Advancing a Free Society

Smaller Government, Not Lower Taxes, is the First Order of Business

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The piece that I published this morning has already attracted a lot of attention, for which I am grateful, but seems to have generated some confusion, which is best avoided.  Let me therefore see if I can clarify at least some of the issues.

The first point is that I am not writing on a blank slate.  The policies that got us into this situation are not those that I have ever supported.  Indeed, for years I have taken the position that the well would run dry on the entitlement frontier, that regulation would stifle production, and that public institutions would start to crumble with each new expansion in government power.

But unfortunately, we are not dealing with the blank slate. The question that we have to face is what to do now in order to control the situation.  On this issue, the first point is that the villain of the piece is the increased level of government control over the economy.  This is expressed not only in the direct use of public funds for various projects but also in the scope of regulation over the private sector.  The sum of these activities has to be reduced before the level of federal excesses weighs down too heavily on the economy.

Continue reading Richard Epstein…

(photo credit: Steve & Sandi France)