couple of years, and there's plenty of time both to use the presidential podium, the bully pulpit to get more done for the american people, and can i think you're going to see him do that in the coming months. i think he's going to come home from this trip reenergized that way, and he's got a divided government now, and i think that nothing inspires the way that does as someone who worked for a president who dealt with a divided government. and i think you're going to see him out there fighting and swinging more and pushing what he believes in. >> well, and i think now he needs, you know, people like you more than ever. the biggest thing that you keep seeing over and over on c-span and many other channels is that with everything he's done you still ask the average guy on the street, they think taxes have gone up, they're just absolutely the other side has managed to put the message, to control the message -- >> it's easier, it's always easier to throw tomatoes than it is to be the one advancing an idea. so that's always harder. the enemies tend to be well
funded, and it's easy, easy to say what you don't -- it's much harder to say what you don't like than to say what you're for. it's much easier to say what you're against than what you're for. i think now he'll have something to say he's against, which is what the congress will be pushing, and it's how he does that which will be really telling. it is a big communications moment, it's also a big policy moment. but i really believe he's going to -- he did it very effectively during the campaign, there's no reason he won't do it again now. >> i think he's got to get his brag on a little bit because so many people are just -- >> he will. we're talking two more years. thanks so much. >> all right. thank you for coming. >> thank you for coming. [applause] ..
years. a little bit of a disturbing title. freedom at risk. the first question we would like you to address is how much freedom is at risk and what do we do about it? >> that is a tall order. i do believe freedom is at risk if you are talking about personal autonomy, personal responsibility, the has ruled our country since its founding. i believe the time is relatively short to reassert with vigor the principles that have safeguarded us in years past. in 1976 when i was running for reelection to the senate it was my misfortune to have an
opponent, daniel patrick moynihan, but in our first encounter he told the audience it is a very fine fellow but unfortunately my feet were stuck in the eighteenth century. the response, i admitted i was guilty as charged. i confessed in enduring fealty to the values and institutions embedded in the declaration of independence of the united states constitution. i neglected to confess my equal fealty to the insights in adam smith's wealthy nations. the question then of course and the question today is whether those values and institutions and in sites have any relevance to the extraordinarily different world in which we now live. our believe they do. a believe they do today.
the effect is that our country was created by a remarkable group of men. people like james madison who had studied the history of experiments in freedom from the most ancient times, the times of shirley and athens and through the ages and in every instance, freedom eventually failed because of the one factor in a human affairs which is a constant, namely human nature and in this case talking about the impulse to concentrate power exercised either by an individual does the or a parliamentary majority.
so in constructing the constitution, the ultimate responsibility for protecting our freedoms lies with the people, responsible people, self-reliant people, auxiliary precautions, in the case of the constitution the principle of balance of power between coequal branches of government and the principle of federalism. namely the preservation for the states and localities of those entities closest to the people, most knowledgeable of their problems. reservation to them of all power, not specifically allocated to the federal government in the constitution which was largely concerned with things like foreign policy, the
military, coinage, currency and so on which inherently was national if we were to come up with a coherent national government but over the years the checks and balances work pretty well, there are constant arguments between the executive and legislature as to which is the more equal and for better or for worse the supreme court sneaks in and says it is more equal than the others but the principle of federalism has virtually been ruled out of existence. over the years, encroachments by congress and/or the executive that have been sanctioned by the court have so diluted the principal that today it is
virtually impossible to identify exercise of governmental authority by the federal government that the supreme court will rule unconstitutional. has been the effect of this? an extraordinary expansion, concentration of power in washington that the founders sheared. because those encroach winds have been progressive and a lot of them under cover of public attention, i don't think there are many americans today who recognize the extraordinary transformation that has occurred in our country in recent years. for the first 1 fifty years the original plan was pretty much intact. but beginning with the new deal we saw more aggressive exercise and this is best illustrated by
the fact that when i went to law school united states code which contains the total body of u.s. statutory law consisted of three volumes. today there are 30 volumes but i think the most telling statistic has to do with attempt at describing and emphasizing the nature of the changes. has to do with title xlii of the code which contains all the laws relative to education and public welfare. when i went to law school title 42 consisted of 128 pages. today it consists of 6,200 pages or 1700 more pages than the entire body of federal law at
the time the new deal started. but that is just the tip of the iceberg because increasingly federal legislation has taken the form of the creation of bureaus and agencies that are in turn and out with ever broader responsibility than discretion in defining the specific rules that would be governing our activities, our lives and that have the force of law and unfortunately congress in recent years has first of all increase the number of violations of regulations that are criminalizes. and number two, the common-law requirement, let them know you're breaking the law will for your furrowing dale so today it is quite possible to be thrown in jail for violating a
regulation the existence of which you had no reason to know existed. these trends that have resulted in the omnipresence of the federal government, the extraordinary increase in spending by the federal government, pre-emption of national income and the debts towering be on site of the entitlement programs that have been put in place. these are threats to freedom that i think exists today that are already having an effect in constraining the ability of individuals and individual enterprises to exercise nonthreatening activities. what can be done about it?
