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ARE THE BUREAUCRATS STRANGLING AMERICA?

ARE THE BUREAUCRATS STRANGLING AMERICA?

A Republican senator views the future with alarm – have we changed, as he says, “from the liberty-loving democracy to a fear-stricken mass of automatons”?

By Arthur R. Robinson, United States Senator from Indiana

We are going through a revolution. Call it what you may — a “change”; and “evolution”; “gradual substitution”; or simply “the New Deal” – the fact is that we have change from a liberty-loving democracy to a fear-stricken mass of automatons ruled by an army of bureaucrats.

Our bureaus which were formerly our servants have now become our masters. Bureaucracy has gone wild in the last year. Today we see a superstructure of more than forty agencies with upward of 40,000 additional government employees.

This is but the beginning. As the gradual change in our form of government moves forward, new agencies are needed. This means more federal employees, more supervision, more bureaucracy – and it all means more money from the citizens’ pocketbooks. But these bureaucrats, utterly irresponsible, do not care who pays the bill so long as they can go merrily on.

This towering burden of bureaucracy contains many incipient dangers to American democracy. We now see in process a moving away from the democracy toward an autocracy of executive dictatorship with countless bureaus and employees, all independent of control by the electorate.

These bureaucrats represent,in large part, plain political spoils. Once in, it is almost impossible to dislodge them, for they wield an increasingly great amount of political influence.

The Home Owners Loan Corporation is reputed to be the worst offending agency of the emergency set-up in this regard. The Senate adopted an amendment to a bill which would make it possible to employ personnel in the HOLC without regard to political considerations. The Senate adopted the amendment; the President wanted it and the HOLC board wanted it; but when the bill reached the House, that body struck out the amendment. Few more unpatriotic acts have been charged against either house of Congress. Yet ever since the advent of the new deal, if anyone has dared criticize, he has been branded “unpatriotic,” “old dealer,” “Tory,” or “standpatter.”

No one has any thought of quarreling with the good intentions of the administration, but present efforts toward recovery have resulted in a virtual abdication of power by the people’s Congress and in a government by Presidential proclamation and edict. Indeed, the system of government now extant is alarmingly reminiscent of the old Russian government by ukase under the czars.

The first step in the much advertised revolution is the virtual abdication of control by representatives of the electorate under the guise of “emergency legislation.” But too often “emergency” enactment graduates into permanent legislation. A majority vote in Congress enacts legislation, but it requires a two-thirds vote to override a veto. Thus constitutional controls are displaced by extra-constitutional controls. This first revolutionary step is bound up with efforts toward hybrid control, some of which is voluntary and some involuntary. Thus as much of the New Deal’s voluntary crop-control efforts fails, we see the administration swinging into an era of compulsory control -witness the Bankhead cotton bill.

Compulsory control is the second major step in the revolution. In industry, with the NRA (National Recovery Agency), we are living under a bureaucracy. Now we learn that the NRA may be made permanent. Industry is being governed by codes, and agriculture is being regimented by voluntary and involuntary crop- and stock-control efforts.

Almost every act of our daily life is influenced directly or indirectly by some of this army of bureaucrats. Here are some of the bureaus or controls, almost every one set up under the New DealAAA, CAB, CC, CCC, CCC [Commodity Credit Corporation], CFC, CSB, CWA, DLB, DSH, Ex-IB, Ex-IB (2), EC, ECPC, EHFA, ECW, FACA, FSLD, FCA, FERA, FFMC, FSRC, FLB, FICB, FSHC, FHLBB, FCOT, FDIC, HOLC, IAB, IBRT, ITPC, LAB, NCB, NEC, NLB, NPB, NRA, NRRB, NPSAC, PAB, PWA, PWEHC, PLPB, SAB, SPBW, RCA, RACC, RFC, SES, TVA, TVAS, USIS, and others.

A political raid foreshadowed what would happen as soon as the bureaucrats could get into the saddle. Just before the present administration came in to power the Senate adopted a resolution demanding that it be furnished with a list of the available jobs in the public service.

This list made a volume of more than four hundred pages and was soon characterized as the “plunder book.” Ironically enough, it was issued on the anniversary of the signing of the first Civil Service Act. Needless to recount what was done with trained and efficient service employees— a literal clean sweep was made by the New Deal regardless of merit or experience.

But the real iniquities began to appear with the Civil Service itself was figuratively tossed out the window and thousands of new employees hired without regard to training or qualifications. Under the lash of the Executive last March, the Congress passed the cruel and inhumane so-called Economy Act. It reduced the budget a few hundred million dollars, but it impoverished thousands of disabled veterans and their families, and depleted purchasing power at a time when it was most seriously needed.

