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Tyranny of Bureaucracy

Melanie Sturm | @ThinkAgainUSA Read Comments - 11
Publish Date: 
Thu, 06/06/2013

 

In his 1980s comedy routine, Yakov Smirnoff celebrated America’s free society and equality before the law, joking: “In America you can always find a party. In Russia, Party always finds you! In America, you break law. In Soviet Russia, law breaks you!"  

 

In the wake of scandals involving the abuse of governmental power, Americans must Think Again about Smirnoff’s ironic word plays. As we’re learning, the ruling Party can find and break you – despite constitutional protections.

 

Today, our federal government is the nation’s largest spender, debtor, lender, employer, contractor, property owner, insurer, healthcare provider, and pension guarantor. What it doesn’t directly control, its unchecked bureaucracy can ban or mandate.  Moreover, the Justice Department’s wiretapping of journalists and the demotion of Benghazi whistleblower Gregory Hicks at the State Department have impeded the watchdog media’s ability to assure a free flow of information between the people and our government. Even New York Times reporters aren’t getting calls returned.

 

Meanwhile, large swaths of America are in no mood to party -- especially the Tea Party -- after getting trapped in the government’s dragnet and subjected to personally invasive, banana republic-like scrutiny. Along with other conservative, pro-Israel and religious groups, their First Amendment rights -- freedoms of association, speech and religion -- were systematically abridged by the most feared agency of the government, the IRS.

 

After unfairly applying tax-exempt laws and divulging personal files to media site ProPublica, Americans worry the IRS can’t be trusted to impartially and confidentially administer 47 new healthcare provisions and 18 new taxes.  Mistrust spiked after learning the IRS’s Obamacare office is led by the same manager who oversaw and ignored abuse in the tax-exempt entities office. Adding fiscal insult to political injury, revelations about the IRS’s lavish spending culture – especially its $4 million employee boondoggle – prompted Jay Leno to suggest we close the IRS, not Gitmo.

 

Though government officials acknowledge the IRS’s “inexcusable” and “inconsistent” application of the law -- and notwithstanding their apologies for the “unprecedented” abuse of power -- many Americans are gleeful that political groups with which they disagree were muffled, as video-blogger Caleb Bonham discovered when inviting students in Boulder, Colorado to sign his gigantic thank you card to the IRS. Ironically, students in Bonham’s viral video cheerfully endorsed the harassment and intimidation of fellow citizens, unmindful that coercive government could one day crash their party.

 

Quick to call limited-government types devils incarnate, and inspired by politicians for whom there can be no honest difference of opinion, hyper-partisans are willing to commit fellow countrymen to an administrative Star Chamber, simply because they identify with different values. But nothing is more destructive to our social fabric and antithetical to America’s founding principles than the abuse of federal power to stifle dissident opinion, as Smirnoff knows and our founders feared. That’s why our founders devised a system to protect the very liberties that are currently under assault.

 

Defending limited government and our system of checks and balances, James Madison penned this famous argument: “What is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men ... controls on government would (not) be necessary. In framing a government, ... you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself."

 

Clearly, our government is out-of-control, as recent revelations of government over-reach, excess and incompetence testify. The federal bureaucracy has morphed into a government of special interests, by the bureaucrats, and for the political class. Occupy Wall Street meets the Tea Party at the intersection of their contempt for a government that routinely presses its massive thumb on the scale of justice, picks winners and losers, and gives sweetheart deals to well-connected cronies.

 

As law professor Jonathan Turley described in an eye-opening Washington Post op-ed, the administrative state has grown so powerful and independent, it constitutes a fourth branch of government whose impact on citizens’ lives is larger than the other three branches combined. Composed of 15 departments, 452 agencies, and 2.8 million unelected and inaccessible bureaucrats, it’s less transparent and more unaccountable than other branches.  “We cannot long protect liberty,” Turley concludes, “if our leaders continue to act like mere bystanders to the work of government.”