in terms of relying on balance of power the, the conspiracy between each branch of the federal government to exercise in common pre-eminence over the state's, federalism is no longer a restraint on power which leaves us with the people and the vital question today is whether the american people retain the independent spirit of independence, spirit of self-reliance, spirit of responsibility that was summed up by the founders in the term republican virtue, the willingness to subordinates individual advantage to the public good.
we are putting that to the test. the tea party movement is the vehicle through which we are going to see whether this works or not. the question is has there been overtime a change in the american character that once so prized individual autonomy and freedom that it would resist encroachment by government, or will it capitulate to the inducements produced by the entitlement state time will tell. >> it seems your pudding an awful lot of looking to the people rather than to the state's. you mentioned several times not only today but also in your book about the importance of federalism and how we look to that for so long. is it possible that some how the state's might not rise up and
help to bring about a greater balance in these checks and balances? >> they ought to and before the sixteenth or seventeenth amendment which made the senators not appointed by state legislators but properly elected have less influence but here again, because of the expansion of federal grants and aid programs the states themselves have become more and more dependent on handouts from washington which unfortunately include a whole series of federal requirements that have been transforming states more and more into the mir administrators of federal policies instead of being the briton it -- originators and applicants of their own policies
handling discrete problems that happen in any organized society and we also have the terrible situation today in which the states themselves have formidable deficits, $250 billion to say nothing of towering obligations as a result of retirement plans for public employees. a bunch of states. the only way to conn to california, facing critical challenges. and dudley people will come had in hand to the federal government to bail them out. my personal recommendation having gone through the new york city crisis in 1974/75 which assured by defeat, when i thought the idea of a federal
bailout for new york, the finest thing the federal government can do it is the night a single penny of federal money to bailout a state or municipal government. i should also note incidentally that the five states in the greatest fiscal trouble today are among the 12 wealthiest states in the nation. any dollar they get back from washington is a fraction of the amount of money sent to washington. they should be able to handle their problems and be forced to do so. >> you have had this unique opportunity. i was trying to do some research on how unique ru? how many other americans have had the opportunity to serve in all three branches? >> i started that research project once. as far as i know i am the only
one alive. >> and very much so. >> i had a book of existing biographies of existing federal judgees. then the secretary of state supreme court justice and senator. it can't possibly be that combination. >> perhaps we have a letter dated james burns here. >> too late. supreme court. >> maybe not. there is an election coming. we will see. of these carriers do you have a favorite among them? >> yes. if one's primary interest is in matters of public policy there could not have been a more
glorious position to have then to have been united states senator 100 or more years ago. why the past tense? because by virtue of congress bringing more and more matters of concern within its scope you have transformed the ability to think in congress. when i entered the senate in 1970 i was presented with a study that had just been completed by the bar association of the city of new york which had concluded that the workload of the average congressional office had doubled every five years since 1935 but once upon a time service in congress --
citizen service -- congress's concession, six on seven months of the year, the activities reward on -- everyone was expected to be there to hear what was being said. you could think things through. there was comedy of all members. discussions on and off the floor. it was relaxed. with the doubling and redoubling the point came where there were not enough hours of the date to accommodate thought full discussion and analysis of the issues and so it has become in my personal experience--that complicates things. in my personal experience became almost impossible to do a decent job of what the primary responsibility is which is public policy and to come out
with solutions to. nevertheless in the ideal world the legislative would suit my particular chemistry best. the others are extremely interesting and rewarding and i had no trouble recognizing when i was a judge i had a totally different role which was too faithfully applied rules and regulations to congress, not that i thought were desirable. >> any particular piece of legislation that you are proud of? something called buckley versus something or other. >> that was not legislation. it was investigation.
buckley versus vallejo has become the most slated case in recent supreme court history and involved a challenge to the campaign reform act of 1974. my co plaintiffs and i had the temerity to conclude that limitation on the ability of an individual to support a candidate of his choice was not merely on constitutional. the supreme court disagreed and as a federal judge of deferred to that but also very bad public policy. do you want me to explain why? >> that is very appropriate. we're constantly on this idea of fund-raising. >> to get the full flavor of the case and to understand what is
really involved in it, be reform act of 74 place limits on total spending in the federal election as well as a $1,000 less on an individual to contribute to any candidate and $05,000 limit on what an individual could contribute to a political action committee. the people who joined together to challenge the constitutionality of the package involved me although i was then a sitting senator. hy had won election as the third-party candidate of the conservative party of new york and the first person to be elected on a third-party candidacy in 40 years.
