Posted on July 30, 2011
Starve The Swarms
or be devoured by gov't gluttony
Liberals often justify their disdain for our nation's founding documents by saying that the men who wrote them could not have foreseen the way things are today. Our founders needed no foresight about bureaucratic tyranny, though, because they experienced it first hand, as illustrated in the Declaration of Independence.
Contained in that document is one indictment of King George that is especially relevant today: "He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance." If rewritten in the first person, this passage could have been used in an Obama campaign ad.
As tumbleweeds continue to bounce across America's economic landscape, Washington has become a boomtown, thanks to a gusher of new government jobs. According to Labor Department statistics, the federal workforce expanded by 7 percent during President Obama's first two years in office, while private sector employment declined by 2.6 percent.
During the debate over the Democrats' health care bill, Republicans charged that it would result in the hiring of 16,500 new IRS agents. Because the bill did not spell this out, and the method by which its critics arrived at that figure was highly speculative, the claim is widely believed to have been debunked by political fact-checkers. Obama's most recent budget proposal, however, included an increase in the IRS workforce of almost 4,200. It's not far-fetched to suggest that the total figure could be four times as much over the entire course of the program's implementation.
Most conspicuous among these swarms of officers has been Obama's mass deployment of "czars" -- those largely unaccountable, quasi-cabinet-level appointees with ill-defined powers. One of the more ludicrous examples is the president's appointment of an "Asian Carp Czar." The purpose of this office is to halt the spread of an invasive species of fish, whose voracious appetite threatens the sustenance of its neighbors. Naturally, liberal bureaucrats are jealously guarding that power for themselves.
Just look at some of the destruction that the government swarms are leaving in their paths. The National Labor Relations Board is trying to prevent Boeing from opening a plant that would create thousands of jobs in South Carolina, just because it's a right-to-work state. One might wonder what part of the Constitution empowers the government to make such a decision. It's the same part that provides for the existence of the NLRB in the first place, which is to say, none.
Makers of cereals and snack foods are being told to "voluntarily" adopt restrictive marketing guidelines, or else to alter the content of their products, lest they be ravaged by wonks from the Federal Trade Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This may soon lead to the demise of mascots like Tony the Tiger and Count Chocula, on the basis that they are luring children into unhealthful eating habits.
In a related story, the FDA has issued graphic warning labels that must be placed on cigarette packages, including pictures of disease-ridden lungs, and a sickly man with an operation scar down the length of his torso. Just as in the case of the cereal police, the aim is to stop the manufacturers of perfectly legal products from effectively advertising them.
Obama's oil drilling moratorium, and his Interior Department's subsequent reluctance to approve new permits, has forced a company called Seahawk Drilling into bankruptcy. This despite the fact that Seahawk drilled in shallow water, and was therefore no threat to replicate the BP spill that was the ostensible impetus for the crackdown.
These are just a few of the more egregious attacks on America's producers by our plague of federal locusts, and the worst may be yet to come. Next year, the Environmental Protection Agency issues its standards for regulating carbon dioxide as a "pollutant." The impact on power plants and oil refineries, and therefore on energy consumers, promises to be brutal.
There have been times when Congress has presumed to summon corporate executives, and demand that they justify their profits and compensation packages. If conservatives prevail in next year's elections, they should do the same thing to government entities whose oversight is actually their responsibility. Every bureau in the executive branch should have to appear before the legislature, and be defunded if it cannot persuasively argue that it serves the interests of a free and productive people. It's about time our fat and comfortable government parasites had to partake in some of the "shared sacrifice" that they so glibly prescribe for everyone else.
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