Professor Douglas Berman at Sentencing Law and Policy has a great post about the GOP Presidential debate. Professor Berman would like to ask three highly relevant questions to candidates who support limited government and free markets. Those questions are:

  • Do you support the bill introduced by Ron Paul and Barney Frank to get the federal government out of the marijuana regulation business (basics here)? Would you sign or veto such a bill as president if it came to your desk?
  • Do you consider the modern “War on Drugs” — a federal government program started by Richard Nixon and increasingly funded at the federal level by every President since — to be a classic example of a failed big government program or a notable example of big government success?
  • According to a Pew Center report in 2009, state criminal correction spending has quadrupled in the past two decades, outpacing budget growth in education and transportation (basics here). Meanwhile, the Justice Department recently wrote to the US Sentencing Commission about federal prison spending and overcrowing (basics here). Does this data concern you and what do you think this nation’s president can or should do about the pure economic costs to taxpayers of modern mass incarceration?

I’d love to hear answers to these questions. But even more importantly, I’d like to hear the correct answers.