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Friday, May 17, 2013

The Tyranny of the Administrative State

"The time to guard against corruption and tyranny is before they shall have gotten hold on us. It is better to keep the wolf out of the fold, than to trust to drawing his teeth and talons after he shall have entered." — Thomas Jefferson (1781)

As we watch a string of scandals detonate across the Obama Administration, we should all be able to agree that the abuse of government power to punish political opposition is hideously wrong. Sometimes we struggle to define the precise boundaries of “corruption,” as a growing government extends its power into the private sector, and the daily conduct of its business becomes inherently corrupt. Special interests swarm around the Leviathan State like remora fish around a shark. Everyone is either getting punished or subsidized by the government. Political connections become the most valuable economic resource. (If only President Obama’s cronies in the “green energy” racket had been given half the scrutiny this Administration directed at Tea Party groups, imagine how much money taxpayers would have saved!)

The ruling class reaches the apex of its power when it no longer has to tax and spend money to promote its agenda, or even deploy coercive regulations that could be traced back to particular administrators; instead, the ruling class need only express its desires, and those eager to curry favor will scramble to obey. For an example, watch the unfolding scandal around Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ efforts to squeeze money out of the industries she regulates.

But even in that thick stew of corruption — as competition under the impartial rule of law is replaced by a struggle to win the zero-sum affections of the State — we can easily see that government itself is the greatest “special interest” of all. When politicians and bureaucrats abuse power to protect themselves, we should recoil in disgust. There are right and wrong ways for politicians to win support, but there is no “good” way for them to punish opposition. I don’t think that even Woodrow Wilson, the father of today’s administrative state, would have gone this far. Although his alter ego Col. House advocated the powerful administrative state in his book “Phillip Dru, Administrator.”

This disgust grows particularly acute when the Internal Revenue Service is corrupted. We are obliged to place a great deal of faith in the IRS. The agency carries an extraordinary burden of public trust.

Our tax system is no simple matter of computing a flat percentage against easily documented income. Both individuals and corporations must submit an enormous amount of information to the IRS, so their compliance with the State’s agenda can be measured. The tax code is an instrument of control, not just a method of gathering revenue. If that’s all it was, it would be much less intrusive, and the IRS would be much smaller. This is one of the main reasons for Congress to throw out our current system of collecting taxes under the 16th Amendment and institute either a fair tax or a flat tax. (I favor the flat tax as it would virtually eliminate the IRS and it’s thousands of employees).

The government distributes a great deal of favor through the current tax code. Behaving in the “right” way earns various deductions and credits. Excessive success and “incorrect” investment is punished. In order for this system to function, the behavior of citizens and their corporations must be carefully monitored. Failure to comply with this surveillance brings unfortunate consequences (unless the offender has powerful political connections, of course.)

As the tax code grows, and exerts greater levels of control, the volume of information Americans must place into Internal Revenue’s trust necessarily grows. It can’t work any other way. Every activity with tax ramifications must be monitored. Very few activities are without tax ramifications now. ObamaCare is one prominent example of a bill that makes vast new segments of American life the business of the IRS, at both the individual and corporate level.

The IRS must fulfill this trust with the highest level of fidelity, respecting the privacy of every American. Whatever moral legitimacy Big Government retains depends upon this utterly. The IRS is a socialist’s favorite agency, nourishing the State with blood drawn from the unruly private sector, while simultaneously imposing the economic preferences of wise and benevolent government. It brings in revenue to fund the State, and it controls private behavior. It must conduct itself as the sacred temple of socialism, in which the sanctity of the tax confessional is absolute.

Otherwise, a system that has already been criticized as tyranny becomes completely indistinguishable from it. The IRS is not meant to serve as an opposition research team for the ruling Party. Its power is not meant to stifle discourse. No one should believe that more fervently than a sincere liberal. No one should have less tolerance for the corruption of that sacred encounter between citizens and their rulers, in which the property of individuals is transformed into sustenance for the divine general will of The People.

