Recovering the wisdom of the Constitution
Concluding chapter from "Room to Grow: Conservative reforms for a limited government and a thriving middle class"

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Article Highlights

  • A major reason we have been losing confidence in gov is that our gov has grown so unwieldy, ineffective, and unaccountable.

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  • The fed gov has taken on more and more responsibilities, inserting itself into every nook and cranny of US life.

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  • Federal agencies wield massive authority while facing little in the way of accountability.

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A major reason Americans have been losing confidence in their government in recent decades is that our government has grown so unwieldy, ineffective, and unaccountable. The federal government has taken on more and more responsibilities, inserting itself into every nook and cranny of American life, yet it seems incapable of performing even the most basic tasks competently. Corporations face multiple regulators. Presidents revise laws without bothering to consult Congress. Federal agencies wield massive authority while facing little in the way of accountability. The limited but effective government envisioned by the Founders bears almost no resemblance to the chaos that now reigns.

Restoring something like constitutional government is a task that will take generations, and it will have to be undertaken by citizens and legislators as well as by courts. The rise of the Tea Party movement has helped remind Americans that the work of constitutional government must be done by all Americans, and not just federal judges. Conservatism should be home to everyone who takes seriously the task of strengthening the constitutional structure. Conservatives must draw out the constitutional dimension of everyday policy disputes, and make clear the ways in which their policy initiatives reflect our constitutional ideals.

Read Ramesh Ponnuru's chapter here.

To download the complete E-book, please visit the YG Network.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a senior editor of National Review, and a columnist for Bloomberg View.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014 | 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
The Constitution as political theory

Please join us for the third-annual Walter Berns Constitution Day Lecture as James Ceasar, Harry F. Byrd Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia, explores some of the Constitution’s most significant contributions to political theory, focusing on themes that have been largely unexamined in current scholarship.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 | 8:10 a.m. – Thursday, September 18, 2014 | 1:30 p.m.
Third international conference on housing risk: New risk measures and their applications

We invite you to join us for this year’s international conference on housing risk — cosponsored by the Collateral Risk Network and AEI International Center on Housing Risk — which will focus on new mortgage and collateral risk measures and their applications.

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Thursday, September 18, 2014 | 2:15 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Speaker of the House John Boehner on resetting America’s economic foundation

Please join us as Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) delivers his five-point policy vision to reset America’s economy.

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Friday, September 19, 2014 | 9:15 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Reforming Medicare: What does the public think?

Please join us as a panel of distinguished experts explore the implications of the report and the consumer role in shaping the future of Medicare.

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