Newsletter - January 2019

Freedom!  That is a word that is used all over the world by many different people.  Here is one definition of Freedom.  “Freedom, independence, liberty refer to an absence of undue restrictions and an opportunity to exercise one’s rights and powers.  Freedom emphasizes the opportunity given for the exercise of one’s rights, powers, desires or the like.”

If you review the history of the human race many actions by leaders and groups center on their attempts to limit the freedom of an individual, group or country.  Leaders always talk about freedom for their citizens and extol the good times people in their country have.  If this is the case then why do people constantly find their freedom being challenged?

How is this done?  Well, first of all by passing laws that restrict what a person can and cannot do.  Of course, some laws are necessary.  However, more and more laws become overwhelming.  But, what if laws are not enough to restrict people and get more of their money.  There is another way that crafty governments can achieve control.

Welcome to the Administrative State. 

The Administrative State refers to all those non-elected government agencies that create all kinds of rules that are never passed by a legislative body.  They operate virtually as an independent legislative body with the power to fine and ultimately charge people with a crime. In reality, unelected agency heads and bureaucrats have become the new lawmakers.

The administrative state uses an extensive professional class to provide oversight over government, the economy and society.  It is totally unrelated to a representative democracy with limited powers.

Here is the prime example:  there are 220,000 federal regulators working with a regulatory budget of about $63 Billion who write and enforce 185,000 pages of rules. ObamaCare regulations alone consume about 10,000 pages of the 185,000.  Those rules cost the economy around $1.9 Trillion annually.  For a comparison, $1.9 Trillion is approximately what the federal government raises each year from individual and corporate income taxes.

The writers of the Constitution understood that there is a human tendency to acquire and keep power.  Therefore, they created a government of checks and balances which was intended to control the abuses of government.  James Madison noted: “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.  If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”

Woodrow Wilson, our first totally Progressive President, did not agree with the idea of checks and balance.  He wrote, “No living thing can have its organs offset against each other, as checks and live.”  He further stated: “The Constitution was founded on the law of gravitation.  The government was to exist and move by virtue of the efficacy of “checks and balances.”  The trouble with this theory is that government is not a machine, but a living thing.  It falls, not under the theory of the universe, but under the theory of organic life.  It is accountable to Darwin, not to Newton.  It is modified by its environment, necessitated by its tasks, shaped to its functions by the sheer pressure of life.”

By the time Franklin Roosevelt became President, a compendium of federal rules known as the Federal Register was created.  The administrative state was officially born.

The Federal Tax Code is 2,600 pages.  However, it requires 70,000 pages to explain the tax code. 

A “Soft Tyranny Index” has been created that tracks the ebb and flow of the administrative state.  There are four factors in the Index: the size of federal regulations, the number of federal regulatorsfederal spending as a share of the economy and tax rates.

The only time this soft tyranny has been seriously challenged was President Kennedy’s tax cuts in 1963; President Reagan’s tax and regulatory reforms in the 1980’s; the 12 years of spending restraint following the Republican takeover of Congress in 1994; President Trump and his battle against the federal “swamp.” 

If you wonder where all this money is being spent here are just a few examples where various federal agencies have chosen to spend your tax dollars.

The National Institute of Health spent $874,503 over a six year period to research and study the sexual habits of quails high on cocaine.

The United States Agency for International Development spent $18 Million to support Egyptian tourism.

The National Institute of Health spent $2,488,153 to study daydreaming.

President Trump’s deregulation push is one of the reasons that he is so hated.  He is removing money and power from the agency personnel who have a very nice life style from their government jobs.  Remember:  the money these agencies use are our hard earned dollars.

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