i was joined by former senator eugene mccarthy who had challenged lyndon johnson for reelection and a significant initial campaign to close lyndon johnson to drop out of the race. was also another coat plaintiff, new york civil liberties union, new york conservative party, stewart mosque had contributed $220,000 to the eugene mccarthy campaign. what was the common element of these groups? they were outside the normal. they were outside the norm of the political establishment.
it was our concern that this lot was kept intact. it would squeeze out the ability of challengers to come in and confront the political establishment. we won on one side and other limitations on what could be spent in any campaign. we lost the individual contributions because the supreme court said that the appearance or fact of corruption supported this restraint but the effect has been to consolidate the power of the establishment, especially incumbents who have
extraordinary advantages over challengers to elevates into important factors in the election and far more likely to corrupt individuals. and to discourage individual spontaneous action because of the walls and regulations that have been created in order to enforce these laws so it has distorted american politics in a very real way. and a harmful way. >> you talked about the comedy that used to prevail in the senate. there was a trace of that some 40 years ago. of course today we really have to bring up -- hard to afford it, what is going on right now.
are you concerned about that? >> i am concerned about. when i entered the senate, calories repeat this. a warm envelope. it was wonderful in terms of making it easier to have fundamental disagreements on matters of critical importance. but i think civility is one of the victims of the increasing treadmill aspects of public service to the point where discussion is impossible. an issue comes appended is responded to by political reaction rather than a for processor examining what the merits are and willingness to reach out and understand the other point of view and persuade
that individual. how one recaptures that i don't know but one way to recapture it. my constant theme is the objective federalism, to reduce the number of issues that distract congressional intention into a thousand different pieces. >> all right. the question of fund-raising we have talked a little bit about. i am curious. how much fund-raising did you do when you were running? >> my campaign degrade deal of it. i did not of it. one of the things that happen the by limiting the amount of money any individual can give to a candidate. i'm told members of congress spend most of it time after
hours on the phone pleading for money. i never telephoned anyone asking for 1 send. i did attend in my election campaign in 1970 half a dozen or those and fund-raising events. but i had a finance chairman, finance committee and they raised the money, most of the money that i raised was social mail but before it was able to get into a position where letters could go out across the country i had to establish that was a viable candidate. i could not under the present rules have established by viability because in order to get started, one family, one
individual put together -- about $50,000. it $50,000 that enabled me to hire some people i needed to hire to put out brochures, and higher a respectable headquarters. the one that bobby kennedy once occupied and i was taken seriously by the president as a result but after that fund raising was done mostly through the mail. >> i imagine there are many members of congress who envy that situation because one hears all the time that they're spending 60% of their time in fund raising, not being the legislators they want to be. in the book freedom at risk which we are going to have copies available to move on and signed by the author you talk about the interests of bureaucracy. he made mention of that today.
recommended that citizens be allowed to sue the federal government for damages. >> yes. isn't that reasonable? >> is that constitutional? >> it is not constitutional. most people who work in bureaucracies and some agencies are intelligent people doing their job. there is a tendency to become so focused on their particular portfolio that they often can't understand the consequences on other parts of society. to start with decent people, good people. they are also human people. they are not amused to human nature. people will miss use their
power. they recognize that where they don't have to pay for their lawyers, anyone they are contending with has to reach in and may not be able to afford protecting their rights. abuse does occur and in a fair and just society it ought to be possible for a citizen to protect legitimate interests and in the process helped define the limits a legitimate exercise of federal authority. as part of the federal government the agency enjoys sovereign immunity which can be waived. congress has the authority to waive. >> perhaps something for the new congress to look at. >> pass this around to every new
member of congress. >> wonderful idea. [talking over each other] >> tell them to read it. >> so we are on the record. another one of the reforms you mentioned in freedom at risk is term limits. you say that you favor term limits. i was thinking about this. that might admit early-retirement of bob taft or barry goldwater or newt gingrich before he became famous. those are important conservative is. >> congressman frankie. >> barney frank, yes indeed. are you supportive of term limits? >> the compromises, human nature
is human nature. we move from the system of citizen legislators into career legislators. what we have been able to see and have put together in reading and following the news carefully, the temptation to protect your right to get reelected, the ability to get reelected overwhelms you, willingness to always vote the way your conscience tells you you what to vote. when i was elected, i was elected candidate of the conservative party.
