The Economic Bill of Rights

On July 3, 1987, President Reagan proposed an Economic Bill of Rights, founded on four basic economic freedoms and proposing ten steps to ensure those freedoms. The text of the Economic Bill of Rights can be found here . Given the rise of the Obamaist philosophy of governance (which, as I see it, melds elements of Marxism and Fascism), I thought it would be a good idea to revisit this in the light of recent events.

The Economic Bill of Rights has, at its core, the safeguarding of four freedoms: The freedom to work, the freedom to enjoy the fruits of one’s labors, the freedom to own and control one’s property, and the freedom to participate in a free market.  President Reagan further proposed specific measures to ensure these rights.  I think it would make an interesting study in contrast to look at some of those measures and how the activities of the Obama/Reid/Pelosi government fit in (or not).

– President Reagan proposed privatization of government programs which could be better run by the private sector, and productivity improvements for those which should remain in the public sector.  The crew in power today has brought us nationalized banks, Government Motors, and coming soon, the “public option” which will effectively crowd out any hope of a private health insurance industry, all run by a government which can’t even deliver the mail efficiently.

– The Task Force on Regulatory Relief had the task of cutting out unnecessary restrictions on the pursuit of one’s livelihood.  Today we have proposals to force every American to purchase government run health insurance under the guise of “taxing authority”, and a government which enforces its view of “green” by taxing the life out of any energy using activity (I may have gone off on that topic previously.)

– As he had throughout his time as President or Presidential candidate, President Reagan called for a balanced budget amendment and line item veto.  Today we have a $1.8 trillion deficit which guarantees that there can be no investment in the private economy (pardon my self-promotion, but I ran the numbers here which show how the deficit completely crowds out all private investment).

– Along with a balanced budget amendment President Reagan called for a supermajority vote as a requirement to raise taxes.  Today we have the Congressional Democrats looking to dictate its health care “reform” to the American people by rolling it into the Budget Reconciliation to get it passed with 51 votes and minimal discussion.

– President Reagan called for a Truth in Federal Spending law which required full disclosure of the spending impact, sources of funding, and ability to fulfill mandates of legislation.  Today we have esteemed legislators who don’t even take the time to read their own bills before passing them.

In the 1980s we had a President who sought to ensure individual liberty, both here and abroad, and took measures, such as his Economic Bill of Rights, to make it happen.  Today we have his successor and his Congressional associates about whom there are two inescapable conclusions:

1. They have no clue how to deal with the economy.

2. The rights of the individual are obstacles to be eliminated in their pursuit of their statist vision.

Makes regular, garden variety malaise seem pretty good by comparison.