01.06.2012 1

Is Rick Santorum a supporter of limited government?

Rick SantorumBy Adam Bitely — Let’s get this part out of the way first: Rick Santorum is a better friend of limited government than Barack Obama.

How much better is the part that is up for debate.

The former Senator from Pennsylvania is all the rage this week coming off his stunning second place finish in Iowa. Finishing just 8 votes behind Mitt Romney, Santorum has quickly become a front-runner in the 2012 GOP nomination contest. With New Hampshire voting in just a few days, and South Carolina on the horizon, voters nationwide are scattering to find out who Rick Santorum is and what his campaign is all about.

For those that think he is the “Tea Party” candidate that will vastly reverse the size and scope of government, you might be wrong.

Santorum supported many items that most tea partiers consider acts of “Big Government. As Michael Turner pointed out at National Review, “He never met an earmark that he didn’t like. In fact, it wasn’t just earmarks for his own state that he favored, which might be forgiven as pure electoral pragmatism, but earmarks for everyone, including the notorious ‘Bridge to Nowhere.’”

We are just getting started at examining the things that Santorum supports (or supported) that should make any advocate of limited government gag.

For example, he voted for the massive expansion of the federal government’s power in education, ‘No Child Left Behind.” Santorum also expanded the federal government’s power as a health care provider by voting to expand the Medicare prescription-drug benefit.

And that’s not all…

Santorum also voted against the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and supports high tariffs on everything.

As Turner put it, “Santorum’s voting record shows that he embraced George Bush–style ‘big-government conservatism.’”

But wait, there’s more!

In 2006, when Santorum was promoting his book, he said the following:

“One of the criticisms I make is to what I refer to as more of a libertarianish right. You know, the left has gone so far left and the right in some respects has gone so far right that they touch each other. They come around in the circle. This whole idea of personal autonomy, well I don’t think most conservatives hold that point of view. Some do. They have this idea that people should be left alone, be able to do whatever they want to do, government should keep our taxes down and keep our regulations low, that we shouldn’t get involved in the bedroom, we shouldn’t get involved in cultural issues. You know, people should do whatever they want. Well, that is not how traditional conservatives view the world and I think most conservatives understand that individuals can’t go it alone. That there is no such society that I am aware of, where we’ve had radical individualism and that it succeeds as a culture.”

Personal autonomy is a pretty big issue — especially in 2012 as supporters of limited government search for candidates that they hope will undo the vast expansions of government that have taken place in the past several years.

A candidate that believes personal autonomy isn’t exactly important might spell trouble when considering whether they would defend Internet freedom from the ever-encroaching government controls.

Santorum seems to further prove what many politicians must believe to be true, that to be a politician you must assume that you are smarter than everybody else.  Well history and economics have proven many of Santorum’s positions to have bad effects. Hopefully, if he is elected, he will have learned from those lessons.

Adam Bitely is the Editor-in-Chief of NetRightDaily.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @AdamBitely.

Copyright © 2008-2020 Americans for Limited Government