[sharequote align="center"]"[W]e have learned in the past that an aroused citizenry can achieve miracles"[/sharequote]
In light of the recent passage of "CRomnibus," the apparent squelching of those senators bucking the political Establishment and President Obama's apparently secretive deal with Cuba, these have been trying times for many conservatives.
But former Conservative Party senator, under secretary of state and federal judge James Buckley, has a message for those who view the political situation as helpless, and a plan that he has to slash federal spending by one-sixth with the stroke of a pen as impossible.
In an in-depth interview with TheBlaze Books, following a question on how one could ever expect to pass a bill that significantly shrinks federal spending by abolishing grants-in-aid, Buckley told us (in a portion of our interview beginning around 7:57):
Those [political] constraints [surrounding Buckley's plan] are absolutely formidable. You're fighting the political establishment.
But, I hope my book will start educating people, start the debate going.
It is so easy to demonstrate on the basis of [the] 50 year record that individuals as taxpayers, and as citizens who want to have some say in how their own government is operated, have everything to be gained by abolishing all of those federal programs, and then re-adjusting the tax at the federal level and at state levels, to enable those state responsibilities to be financed entirely by taxes raised at the local and state level.
That way, citizens will know exactly what the cost of these programs are, and decide what they want, how they want them to be designed, and have some say as to what priorities will be set.
If we can get the argument going, if the education can start, we have learned in the past that an aroused citizenry can achieve miracles.
Now there's something else here involved, and that is, if we can again focus on the motivation that Congress has in generating all these programs -- that it is a form of pork -- that in time we can stigmatize the project, and there has been a recent example of how this has accomplished a huge reform.
You remember the word 'earmarks': They were prevalent until just the last three or four years, until a few senators so stigmatized the earmarks as a violation of every basic principle of government, that Congress finally mustered the courage and self-discipline to abolish them.
So progress can be made, but what is necessary is that the people at large understand exactly the damage that has been done by all these programs.
During our interview with Sen. Buckley, we also had the chance to discuss several other topics including:
- The origin of grants-in-aid, and how they’ve exploded over the decades
- The related mischief caused by the Supreme Court's loose interpretation of the spending and general welfare clauses of the Constitution
- How Buckley’s plan would affect everyday Americans, and help restore of self-government
- Buckley’s defense of term limits
- The case for abolishing limits on individual campaign contributions
- The senator's views on how bad the situation is politically in America today
- The senator's related views on the failure of education
For more on this book, including some of the more seemingly inexplicable and/or outrageous programs funded by grants-in-aid, be sure to check out our recent discussion on the Pat & Stu program, which you can listen to below: