Friday, December 17, 2010

Rick Perry is "Fed Up!": Reviewing Texas Governor's Book

Nordicus has just finished reading Gov. Rick Perry's new book, Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America From Washington.  As you can see from the book's website, the book promotion could evolve into a presidential campaign pretty easily.

There's no point beating around the bush: After reading this book, I plan to vote for Rick Perry in 2012.  (Of course, I reserve the right to change my mind at any time.)

Fed Up! is no softy-focussy, Horatio-Algery, "waves of amber grain" drivel ghostwritten by a speechwriter straight out of university.  (Not that I'm criticizing Sarah Palin here.  I haven't read America by Heart, but reports that it sentimentalizes her personal story and was inspired by her "love of country" suggests that it's typical of the genre.)

Fed Up! is not about Rick Perry - except to the degree that he relates his experiences as a cotton farmer struggling against the government.  The book is published by the Texas Public Policy Foundation, and Gov. Perry thanks the TPPF in the afterword.  This suggests that TPPF scholars ghostwrote the book, which is a very good sign.  TPPF is a serious think tank with great policy proposals.

If Gov. Perry is preparing to run for the White House in 2012, he takes a lot of risk in this book.  He attacks the 16th (income-tax) amendment, comes very close to concluding that Social Security and Medicare are unconstitutional, recommends a "clarifying" amendment to the 14th amendment (which federal courts have abused mightily in the past few decades), and demands that the federal government recognize the 10th (states' powers) amendment.

Tea partiers, of course, will look favorably at these recommendations.  However, they are very risky for a presidential candidate. Now that they are in a book, the mainstream media will surely accuse Gov. Perry of wanting to go back to the old Jim-Crow days of segregation.  Gov. Perry doesn't leave any loose ends in the book: He neatly circumscribes all of his proposals.  But we all know what the mainstream media can do to a man once it digs its heels in.

Fed Up! shows that Gov. Perry is a true federalist.  He points out the key practical advantage of federalism: If you don't like the way things are going in your state, and you can't change it at the ballot box, you can get up and move.  Of course, he doesn't mind pointing out that many Americans have moved to Texas, and that 85% of the private-sector jobs created in the U.S. in the last decade are in the Lone Star State.

A person's principles are tested when they result in consequences not to his liking.  Here, Gov. Perry also passes the test.  He condemns medical marijuana, but accepts the right of the people of California to allow it, and utterly rejects the U.S. Supreme Court's attack on that right.  Furthermore, although a cotton farmer, he attacks the federal farm bill - that bloated load of pork that Congress passes every five years.  As Gov. Perry notes, Americans pay 50% more for milk than we would if farming were a competitive market.

Although full of ideas generated by the best constitutional and economic scholars,
Fed Up! is not written for eggheads.  It's written in plain English and Nordicus read it in about three hours.

I highly recommend Fed Up!, and certainly hope that Rick Perry runs for the White House.

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