i joined the republican caucus. shortly after we were sworn in, john tower, in charge of recruiting -- had a meeting for new members and he opened by saying your first obligation from now on is to ensure your reelection. when you are an office filled bell will ring and you are supposed to raise to the senate floor to vote on something you never heard of. there's no way to keep track of anything any more. what you do is find yourself a friend whose judgment you trust on the relevant committee, a westerner on the finance committee and during the last year the issue would come up on something we voted out on the
committee, how should i vote on this? he said this is what it is all about and this is the correct way to vote. you are ranked for reelection in new york this coming year. you have to phone the other way. that was the accepted premise. i think there has been as a result such a subordination of public interest to this superior interest of your being reelected that this restraint on tenure will serve the public good. those wonderful people would not have stayed in, figured out the modest 12 years. which is enough time to accomplish whatever you want to especially if no one else would have more than 12 years of
seniority on you. and then served as senior statesman. >> let me ask you this. you do have a chance to vote on raising the debt ceiling. this will be a big issue come march/april. >> on raising the debt issue. in my day, to attach something that could never have been devoted into law. resolution increasing the debt limit to try to sneak that legislation in on something that in the last analysis has to be approved. you cannot risk destroying the credibility of the united states
government obligations. no responsible person will vote against doing it. my solution at the time, and i put in an amendment that was voted down, to abolish the debt limit. it never has had any affect on suppressing the drive to spend more money. that has to come from some other source. >> another possible legislation backed by this new congress and all these wonderful ideas we're coming up with. you talk in the book about many things. one of them is the role of religion in the public square. why are so many intelligent people in public life so seemingly afraid of religion? and do you agree that we should pay more attention to that? >> i will answer your question
in two parts. i want religion to be in the public square which in part goes -- let me start with why so many intelligent people oppose it. in anticipation of that question i brought something i could quote because it is important. getting back to the or original understanding of the people who created this country who wrote the first amendment, the thesis that you will find throughout the early writings is that freedom can only be protected by people who are not only self-reliant but virtuous, moral people. moral people are informed most reliably by religion. volvo the federal government would be forbidden to declare an
official religion, establish a religion, it is not unfriendly to religion. the congress that adopted the first amendment also re-enacted the provision that reads as follows. religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good government and happiness of mankind, schools and means of regulation to forever be encouraged to the understanding that schools and education you learned about all kinds of other good things. the congress that enacted the first amendment also made grants of land to serve religious purposes and finance sectarian missionary work among the
indians. in the 1960s, 1860s, what became considered the most authority of analysis of -- a fellow called tom corley who published his treatise in 1968 said the framers -- he quotes to foster religious worship and religious institutions has conservative of public morals and valuable indispensable assistance to the preservation of the public quarter. that is totally at odds with the current fees this that religions are purely a private concern. why are so many intelligent people saying banish it from the public square? if you can find it anywhere in the public square these days. we have been engaged in a cultural revolution since the 1960s. a lot of leaders of the cultural
revolution are highly intelligent. they fear the power of religion. they know the americans are the most religious people on earth outside of the arab community and they fear its influence. being intelligent they want to keep it out of the public square which doesn't keep them from -- with in public square. >> we are all pretty much agreed that we are in new york. we are at war with terrorism and engaged in two military operations in afghanistan and iraq. you talk about vietnam. do you see any lessons from the vietnam war that we can apply? >> some real lessons. you don't back away from commitments you make under domestic pressure or political pressure.
if you do you invite all kinds of problems in the years to follow. in vietnam this has nothing to do with how you get into an engagement once involved. you have essential interests to protect those you went in to serve. we ended up signing the paris accords. we got a lot of people to go in with us. reliance on american determination and american strength, and the belief that the united states will accomplish its goals. towards the end all american troops were brought out of vietnam, signed the vietnam, signed the paris accords which were suppo& accor
where it assumed not physical control but barack people with an to communist circuit mainly the horn of africa and ethiopia. they went into the southern part of an bola and nicaragua. we should be careful of what commitments we make but if we are perceived to withdraw from afghanistan-minimum requirements for our own security we can trigger the more aggressive expansion of the jihadists on the one hand and a shy away, those relying on us to get that
job done. there are serious consequences. take on commitments of those necessary for our security. democratizing afghanistan should not be one of our objectives. >> we talked about federalism and make reference to the tea party movement. trying to come up with more optimism. that shows the american people are for individual freedom and responsibility. >> you use federalism earlier.
