Claude Graves's Reviews > Fed Up!: Our Fight to Save America from Washington

Fed Up! by Rick Perry
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Aug 12, 11

Read on August 12, 2011 — I own a copy

I read this book wanting a straight from himself on what Rick Perry believed, given he's supposed to announce his presidential run in the next few days. Governor Perry wrote this book with the belief that Americans are fed up with the direction that the Federal Government is going and that it needs to be taken back by the people who believe in American exceptionalism and freedom. A kind of right-wing populism. He decries statism and, in his view, that most of today's overweening government goes back to Woodrow Wilson and the later New Deal under FDR.

The book contained lots of rhetoric about the greatness of Texas and lots of quotes and sources for examples of runaway spending, along with the belief that somehow the government screwed us over and we just gotta vote our way back out by electing good men and reforms. I don't believe in salvation by politics, but some of his proposals intrigued me. Mr. Perry's beliefs can be summarised as follows:

Pro-imperialist, supports all of the recent wars as necessary for national security and the defence of America, and supports expansion of the military.

Pro-capitalist in the Friedman sense, and criticizes Keynesianism in a few places. He does, apologetically, criticize President Bush for the bailouts and other Republicans for not taking a principled stand in regards to spending and taxes, but he says he understands the position they are in. "Damned if you do, damned if you don't". He also supports the continued funding of NASA.

He supports privatisation of Social Security, a flat tax or a repeal of the amendment regarding income taxes to be replaced with a national sales tax. He supports the phasing out of the EPA in favour of individual states deciding environmental policy, (he also states his belief that global warming is a hoax) and the repeal of the recent healthcare law 'Obamacare' as well as the abolishing of No Child Left Behind.

He supports a return to Federalism as originally envisioned in the Federalist papers, and is a strong supporter of States' Rights, believing that the states or even localities are best deciders of their own laws.

One thing to go along with federalism is that he says states and localities should refuse federal grant money because the federal government uses this to 'coerce' them into going along with other regulations - he gives the example of drinking age and seatbelt laws, which he says the Federal government cannot constitutionally regulate, but they coerce states into enacting policies to go along with what they want or threaten to withhold funds for highways or education.

His hope was to start a national debate on limited government, and I can see such a debate having gotten larger in recent months, but, perhaps because of my own apoliticalness, I found his repeated "it's the governments fault" and continued mentions of American greatnness unwelcome. Maybe because I think his solutions are only solutions if we realise that the government we have today represents us perfectly well - lack of self-discipline and self-responsibility in the home, family, and locality only scales up with power. Broken families and personal fiscal irresponsibility do not an honest government make.

The Christian gospel must spread for true reform, so, the hope must be found elsewhere, and not in Governor Perry to 'save the United States'. He has my respect, however, and hopefully, if he is elected, he will be principled in economic matters and in restraining federal power.
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