May 15, 2019
(Oakland, CA) The Office of the President of the U.S. isnt what it used to beit has morphed into an overgrown beast. So says presidential scholar IVAN ELAND in his landmark new book War and the Rogue Presidency: Restoring the Republic after Congressional Failure (Independent Institute).
The presidency no longer simply enforces the laws passed by Congress but literally dominates American political life. Its vast bureaucracy is flush with cash and wields powers never authorized by the Framers. But who do we have to thank for this distortion of the Constitution? Congress.
The presidency, says Eland, isnt inherently imperial. Its contingently imperial. Particularly when wars loom and Congress refuses to forestall our engagement in themwith inevitable consequences. Armed conflict bloats armies and emboldens the commanders-in-chief who wield them. Presidents, for instance, now unilaterally start wars and kill Americans (and others) overseas without due process.
But wars also lead to massive domestic government interference. Income tax, estate tax, gas taxes, the IRS, public housing, rent control, inflationary money printing, financial bailoutsall have their origins in wartime
The solution is clear. Congress, says Eland, simply must refuse to fund the undeclared wars presidents seem bent on waging. Yet to do that Congress must first implement reforms detailed in this book: weaken the committee structure; eliminate the seniority system, outlaw covert destabilization of foreign governments, and back federal courts seeking to limit the national security stateand many more.
In sum, liberals, conservatives, independentsanybody concerned for personal liberties and good governanceshould read this pathbreaking book and grapple with its implications. For they are wide-ranging and entail staggering consequences for a free people.
Ivan Elands book Answers Questions such as:
● Why has the Executive been able to become the dominant branch of government since World War IIand how has that aggrandizement accelerated during the terms of recent presidents?
● Is there anything we can do to restore the Constitutions original balance of power among the three branches? Or is the slide into Executive tyranny inevitable?
● Attempts have been made in the past at restoring Congress as the first branch of Government. Why did they fail?
● Must we just accept that complex modern societies must have large administrative states with dominant presidentsconstrained only by popular opinion and periodic elections?
● What reforms must Congress enactto its own procedures and for the nation at largeto restore balance to our government and ensure protection of personal liberties and meaningful national security?
CREDENTIALS: IVAN ELAND is Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute and Director of Independents Center on Peace & Liberty. A graduate of Iowa State University, Dr. Eland received an M.B.A. in applied economics and a Ph.D. in Public Policy from George Washington University. Among other books and numerous journal articles, he is the author of Eleven Presidents: Promises vs. Results in Achieving Limited Government; Partitioning for Peace: An Exit Strategy for Iraq; and Recarving Rushmore: Ranking the Presidents on Peace, Prosperity, and Liberty.
Availability: Washington, DC. Also via telephone.
CONTACT: Robert Ade, 510-635-3690/ [email protected]