Texas GOP Gov. Rick Perry has penned a manifesto against big government, taking dead aim at Washington, the courts, the bureaucracy, and both political parties.
In Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America from Washington (Little, Brown and Co.), Perry offers up a list of what has gone wrong with America and gives a blueprint on how the country can reverse course.
His main gripe is federal government intrusion into every aspect of life.
“We are fed up with being overtaxed and overregulated,” Perry writes. “We are tired of being told how much salt we can put on our food, what windows we can buy for our house, what kinds of cars we can drive, what kinds of guns we can own, what kinds of prayers we are allowed to say and where we can say them, what political speech we are allowed to use to elect candidates, what kind of energy we can use, what kind of food we can grow, what doctor we can see, and countless other restrictions on our right to live as we see fit.”
While making clear that he believes in the greatness of America, he writes that a wrong turn was made. “I wrote this book because I believe that America is great but also that America is in trouble—and heading for a cliff if we don’t take immediate steps to change course.”
He calls Congress “arguably one of the most incompetent regimes with one of the worst track records of mismanagement in the history of mankind” and says the Supreme Court “long ago wrested away from the people the power to decide what is right and what is wrong and at the most fundamental level how we should live our lives.”
Perry gives a lengthy history lesson for what went wrong with America.
Enacting the 16th Amendment, which allowed levying a tax on income, was “the great milestone on the road to serfdom.”
The 16th Amendment “was the birth of wealth redistribution in the United States. It created a giant faucet of money for the federal government and ensured that state cooperation in federal programs would not be necessary,” he writes.
He blames Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal and Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society for growing the federal government and laments that the election in 2000 of a Republican President and congressional majority did nothing to stem the tide of big government.
He offers a word of warning to the Republican Party: “If Republicans don’t get it right this time, I am afraid we will go the way of the Whigs, because the American people are looking for leaders who will stand athwart history and fight.”
And regarding President George W. Bush, he writes: “he turned a blind eye to undisciplined domestic spending.”
Perry returns to the principles of the Constitution and makes a case that the Founding Fathers had it right by granting key power to the states, which he says should be laboratories of democracy on issues ranging from education to taxes.
In a chapter entitled “Why States Matter,” Perry writes that the Founding Fathers recognized “that the preservation of liberty requires a government located closest to the people.”
Fed Up is not just a litany of anti-government complaints but contains a blueprint for fighting back.
“We know that the route to success is lower taxes, smaller government and freedom for every individual,” Perry writes.
First and foremost, Perry says that ObamaCare must be repealed—“the future of America depends on reversing this law.”
His prescription includes electing leaders “who respect the constitution and hold[ing] them accountable” and restricting federal spending and the unlimited power of the courts.
The key for Perry is for the states to stand up to Washington and to assert their constitutional rights. States need to “band together to fight against the intrusion of the federal government” and to “quit blindly accepting money from Washington.”
He cites Texas as a successful model, saying that Texas has weathered the recession better than most states with pro-growth economic policies and has taken stands opposing federal government policies that intrude upon state sovereignty.
“We in Texas are proud that so many of our fellow Americans have sought relief from the heavy taxation and burdens of some of our sister states,” he writes, noting the influx of people moving to Texas from other states.
“If you don’t support the death penalty and citizens packing a pistol, don’t come to Texas. If you don’t like medicinal marijuana and gay marriage, don’t move to California.”
He sees hope in the Tea Party movement and echoes the concerns of its supporters for smaller government and fiscal responsibility.
“The good news is that the people are taking action,” Perry writes. “The Tea Party movement began in earnest as the result of boiling frustration among Americans, triggered by the dramatic expansion of government in their private affairs.”
Perry, who just won his third term as governor of Texas, says that the future of the country is at stake unless government intrusion in the lives of Americans is reversed: “The American people have never sat idle when liberty’s trumpet sounds the call to battle—and today that battle is for the soul of America.”