A few millions were lopped from the budget by cutting veterans’ benefits, and several times that amount expended on tree planting in the CCC. Moreover, $148,000,000 was taken from the public works allocation and from labor in the building trades to get the CCC started. Thus useful projects for which money was allocated had to be delayed. Able-bodied young men between eighteen and twenty-five were given jobs while at the same time thousands of disabled war veterans were thrown on charity and relief.

In its annual report last June — and that was before most of the new bureaucratic units had been set up — the National Civil Service Reform League said:

The new administration has turned it’s back on the only method of safeguarding these new agencies from maladministration. Without a single exception the agencies of government thus created have been thrown open to the political spoilsmen to do with as they see fit. The excuse given one objection is made to exemption from civil service tests has been that these agencies are a part of the emergency program and that they may prove temporary in character. A more specious excuse could not be devised to hoodwink the public.

Mark you, this comes from a distinguished nonpartisan body of citizens.

The role of the spoilsman has been eased considerably by the administration’s novel double-budget system. We have had an “ordinary” and an “extraordinary” budget. The former was used to include the ordinary business of operating the government, the latter as a “catch-all” for the emergency expenditures.

When the New Deal was to make a great show of “balancing the budget,” or “reducing expenditures,” and “redeeming pledges to reduce expenditures,” it referred to the ordinary budget. But when it asked Congress for an appropriation of a few million or a few billion dollars, it used the extraordinary budget.

As a result we are faced with a treasury deficit of upwards of ten billions and our national indebtedness will reach a new high when it hits the thirty-two billion mark.

The people should refuse to be deceived any longer. Either we must retrench and safeguard our financial standing or we shall be plunged headlong into reckless and utterly uncontrolled inflation.

More alarming still are the estimates which show that a year after the New Deal began approximately one out of every six persons in the United States owed part or all of his living to the bounty of the federal treasury. In addition to this number more than 860,000 were mortgagors or borrowers of the federal government.

However, the real danger is that almost enough people now owe their living to Uncle Sam to control elections and make this dangerous bureaucracy self-perpetuating. Such a step has obvious perils. It would lead to violent change. Either an extreme right-wing or some form of Fascist control would develop, or the machinery of government would suffer a complete breakdown, which would be followed by extreme left-wing control, communism, or something worse.

We have seen power become more and more centralized. We have seen state lines practically obliterated by controls from Washington, as the federal government has taken over more and more of the so-called reserved powers of the states. New state-encroachment bills are being passed today. With these emergency controls we see regimentation of agriculture and industry. The next step, and the one in the midst of which we find ourselves, is that of compulsory control. After this will come absolute price fixing, and then we may expect a sharp era of income regulation. What next? The collectivism of the New Deal will lead us, if we are not careful, into an era of thoroughgoing regulation. This regulation, if carried to its logical conclusion, may well bring on an autocratic government.

Let America beware!

Bureaucracy never means efficiency — it always spells inefficiency. Look at what it did to Russia during the Russo-Japanese War. We are in the midst of a world that envies us, to say the least. We have a enormous international problems. Bureaucracy, irresponsible and its nature, can settle none of them. Representative government, imperfect though it may be, is still the most efficient devised by man. Let us not discard it.  Constitutional government is as essential to the American people today as it any time in the past.

Only by demolition of much of the vicious structure of bureaucracy which has so suddenly grown up among us may we preserve our freedom and the Constitution of the United States which guarantees a square deal to all men.

The End

This article was published on September 22, 1934 in Liberty magazine. With a few minor changes, it could have been written today. Eighty years later we have failed to heed Senator Robinson’s warning and have instead allowed the federal bureaucracies to expand and flourish – further increasing the federal powers (and debt) while diminishing the States’ powers. We still make first cuts at the expense of our veterans. Senator Robinson references a mere forty new bureaucracies. How shocked would he be to discover the eleven pages of Cabinets, Agencies, Bureaus, Departments, and others currently listed on the federal government’s registry? How would he view our current debt problem and our treatment of veterans?

The article notes “Senator Robinson has been a hard, consistent fighter in the cause of nationalism, also against foreign debt cancellation – on which subject he has spoken his mind in Liberty. He is known especially as a Senatorial champion of veterans’ claims; he himself served in the A.E.F. and the army of occupation on the Rhine, and rose from shavetail to major.”

Franklin Roosevelt had been in office for just over one year and America was in the depths of the Great Depression. Unemployment FELL to 21.7%.

 

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Who Says There is No Growth Under Obama?

The number of people on Federal Disability has DOUBLED during his 3 inglorious years.  5.4 Million people have been added to the roles since his presidency, putting the total at 10.8 million.

