The Struggle to Limit Government: A Modern Political History

John Samples

ISBN 10: 1935308289 / ISBN 13: 9781935308287
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[ No Hassle 30 Day Returns ][ Ships Daily ] [ Underlining/Highlighting: NONE ] [ Writing: NONE ] [ Edition: First ] Publisher: Cato Institute Pub Date: 4/16/2010 Binding: Hardcover Pages: 375 First edition. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: In 1980, Ronald Reagan said, It is time to check and reverse the growth of government, which shows signs of having grown beyond the consent of the governed. A little more than 25 years later, Barack Obama declared the Reagan Revolution over. This book surveys the highlights and low points of the nearly 30-year struggle to limit American government, set against the big-government world of the New Deal and the Great Society. The book assesses Reagan's successes and failures, and looks at the 1994 election as a mandate to resume Reagan's efforts. It explores George W. Bush's rejection of limited government in favor of high spending, a mixture of religion and government, and a floundering crusade to bring democracy to the Middle East. Finally, it asks whether the elections of 2006 and 2008 were a rejection of the limited government message or just a repudiation of the failed Bush presidency.

From Publishers Weekly: Freedom fights a losing battle with an out-of-control Washington in this manifesto. Cato Institute scholar Samples decries seven decades of progressive government, from the New Deal to today's giant bailouts in this story of soaring taxes, spending, and deficits in which both parties come out tarnished. (The author credits Ronald Reagan with restraining government growth but pillories George W. Bush as a champion of big government.) More than over-mighty bureaucrats and spineless politicians, Samples's real target is the American people, whose self-reliance has been corrupted, he believes, by government largesse that others pay for. (His bête noire is Social Security, which he regards as essentially a multigenerational Ponzi scheme.) Samples rarely justifies smaller government in terms of public well-being; he deplores almost any accretion of government power as an infringement of liberty. His flinty libertarianism can seem callous: grousing about an initiative to tax cigarettes to pay for children's health insurance, he writes, [T]axpayers could afford to be sentimental about sick children if... someone else would be required to pay. Samples shrewdly analyzes the politics behind government expansion, but never grapples with it on the merits. (Apr.)
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