The federal government must be returned to the limited scope envisioned by the framers of the Constitution. To reverse the vicious cycle of expansion, Congress should follow five critical steps outlined below.
END DEFICIT SPENDING
Deficit spending facilitates the continuing growth of the federal government. It is far too tempting to shift the cost of today's federal expansion to future generations. Until we require Congress to operate under a balanced budget, that expansion will continue. A balanced budget amendment is essential to restoring the original, proper role of the federal government.
STRENGTHEN NATIONAL SECURITY
A core constitutional function of the federal government is to "insure domestic tranquility" by protecting our country. We maintain peace and freedom when our national defense is strong. We must continue to develop sophisticated, cutting-edge tools and weaponry to defend our citizens from threats of terrorism. We must have clear objectives when we place our brave men and women of the Armed Forces in harm's way. Once engaged, we cannot tie the hands of our military with unnecessary rules of engagement. When our objectives are achieved, we must bring our troops home.
REFORM THE TAX SYSTEM
With 50% of wage earners paying little or no taxes, too many voters have no "skin in the game"--and no reason to question new government programs that are funded by the real taxpayers. Until we reform the tax code to give all Americans a stake in their government (through the fair or flat tax), Congress will continue to adopt new entitlements, new bailouts, and new relief programs.
REDUCE GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS
The answer to an economic downturn is not a government stimulus, but a reduction in government regulation and bureaucracy to allow the natural forces of our private enterprise system to rebound without undue interference.
END THE ERA OF THE LIFETIME POLITICIAN
The runaway growth of the federal government will continue as long as we retain a system that assures the existence of lifetime politicians. A career member of Congress inevitably will come to believe that that body has the answer to all social problems. The Constitution should be amended to limit service in each house of Congress to 12 years.