Liberals believe with all their hearts that every citizen should have a voice in shaping the general will, do they not? They measure “freedom” not by independence from the government, but rather by the ability to influence its course. Everyone is allowed to speak, then an election settles our differences, and everyone is expected to obey the winners. If the government is able to use its power to suppress that noble democratic process — especially the singular power of the IRS — what are we left with, except the mere tyranny that liberals claim to oppose?

To be honest, our gigantic central government already has many other resources for influencing the electoral process. It has many resources for purchasing votes and intimidating dissent. The ideal of a leviathan government that humbly serves The People is the absurd primal delusion of the modern Left. Let us begin with the absolutely unacceptable sin of corrupting the IRS, work our way back through every agency, and see how many Americans we can set free from that delusion. It’s what our Founders believed in 1776 when they laid out their list of grievances to King George in the Deceleration of Independence. They wanted to live free from the abuses of a tyrannical government — something many of us want today.

In his commencement remarks to graduates sparsely convened in the Ohio State University football stadium in Columbus last weekend, Barack Hussein Obama offered the following observations and advice:

"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 doing their best to gum up the works. They'll warn that tyranny is 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. We don't think the government is the source of all our problems we understand that this democracy is ours. And as citizens, we understand that it's not about what America can do for us, it's about what can be done by us, together, through the hard and frustrating but absolutely necessary work of self-government. And class of 2013, you have to be involved in that process."

Clearly, Obama's absurd and overtly partisan assertions were aimed at young constituents whom he hopes embody the future of his Socialist Democratic Party. After all, an effective speechmaker knows his audience, and Obama knows that most of these youthful citizens are indoctrinated in government institutions since they were weaned.

Indeed, the socialist protagonist, Karl Marx, wrote, "The education of all children, from the moment that they can get along without a mother's care, shall be in state institutions at state expense." Marx's disciple, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, concurred: "Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted."

From the days of Woodrow Wilson to those of Barack Obama, and encompassing all the "progressives" in between, taxpayer-funded academic institutions have been the breeding ground for generations of socialists. For most leftists, the crucial years that cemented their worldview were the ones they spent in our nation's colleges and universities.

Brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who are accused of setting the bombs that exploded at the Boston Marathon, attended the University of Massachusetts. Maybe they hated our nation before college, but if you want lessons on hating America, college attendance might be a good start. Let's look at it.

Walter Williams writes in about hating America:

"We need to think very, very clearly about who the enemy is. The enemy is the United States of America and everyone who supports it." That's taught to University of Hawaii students by Professor Haunani-Kay Trask. Richard Falk, professor emeritus at Princeton University and the U.N. Human Rights Council's Palestine monitor, explained the Boston bombings by saying, "The American global domination project is bound to generate all kinds of resistance in the post-colonial world." Professor Falk has also stated that President George W. Bush ordered the destruction of the twin towers.

University of Southern California professor Darry Sragow preaches hate to his students in his regulation of elections and political finance class, recently telling them that Republicans are stupid, racist losers and that they are angry old white people. A few years ago, Rod Swanson, a UCLA economics professor, told his class, "The United States of America, backed by facts, is the greediest and most selfish country in the world." Penn State University professor Matt Jordan compared supporters of the voter ID laws to the Ku Klux Klan. Professor Sharon Sweet, an algebra teacher at Brevard Community College, told her students to sign a pledge that read, "I pledge to vote for President Obama and Democrats up and down the ticket." Fortunately, the college's trustees fired her.

University of Rhode Island history professor Erik Loomis tweeted, "I want (National Rifle Association executive vice president) Wayne LaPierre's head on a stick." He asked, "Can (we) define NRA membership as dues contributing to a terrorist organization?" Here's a sample of how Professor Loomis frequently expresses himself: "Motherf---ing f---heads f---ing f---." Then there's Georgetown law professor Louis Michael Seidman, who explained our national problems by saying, "But almost no one blames the culprit: our insistence on obedience to the Constitution, with all its archaic, idiosyncratic and downright evil provisions." Professor Seidman worked for The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. When he was sworn in as an officer of the court, I wonder what constitution he swore to uphold and defend.

