Transcript of Republican weekly radio address
Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kansas
The era of big government is over. May it rest in peace. In its place a new era is about to unfold. An unlimited America with a smaller federal government, economic opportunity for all, and a renewed culture.
Today big government is facing the same internal crisis as the Soviet empire was in 1982. Big government is institutionally strong, but structurally weak. It is backed by armies of special interests that ferociously protect their budgets and intimidate anyone who challenges their subsidies, but it has been abandoned by the American people.
Our founders believed that the people had the right to govern themselves -- and that government derives its power from the consent of the governed. But this right also imposed a requirement on We the People: We must be a moral and just people. John Adams put it this way, "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other."
And that is the starting point for ending the era of big government and beginning the era of an unlimited America. The mission of this Congress is to re-limit the federal government; to release economic opportunity for all our citizens; and to renew our families and our culture. Return, release, and renew. In my view these principles are not divisible -- if any one is missing, the old era will not give way to the new and America will not return to the straight path -- the only path which leads to national greatness.
Perhaps the most obvious evidence that the era of big government must end is the fiscal bankruptcy of the nation. Today the public debt is more than $5.3 trillion -- a crushing burden that amounts to over $20,000 for every man, woman and child. We are broke!
But huge deficits and skyrocketing debt are just one problem.
Our tax code is one of the greatest remnants of an over-intrusive big government. It is perhaps the single greatest obstacle to more individual freedom and prosperity.
And as long as the current tax system exists, we will have not met the challenge of replacing big government and America's potential will never be fully reached.
We must also not forget that a nation must be full of good people before it can be a great nation. Goodness leads to greatness. George Washington, in his First Inaugural said there is "no truth more thoroughly established than that there exists in the economy and course of nature, and indissoluble union between virtue and happiness; between duty and advantage ..."
So where are we today on the goodness of the nation?
The number of crimes committed does tell us something about the soul of the nation. So does the number of abandoned households, the divorce rate, and the rate of teen-age suicide and abortion. If these are extraordinarily high, can anyone disagree that the goodness of the nation has declined and its long term success is in jeopardy?
The restoration of America's civil society has replaced the fight against communism as our central need and our central focus.
But let me make a bold statement here. America is in ascent again. While I have just spoken about the many terrible and vexing problems of our nation, this nation has always shown an ability to deal with its problems once it focuses on what the problems are.
This isn't a utopian fantasy or wishful thinking on my part. Americans and our government have practiced these principles I have spoken of before, and we will do so again. When Alexis de Tocqueville visited America in the 1830s, he discovered the most democratic, most egalitarian, most religious, most prosperous, and most charitable country on earth. It was a country of limited national government, and active citizen participation in their communities.
Today there is solid evidence that America is entering a Fourth Great Awakening, a revival of religious faith and cultural renewal. In the American political tradition, faith and freedom have gone together. The First Great Awakening helped inspire the American Revolution, and religious faith was at the center of the anti-slavery and civil rights movements. As the call for freedom and personal responsibility grows with this revival, we will have the chance to create the era of an unlimited America.
May God bless this great nation.
© 1997 Cable News Network, Inc.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.