2012 presidential hopeful Rick Perry will try to reclaim some of the magic of his early campaign days today with a dramatic call to completely overhaul all three branches of the federal government.Perry’s proposal, based largely on ideas from his 2010 treatise Fed Up!, is pretty radical — it would completely change the legislative and judiciary branches, and even involves changing the U.S. Constitution.
Here are the highlights:
- Cut Congressional pay in half and make Congress a part-time job. If they don’t pass a balanced budget by 2020, Perry would cut Congressional pay in half again
- Bring spending down to 18% GDP
- criminalise “insider trading” by members of Congress
- Pass legislation requiring a two-thirds Congressional majority to pass any tax increases
- End life-time appointments of federal judges
- Pass a Constitutional amendment setting 18-year terms for Supreme Court justices
- Issue a moratorium on pending federal regulations
- Eliminate the Department of Commerce, Department of Education, and Department of Energy
- Overhaul the Department of Homeland Security and privatize airport security
- Downsize the Environmental Protection Agency “so it no longer torments job creators or gives an official stamp to phony science.”
- Privatize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
- And of course, end federal funding of Planned Parenthood
Overall, this is a lot of federal government for one guy to hate. The proposal is a gutsy move that looks a lot like a Hail Mary pass by the struggling Perry campaign, which is looking for a second wind going into the homestretch before the 2012 primaries.
Perry’s will announce the plan in Iowa this morning with a fiery anti-Washington speech that literally brands the Texas Governor as “The Washington Outsider.” The speech is heavy on the limited-government message and religious rhetoric, an indication that Perry is trying to win back Iowa’s Tea Partiers and conservative Christians before the state’s January 3 caucuses. Perry is polling at just 7% in Iowa, according to the most recent numbers.
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