Parents don't have to wait for college admission for their youngsters to receive America-hating lessons. Scott Compton, an English teacher at Chapin High School in Chapin, S.C., was put on administrative leave after he allegedly threw an American flag on the floor and stomped on it in front of his students. He has chosen to resign.

An Advanced Placement world geography teacher at Lumberton High School in Texas encouraged students to dress in Islamic clothing and instructed them to refer to the 9/11 hijackers not as terrorists but as "freedom fighters." They were also told to stop referring to the Holocaust as genocide. John Valastro, the superintendent of the Lumberton Independent School District, told Fox News that the teacher did absolutely nothing wrong.

In McAllen, Texas, teachers tried to force a teenager to sing the Mexican national anthem and recite Mexico's pledge of allegiance. The teen refused, saying it was against her beliefs as an American. She was thrown out of the class and given a failing grade for that day's assignment. Her father has filed a lawsuit on behalf of his daughter against the McAllen Independent School District.

Investor's Business Daily ran a story that shows student indoctrination is official union policy: "A New Low From The California Federation Of Teachers: Urine Indoctrination" (12/5/12). The union's website has a cartoon narrated by leftist Hollywood actor Ed Asner. In tones used when reading to children, Asner says: "(Rich people) love their money more than anything in the whole world. Over time, rich people decided they weren't rich enough, so they came up with ways to get richer." The cartoon finishes its class warfare message by graphically depicting "the rich" urinating on the poor.

These people running our education system are destroying the minds and values of our young people, and we allow them to do it.”

These examples are but a few of the thousands that occur every year in our K-12 and higher education systems. Unless you can afford a religious-based private school or home school you child will be subjected to this indoctrination on a daily basis as they are prepared for citizenship in the utopian society of the progressive left.

As for higher education you will have to search for colleges and universities such as Hillsdale College and Liberty University if you do not want to become a drone of the tyrannical, progressive state. Once these drones are matriculated many of them enter the world of academia to propagate more drones or enter government services where they can bask in the comfort of the good life afforded by civil service.

Todd Starnes of Fox has provided us with a list the top 100 universities that have selected liberal graduation speakers:

When it comes to selecting a commencement speaker, the nation’s top 100 universities lean decidedly left, according to a new survey by the Young America’s Foundation.

Of the top 100 universities listed by U.S. News and World Report, 62 have selected liberal commencement speakers and only 17 selected conservatives. The YAF said the political affiliations of the remaining speakers was unclear.

“It goes to show you how administrators are unwilling to reach out and provide an alternative viewpoint,” YAF’s Adam Tragone told Fox News. “There’s a plethora – a deluge of liberals compared to conservatives on this year’s list.”

The YAF’s 20th annual Commencement Speakers Survey shows a who’s-who of liberals invited to impart words of wisdom to college graduates – from Oprah Winfrey at Harvard University to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi at the University of California – Davis.

Speakers at the top 10 schools include:

  1. Harvard University – Oprah Winfrey
  2. Princeton University – Ben Bernanke
  3. Yale University – Cory Booker
  4. Columbia University – Lee C. Bollinger
  5. University of Chicago – Abbie J. Smith
  6. MIT – Drew Houston
  7. Stanford University – Michael Bloomberg
  8. Duke University – Melinda Gates

Among the handful of conservatives to get speaking invites were Ga. Sen. Saxby Chambliss and former Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.

“It’s like one last dose of liberalism given by the academia community to the students before they go off and begin their careers,” Tragone told Fox News. “It fulfills the stereotype that most Americans think academia is full of liberal ideology and conservatives are put to the wayside.”

“Liberal media representatives will also be plentiful. Four employees of The New York Times will deliver remarks – along with representatives from NPR, PBS and CNN.

Tragone said it’s disheartening that the nation’s universities seem to ignore conservative voices.

“The message it sends to conservative students is to be wary and always at attention of liberal bias that exists in academia,” he said.

YAF’s Ron Robinson pointed out that it’s a clear example of liberal indoctrination.

