Who amongst the field is rock solid on limiting government?
We need a rock solid limited government Republican candidate for president who would be guaranteed to repeal ObamaCare and aggressively pursue reducing the size of the federal government. Barry Goldwater articulated what we need today 50 years ago:
“The turn will come when we entrust the conduct of our affairs to men who understand that their first duty as public officials is to divest themselves of the power they have been given. it will come when Americans, in hundreds of communities throughout the nation, decide to put the man in office who is pledged to enforce the Constitution and restore the Republic, Who will proclaim in a campaign speech: “I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce it’s size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution, or that have failed in their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden. I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is ‘needed’ before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible. And if I should be later attacked for neglecting my constituents’ ‘interests,’ I shall reply that I was informed their main interest is liberty and in that cause I am doing the very best I can.” – Barry Goldwater, Conscience of a Conservative
We need such a candidate as Goldwater described to keep our Republic. No nation that has enacted a healthcare system like ObamaCare has been able to reverse course. We’re America. We’re exceptional. We can be the first, but we may only have one shot to pull it off. If ObamaCare is still there in 2014 then experience tells us it will be here to stay.
We need a rock solid limited government conservative.
Who then amongst our field of candidates has a track record that demonstrates adherence to rock solid limited government principles? Remember, politicians can’t lie in the long run. Their records always reveal the man for who he is.
Here I will give you my evaluation of the present candidates based on what kind of limited government records they have built and based on how they have conducted themselves in accordance with limited government principles in an executive position.
Executive experience/bad or mixed record on limited government:
• Mitt Romney brought us RomneyCare which is ObamaCare only applied on a state level. And Romney still stands by RomneyCare. Mitt Romney’s record as governor suggests that government would only grow under him.
• Jon Huntsman made the state of Utah more efficient in distributing services, but didn’t cut services. He has definite achievements in cutting taxes, but he let the spending get away from him. His governing record is mixed at best. And there is video of him explaining how Healthcare is a right.
We know that neither Romney nor Huntsman will fight to repeal ObamaCare, let alone fight hard enough to do so.
• Buddy Roemer was, from what I can tell, well meaning but did not accomplish much in his one term as governor of Louisiana from 1988 – 1992. He started out as a democrat, but switched to Republican in 1991. Buddy was defeated in his bid for a second term. His record, such as it is, is of being ineffectual.
No executive experience/bad record on limited government:
• Newt Gingrich did engineer the 1994 Republican Revolution, but he has a consistent record of being squishy. Yes, I have read some of his books. He is very keen to make government more efficient, but he directs no attention to reducing it’s size. And he is on record defending universal health care.
• Rick Santorum’s record shows that he has not made limiting government a priority. His on record as saying he is pro-limited government and wants the repeal of ObamaCare, but he is also on record saying, “They have this idea that people should be left alone, be able to do whatever they want to do, government should keep our taxes down and keep our regulations low, […]. Well, that is not how traditional conservatives view the world”. He terms his belief “Compassionate Conservatism” which is code for being a big government “conservative”. I can only concluded that Santorum is deeply confused about what limited-goverment actually means.
No record on limited government:
• Herman Cain has never held a public office before. I’ve heard him speak. He has some good lines, but nothing to suggest that he is any more then passingly for limiting government. The proof is in the pudding. I welcome Hermain Cain to become a governor and demonstrate his limited government resolve. A record in public office would help illuminate him as a candidate. For the Republican Presidential Primary, however, we do not have such a record showing how he would govern in office. Electing Cain our nominee would be rolling the dice. Rolling the dice has a nasty track record of burning conservatives in general because principles are more then mere sound bites.
No executive experience/middling record on limited government:
• Michelle Bachman record does not have anything in it that I would consider bold in limiting government. She sticks to topics that get news coverage it seems. That said I don’t see anything that raises red flags either. Her rhetoric is decent and I would think she could be depended upon to keep an ear to the desires of the conservative base for the direction of the wind.
Good Limited Government Record, but No Executive Experience:
• Ron Paul has voted no against more bills then anyone else in Congress. Say what you will about him, but he has been consistent on limiting government principles.
Both of Bachman and Paul are sitting Representatives though and no sitting Representative has been elected president since 1880. Neither of them has ever won an election outside a limited area of their home state. More importantly we have not seen either of them in an executive position to know how they would stick to limited government principles in such a position.
Executive Experience, but limited government record is mixed
• Rick Perry has some decent limited government achievements. As governor he vetoed 273 bills, more than any other Texas governor prior to him. In 1993, though, Perry expressed support for the Clinton health care reform proposal. As governor he vetoed various taxes, cut some taxes, but also raised other taxes. Overall Rick Perry can boast 7.% job growth during his term as governor.
Rock Solid Limited Government record in an executive position
• Gary Johnson vetoed 750 bills in 8 years, more vetoes then all the governors of the other 49 states combined for the same period. Gary Johnson took the healthcare plan he received as governor available to every citizen of New Mexico and transitioned the state’s Medicare program to managed care, which provided incentives for better care and cost control. Not only did he cut taxes 14 times as Governor, Gary Johnson’s 8 years as governor was the longest New Mexico had ever gone without a raise in taxes. He reduced the state government by 1,200 employees. His adherence to rock solid limited government principles brought his state to 11.7% job growth over the course of this two terms.
A limited government conservative’s best option, the only one that has actually made progress in Goldwater’s goal of reducing the size of government, is Gary Johnson. He can be guaranteed to repeal Obamacare.
As a limited government conservative the only candidates I would be able to realistically consider in absence of Gary Johnson would be Rick Perry, Ron Paul, and Michelle Bachmann. I would have reservations about each of them, but I think that each of them could be relied upon to repeal ObamaCare.
In absence of Gary Johnson, Rick Perry, Ron Paul, and Michelle Bachmann the least worst option for a limited government conservative would be Herman Cain for having not yet proved himself to fail at limited governance, though I would not hold out any hope of him walking the walk. Maybe he would repeal ObamaCare, maybe he would tinker with it.
Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, Buddy Roemer, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum are all reasons for limited government conservatives to stay home on election day. There is no reason to suppose they would repeal ObamaCare outright when they have the opportunity to tinker with it instead.
Given our need for a limited government conservative who can be depended upon to reduce the size of government I hope that primary Republicans will consider Gary Johnson’s unmatched rock solid limited government record.
– Keep Our Republic