shifting power from Washington to the states to control state subsidies for the poor.
  • Defense of Marriage Act: Preempting federal courts from activism against the definition of marriage.

Of course, the 104th Congress was not perfect. Title V of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 was unfortunate, the National Gambling Impact Sutdy Commission Act probably led directly to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act which has cost me money, and the Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban reeks of President Clinton and Janet Reno, but to sponsor and pass any of the above listed bills would be a noteworthy accomplishment for a small government conservative Republican.

So no, when we look for a small government leader, saying No is not enough. Saying No merely keeps us in stasis. To roll back government requires positive action, and in that, Ron Paul’s track record is sorely lacking.


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