It is the second Fred Love article in recent weeks.
by Chris Edwards
Chris Edwards is director of tax policy studies and author of "Federal Aid to the States."
The candidates, however, have overlooked a central idea that animated Reagan's view of government. That was federalism, the constitutional principle that the federal government's responsibilities are "few and defined" as James Madison put it.
Reagan believed that the federal government had grown too big and swallowed up too many activities that, in the words of the 10th Amendment, should be left to the states and the people.
What about presidential candidate Ron Paul? Paul is certainly a strong believer in the 10th Amendment, but he has been mainly occupied by the war in Iraq and hasn't focused his campaign on cutting domestic spending.
That's why I'm pleased that Fred Thompson has thrown his hat into the ring. Thompson has been talking and writing about his belief in federalism. In a recent speech, he argued that "centralized government is not the solution to all our problems...this was among the great insights of 1787, and it is just as vital in 2007."
Thompson rightly argues that the abandonment of federalism has caused a range of pathologies including a lack of government accountability, the squelching of policy diversity between the states, and the overburdening of federal policymakers with local matters when they should be focusing on national security issues.
Federalism "is a tool to promote freedom" as Thompson puts it. So for the supposed heirs to Ronald Reagan who are running for president, let's hear more about expanding our freedom by cutting the federal government down to constitutional size.