Yes, that 10.8 million people with a vested interest in growing the size of government.  I suspect many of these people are not so disabled that they won’t be able to hobble to the polls in November to vote to keep themselves a meal ticket.

And don’t get me wrong.  My snark is not directed against those who truly are disabled and are truly deserving.  But I know that some people get disability due to substance dependency, of all things.  So, we should really give them the money to continue their lifestyles.

More people riding

 

Mark Levin outlines the conservative vision for Romney 2012

Growing more and more frustrated with Mitt Romney’s inability to articulate the conservative message while campaigning, the Great One delivers an example of what Romney should be saying as only Levin can.

 

 

Virginia Senate Democrats vote to kill budget bill, Governor McDonnell’s response.

What is it about Senate Democrats and their inability to pass a budget?

Democrats in Virginia’s Senate have voted to reject the latest budget bill over $300 million in transportation funds to cushion the blow of tolls in Northern Virginia. The tolls are to pay for the extension of MetroRail from Tysons Corner in Fairfax County to Washington Dulles International Airport and Governor Bob McDonnell responded with a sharp critique.

“Today, Senate Democrats cast the most fiscally reckless vote I have witnessed in my 21 years in office. They have killed an $85 billion state budget that benefits all Virginians, for one earmark regarding an 11.4 mile rail project in one district of the Commonwealth. That is extremely irresponsible. Senate Democrats, again, put partisan politics ahead of the needs of 8 million Virginians. They brought their political agendas to the Senate floor, and in the process have put at risk a Bristol teacher’s paycheck, a Chesterfield sheriff’s salary, healthcare for a senior citizen in Hampton, road projects in Richmond, and the fiscal soundness of the entire Commonwealth.”

What leads you to think that the Democrats objection is contrived and disingenuous, is that this scheme was created years ago by Democrat Governor Tim Kaine.

Since 2009, when Governor Tim Kaine signed the deal on the tolls and the rates were publicized, and no state funding was provided, Senate Democrats were silent. They offered no objections to the tolls for nearly three years. Then, at the very end of this session, after killing two budgets on the floor, Senate Democrats decided that they would make that their next issue. This will have serious consequences for all Virginians.

Read the full response from Governor McDonnell here

 

 

Bill Whittle Throws Down the Gauntlet

This is his finest Afterburner yet and that’s saying something.

In ‘Merchants of Despair’ he catalogs all of the major misdeeds and malevolence of the Obama administration and at the end he speaks to you conservatives that sit on the couch on election day.

How do we find these bellyaching nonpartisipants, register them to vote and get them to the polls this November? That is the challenge and the only solution to our national despair.

And of course, as I always do when I post a new Whittle video, I urge you to go to PJTV and become a subscriber.

 

Mark Steyn on Flukemania

The always insightful and hilarious Mark Steyn finally weighs in on the charade surrounding the 30 year old child, Sandra Fluke’s perfectly sensible demand that we pay for her contraception and that a Catholic institution should be forced to violate its religious principles in order to accommodate her. That president Obama and the Democrats gleefully used this useful idiot to advance their big government desires granting the plebes protection for their sexual romps while stealing liberty with the other hand is not really surprising.

Bread and Circus. And Condoms.

Fantastic artwork from iMaksim. Click on the image to embiggen it.

All of us are born with the unalienable right to life, liberty, and a lifetime supply of premium ribbed silky-smooth ultrasensitive spermicidal lubricant condoms. No taxation without rubberization, as the Minutemen said. The shot heard round the world, and all that.

He’ll be filling in for Rush on Monday, so if you don’t want to go read the whole thing, I’m sure a portion of it will be covered then.

Aside from the sheer ridiculousness of the phoney congressional hearing, and aside from the moral implications, and aside from a government imposing tyrannical dictates on the people, the issue Steyn focuses on is whether this debtor nation can afford to do what Obama and the Democrats want to do.

Should we borrow money from China to pay for Sandra Fluke’s rampant promiscuity?

 

Virginia Senate Democrats block budget passage for all the wrong reasons

There is a budget impasse in the Commonwealth of Virginia and it has nothing to do with budget issues such as state spending or tax policy. No, the Democrats are now  obstructing a budget plan that was constructed through bipartisan collaboration and cooperation in an effort to reorganize some committees to give their party more power. Democrat Senators Richard L. Saslaw and A. Donald McEachin are asking for more seats on crucial committees. They have also requested that the powerful Senate Finance Committee be co-chaired by a Republican and Democrat.