 

This fourth branch is our founders’ nightmare, and an assault on their constitutional principles: government by consent, separation of powers and equal rights of individuals. To preserve the system that is the source of our flourishing and the bedrock of our culture, we’ll need “a new birth of freedom,” as Abraham Lincoln yearned, so that “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

 

Think Again. We wouldn’t want to be like the USSR where, Smirnoff says, comedians could crack jokes about leaders -- but only once.

 

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Well said. Whether under

Well said.

Whether under the pretense of education, welfare, stimulus, subsidies, relief, bailouts, unemployment, or retirement .... whenever government forcefully violates the uniquely just and sound economic principles of paying for what you get and getting what you pay for, social strife and economic chaos will result. Money printing (or QE) may postpone, but only exacerbate the eventual calamity.

“Unfortunately, you’ve grown

“Unfortunately, you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems. Some of these same voices also do their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is that our brave, and creative, and unique experiment in self-rule is somehow just a sham with which we can’t be trusted.” - President Obama, May 5, 2013, Ohio State University

Irony Alert The IRS can't

Irony Alert

The IRS can't find all the receipts of it's conference.

http://twitchy.com/2013/06/05/irs-cant-locate-receipts-for-conference-ex...

Another funny Yakov Smirnoff

Another funny Yakov Smirnoff line spoken in a thick Russian brogue: `I love American movie, especially that one with Marlon Brando, how you call it - In Front Of On The Water?`

Melanie, The supreme court is

Melanie,

The supreme court is a joke by now. It commands no respect and is likely as hated as is the IRS. You may have noticed in the last few years several states have begun to pass laws to counter-act or nullify federal laws they deem unconstitutional or big government over-reach. Immigration, gun control, Obamacare, gay marriage, eminent domain and such. Even some towns have done this in regard to their states laws. I find that this is all that is necessary for the serfs to counter the edicts of the king.

If a state finds a federal law unconstitutional or big government over-reach, just don't obey it. Either pass a law to counter or nullify it or just ignore it and don't follow it. What is Washington going to do? Particularly if several states are doing the same thing? Send in the tanks? I don't think so.

Colorado has legalized marijuana and no one cares or is doing anything about it. I call this de facto succession. Succession without the need for a formal succession. It's the best of both worlds for the states and the worst of both worlds for the federal government.

The states begin to make their own laws against federal laws they deem unconstitutional or big government over-reach and that's that. Actually in another 2-3 years the federal government will be so strapped for cash and will have had to shrink government to the extent it will not have the funds or the manpower to pursue retaliation to any of this, not to mention the will to do any of it. They will sit by and watch it happen. A toothless tiger, which it actually already is but no one realizes it yet.

I assure you such a thing is all that is needed for the good people of American to shed this idiotic federal government that is getting more ridiculous and repressive by the day. De facto succession. That’s how it all starts. It's coming to a state near you.

Deep inside every leftist is

Deep inside every leftist is a vengeful tyrant that seeks to use the power of the government to punish those who oppose them.
They are viscerally angry that their worldview isn’t a reality that others can be convinced of,

so those others must be eliminated or exterminated.

“At its most advanced stage,

“At its most advanced stage, domination functions as administration… This is the pure form of domination.”

Herbert Marcuse

Power attracts those who seek

Power attracts those who seek to use it - against their fellow humans.

And unaccountable power, more so.

In “Chapterhouse Dune” Frank

In “Chapterhouse Dune” Frank Herbert wrote:

“Power attracts the corruptible. Absolute power attracts the absolutely corruptible. This is the danger of entrenched bureaucracy to its subject population. Even the spoils systems are preferable because levels of tolerance are lower and the corrupt can be thrown out periodically. Entrenched bureaucracy seldom can be touched short of violence. Beware when Civil Service and Military join hands.”

I quote this often, these days.

Smirnoff also said, “In

Smirnoff also said, “In Soviet Union, you have freedom of speech. In America, you have freedom after the speech.”

That’s changing, too.

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