The struggle to limit government : a modern political history /
John Samples.
Washington, DC : Cato Institute, c2010.
v, 340 p.
1935308289 (hardback : alk. paper), 9781935308287 (hardback : alk. paper)
More Details
Washington, DC : Cato Institute, c2010.
1935308289 (hardback : alk. paper)
9781935308287 (hardback : alk. paper)
contents note
Building the old regime -- The crisis of the old regime -- Revival and reform -- Reagan and after -- Revolution? -- The politics of moral renewal.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2010-02-22:
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 bete 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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Appeared in Library Journal on 2010-05-01:
The "struggle" to limit government turns out not to have been much of a struggle at all, in the telling of Samples (director, Ctr. for Representative Government, Cato Inst.; The Fallacy of Campaign Finance Reform). While the "old regime" of active, paternal government erected by Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930s and Lyndon Johnson in the 1960s faltered in the 1970s, giving Ronald Reagan an opening to slow the growth of government in the 1980s, by and large the political calculus for both parties has been to accept the status quo. Even Reagan was "primarily a reformer of the old regime"; the one other serious attempt to reduce the size of government, by the House Republicans elected in 1994 led by Newt Gingrich, "lost most of the major battles"; and Republicans since have been "Big Government conservatives" who "gave up on the goal of limited government in pursuit of majorities." In the end, the old regime has "done its work in corrupting the American people," but in a slightly apocalyptic conclusion, "the future may require an end to their ambivalence." VERDICT While Samples is far from a graceful writer, all too prone to repeating annoying phrases such as "the ambit of government," serious readers willing to stay with him, whether or not they agree with him, will appreciate this reasoned presentation of the libertarian case.-Bob Nardini, Nashville (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, February 2010
Library Journal, May 2010
Reference & Research Book News, November 2010
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Main Description
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.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. 1
Building the Old Regimep. 3
The Crisis of the Old Regimep. 53
Revival and Reformp. 73
Reagan and Afterp. 117
Revolution?p. 155
The Politics of Moral Renewalp. 205
Conclusionp. 245
Notesp. 259
Indexp. 333
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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