from most glorious swelling of grass roots in constructive ways and some areas that are constructive, a tremendous sign of our hope. because of the underlying themes are less intrusive government, less expensive government and don't settle the next two or three generations with levels of debt, federalism comes in, easiest way to achieve free objectives is to restore federalism and confederal government is excluded from in treating into telling states how to run their own affairs. >> perhaps a couple questions
from the audience. >> thanks. senator scott brown's office. you talk about the federal government being too large. they differ from that approach to policy. you settle those two things. >> you pinpoint one of the dangers. in the capital of the united states you have all this power and authority and something has got to be done. i know how to handle it. i am going to do it and let's
forget what the constitution requires. even though i would agree this is a problem. in terms of the overall -- why should we deny the state of delaware or alaska the authority to decide on their own what is best for their people? they are closest to the problem. they won't have one program that fits all sizes. there is much approach to the drug problem and something else. there are a lot of people including conservatives. this will prove less costly and damaging to the individuals than
the present system. is a state is allowed to follow that policy, it will have the benefit of understanding how it works. >> yes, please? >> i have a question about federal regulations. as a d.c. circuit judge and former senator, is the vast administrative law unconstitutional or should it be, the legislator and delegating the executive branch. >> it is extraconstitutional.
my guess is never having the issue presented to me. back in colonial times to understand certain responsibilities, must have been an agency in the first congress, must have given some authority. there is a point. never having understood it i know where that is that there is an unconstitutional delegation of legislative authority to an agency. suspect that multiple examples of that will be found or could be found in obamacare and the
dodd frank bill regulating -- the consequences of obamacare. we don't know today how this bill will ultimately affect aspects of medical care. the congress should never an act a lot without knowing what it is going to be. >> i want to ask about term limits. i initially supported term limits but then i see how it was enacted in some states, particular example i am thinking
of is ohio where i have some familiarity with. they had term limits for a number of years. what happens is the maximum or the upper house. you have 20 some years. when people come in, they rely on the not elected staff members to do things. and legislative bureaucracy. >> first of all, i had in mind 12 years in the house and senate. some individuals might end up with 24. that will be a tiny minority.
if you are lazy. i had a staff that -- the brightest staff among the senate. the conservative event of the year. they have gone on to all signed -- kinds of things. if you want to know what to accomplish, seems to me get your own staff. doesn't mean there aren't elements of truth but no matter what you have, the greater burden is you have people, the way i put it, they persuade
themselves that they be reelected and be honest with their constituents. >> gentleman? >> thank you for coming here today. you talked about federalism, and given the willingness of the federal government to go to arizona with the emigration bill and the extensive web of red tape and financial dependence of states on federal government. what would you say is the first step an individual state could take to empower itself and a search federalism again? >> go to the supreme court. i speak with great support to the supreme court. i am a member of the federal
judiciary. when four of nine justices of the supreme court agree with me case after case i don't feel totally out of harm's way. what we need to do is get people in congress, a majority who accept the premise that the federal government has gotten so unwieldy that it cannot effectively do very much constructively. it is distorting the whole system and threatening our freedoms. we have a huge amount of money from the federal government to the state's. if i were emperor for one session of congress, i would confer all existing grant and aid programs into block grants.
one wrote and so on and phase them out over ten years. it will take that much time for states to reengineer what they want to to do and you know the rest. >> i was on your staff in the 70s can handle a lot of your commerce committee work. you got involved rather deeply in the deregulation movement for transportation. after you left office all deregulation took place under the current administration talking about airlines, trucks, railroads. when carter left office there were people in the reagan administration flaunting the regulation to and nail. my question is what happened to the republican party in that era
that most deregulation was done by the democrats? why were the parties reversed? >> the corruption of power. i don't have the answer to that. that is the problem we're facing. newt gingrich brought an a bunch of great people. the contract with america was observed in the early years. then over time we found expenditures accelerating and so on. the pressure, what is required is that the pressures brought to bear in the last election cycle be sustained year in and year out with constant vigilance over
how the newly elected members are operating. >> yes please, in the back. [inaudible] >> in your defense of freedom is it based more on freedom as a fundamental value or based more on society, people are better off, more productive and happier if they have freedom? >> i am not sure i made that distinction in my own thinking. it is an interesting one. freedom is inherently has something to do with human dignity, autonomy, responsibility. but people who are free and at the same time responsible are in turn create a better society.
i am not sure that answers your question. >> ladies and gentlemen i am going to have to draw this conversation to a close. we have been privileged to spend an hour with a gentleman who pulled a political hat trick, representing all three branches of the government so wonderfully. i recommend to you highly that you can learn more about his service and the recommendations so we don't become a european-style democracy by getting copies of freedom at risk. mr. buckley will be happy to sign it for you. join me in thanking him. [applause] >> for more information on james