The current stalemate is set up by an intricacy within the Virginia Constitution that requires the votes of 21 senators to pass a budget. The lieutenant governor cannot cast a tie-breaking vote. With 20 Republican senators and 20 Democrat senators, passage of the budget requires bipartisan cooperation — and the Senate had been working cooperatively. The Senate plan includes countless amendments that were introduced by Democrats and reflects the top priorities they have publicly expressed. Indeed, the spending plan constructed by the Senate Finance Committee can be fairly characterized as the most bipartisan budget proposal advanced in recent history.

Republican Senator Ryan McDougle explains some of the budget compromises;

Democrats objected to increasing the portion of the sales tax dedicated to transportation. They objected to what they saw as an inadequate level of funding for education. They were concerned about funding levels for Medicaid. All of these concerns were addressed in favor of Democrats, with the Senate incorporating their stands into the budget. No additional sales tax revenues are being redirected to transportation, public education is funded at higher levels than achieved in recent budgets passed during Democratic control of the Senate, and health care was funded at a level higher than either the governor’s or the House’s budget proposal.

McDougle also cautions that allowing budget negotiations to revolve around issues entirely unrelated to the budget could set a dangerous and lasting precedent, creating potential for the budget to be held hostage every year due to unrelated legislative disputes.

Some may ask, if the Senate is split 20-20, why not share power? Well, truth be known, despite the even split the voters of Virginia actually gave a mandate to Republicans in 2011. In early 2011 the Democrat controlled Senate crafted a hyper-partisan redistricting plan intended to ensure control by their party regardless of the expressed will of the voters. In spite of this effort the Republicans won control in the November 2011 election. Republican candidates for Senate out-polled their Democrat counterparts by 57 percent to 40 percent. But gerrymandered districts skewed that result, electing more Democrats than the popular vote reflected.

The balance of power in the Senate now rests with its presiding officer, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, a Republican. Coincidently, Bolling won 57 percent of the vote in his most recent election in 2009. So while the new Republican majority may be numerically narrow, it reflects the clearly expressed preferences of the 57 percent of Virginians who voted Republican for Senate in 2011 and lieutenant governor in 2009.

Virginia Senate Democrats worked hard to win concessions in this budget and they now have a choice; stop obstructing and pass this budget or continue to make non-budgetary demands and shut down the commonwealth which will undoubtedly result in a negative backlash. Is there one courageous Democrat left in the Virginia Senate?

To his credit Governor Bob McDonnell has talked with many members of the Senate Democratic caucus, in an effort to break the standoff. McDonnell commented,

“There are many over there that truly are statesmen, really do want to see Virginia be put first, and I think that they don’t want to be in the embarrassing situation of having to look their constituents in the eye and [say], ‘I killed the Senate budget because I wanted to have more power and better committees,’” he said. “That’s not a good argument. That’s not the way people on either side do things around here.”

 

Obama’s new Corporate Tax Cut. Did I say “Cut”? I meant “Hike”

The latest strategy from Obama is to sell his new Corporate Tax Cut, lowers the overall rate from 35% to 28%, but as with all Obama parlor tricks, it eliminates many deductions that allow corporations to pay less than the 35% rate under the current system.

Also, brand new to the table is the provision that profits that are made from overseas will now be taxed even if the money is never brought back to the United States.

This is going to have devastating impact on companies like Ford, IBM and Caterpillar, to name but a few.

That means that many businesses that slip through loopholes or enjoy subsidies and pay an effective tax rate that is substantially less than the 35 percent corporate tax could end up paying more under Obama’s plan.

Obama, acting like the common street hustler that he is, is perpetrating an election year class envy hoax on the gullible and this is nothing but a con designed to whip up class envy and finally punish the successful by advancing his socialist wealth redistribution scheme.

The Republican candidates need to pound this and pound it loudly and without end.

Exit question: If this new corporate tax proposal actually comes into being, and it is admittedly a long shot at best, will General Electric and Government Motors finally have to pay taxes?

 

Raise my debt limit

h/t: Pedro

 

Paul Ryan exposes Geithner/Obama Budget fail, or “We don’t have a definitive solution… We just don’t like yours”

 

House finance committee chairman Paul Ryan grilled Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner  on the failure of the proposed budget to work towards solving our long-term debt crisis. Instead of dealing head-on with a $99.4 trillion dollar liability, the Geithner/Obama budget does nothing to avert the looming debt crisis. Geithner’s answer is that his budget stabilizes our current insanely high debt for a few years but does not fix it. Ryan is right, it is all about confidence and trajectory and this budget will not bode well with credit rating agencies or those who might invest in U.S. debt and will result in default.

Presidents and Secretaries of the Treasury have a responsibility to fix problems, this administration and this budget are an epic fail when it concerns future financial liabilities. As Ryan said, “Our Government is making promises to Americans that it has no way of accounting for them!

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2012 in Barack Obama, Budget, Paul Ryan, Spending

 
 
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