“As tuition and student loan debt grow at historic rates, what are students getting for their money?” he asked. “An education from leftist professors that—combined with the Obama administration’s policies—has left 53 percent of recent grads unemployed or underemployed. These commencement speakers are just the icing on higher education’s indoctrination cake.”

Obama claimed, "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 doing their best to gum up the works. They'll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner."

I'm not sure what incessant voices those might be — certainly not those of our Founders — because a growing number of college graduates can't name but a few if any. And they're certainly not the voices of a majority of government schoolteachers and professors, who are little more than useful idiots in the service of socialism.

Obama might be talking about the handful of courageous young American Patriots on campuses across the nation — those who stand in the face of peer and professorial ridicule in order to speak in defense of Liberty. Or maybe he's referring to that rarest of creatures, the conservative professor whose lone voice extols the virtues of Liberty amid the academic statism desert.

Or perhaps the voices Obama alludes to are those of the current generation of grassroots Patriots, who gave rise to the Tea Party movement a couple of years back. They fortunately "gummed up the works" in the 2010 midterm elections when they sent more than 70 Democrats packing and replaced them with grassroots conservatives to retake the House of Representatives. That provided a gauntlet to Obama's socialist agenda, one that notably crushed the crown jewel of that agenda last month — his so-called "assault weapons" ban (known in our humble shop as the defensive weapons ban.)

Obama continued, "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."

Well, not quite. It is Obama and his statist cadres who believe that "we, the people" can't be trusted, and thus he has perpetually campaigned since 2006 to implement his plan of "fundamentally transforming the United States of America." Obama's objective is to reject the voices of those who support Liberty and the Rule of Law over the rule of men, the terminus of which is always tyranny. As Lord Acton famously wrote, "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

Finally, Obama said, "We don't think the government is the source of all our problems we understand that this democracy is ours. And as citizens, we understand that it's not about what America can do for us, it's about what can be done by us, together."

This is just a heap of unadulterated double-speak.

First, in regard to "the source of our problems," I remind you of the inimitable words of Ronald Reagan, which are truer today than when he spoke them in 1981: "government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem." As his colleague Margaret Thatcher once said, "Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people's money. They then start to nationalize everything and control everything by other means."

Second, we are not a "democracy," but a Constitutional Republic. Of course, a "community organizer" wouldn't know the difference, but someone who bills himself a "constitutional scholar" should!

Third, "it's not about what America can do for us"? This is clearly some kind of cheap JFK knockoff. John Kennedy, of course, said, "Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country." But Obama has built his constituent voter blocs on the exact opposite theme, "Ask not what you can do for your country — ask what your country can do for you."

And, when Obama says, "it's about what can be done by us, together," he's not talking about equal partners, but about government dominion over people. This is in keeping with the socialist theme trumpeted at the grand opening of his 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina: "Government is the only thing we all belong to!"

To summarize, here is the shorter catechism of Obama's message to graduates of The Ohio State University, and, of course, to college graduates everywhere: "Government is great, Government is good, and you should thank us for your food. By its hands we all are fed, government provides our daily bread."

As long as we have tyrannical and unfettered government agencies such as the IRS, Department of Justice, The EPA, Homeland Security with its TSA, Health and Human Services, and the Department of Education with their political appointees and life-long bureaucrats we have but little chance of remaining a republic as envisioned by our founders. Congress seems to be no match for this leviathan of masterminds and statist.

As long as the American People are more concerned with the bread and circuses being offered by our entertainment industry, the horrible left-wing bias of our public education system, and the shallow and biased reporting of the fourth estate there is little chance of any sustained pressure to change or reverse 100 years of progressivism.

However, on a more positive note as the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius is claimed to have said: “the longest journey begins with the first step.” Perhaps we have taken a first step with the uncovering of the tyrannical abuses of the IRS. Let us hope so.

Oh, and one more closing comment of the mentality of our noble leader Barack Obama and his disrespect for our military. As Confucius stated: “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Evidently the Marines have Obama’s back, but does he have their back?


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