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Category Archives: Entitlements

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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The Deceit Of The New Deal – What We MUST Learn From The Past

Several years ago a friend recommended that I read Witness, Whittaker Chambers’ account of his life as a member of the Communist Party, his subsequent break with the Communist Party, and his part as a key witness in the Alger Hiss Trial in 1949 and 1950. First published in 1952, just two years after the Hiss Trial, the book is a fascinating 799 pages and provides a glimpse into American history that has been entirely rewritten by the liberal progressive agenda.

This book should be required study in every high school in America for the perspective that it offers on the New Deal, widely acclaimed as the most benevolent presidential accomplishment in American history.

Mr. Chambers details a meeting at the home of Assistant Secretary of State, Adolf Berle in 1939 where he informed Berle of the Communist activities taking place within the U.S. Government. Berle took the information to President Franklin Roosevelt immediately, and was “told … to ‘go jump in the lake’”

Chambers, W. Witness. Chapter 10, part X, page 470 Washington DC: Regnery Publishing, Inc.

The failure of the meeting with Berle caused Chambers to take a hard look at the New Deal. The following excerpt verified what I have long believed about the New Deal and those who supported it then and support it now – including Franklin D. Roosevelt. It is a passage that I have read through many times, especially as I see American citizens who seem to be intent on embracing an all encompassing government with the power to control every aspect of their lives in exchange for a the moral equivalent of a few trinkets.

I urge you to read the following passage and if you have not already done so, obtain a copy of Witness for yourself and others. Our challenge today is not a new one, merely new players on the same stage; it is up to us to recognize the opposition and their revolutionary intent. Whether it be the Marxists, Socialists, Communists, or radical Islamists including the Muslim Brotherhood, we must stand ready to speak up for what is right and ensure that these outliers can never establish a permanent foothold in the United States of America.

Now, Mr. Chambers:

It is surprising how little I knew about the New Deal, although it had been all around me during my years in Washington. But all the New Dealers I had known were Communists or near-Communists. None of them took the New Deal seriously as an end in itself. They regarded it as an instrument for gaining their own revolutionary ends. I myself thought of the New Deal as a reform movement that, in social and labor legislation, was belatedly bringing the United States abreast of Britain or Scandinavia.

I had noticed it obvious features – its coalition of divergent interests, some of them diametrically opposed to the others, its divided counsels, its makeshift strategy, its permanently shifting executive personnel whose sole consistency seemed to be that the more it changed, the more it remained the most incongruously headed hybrid since the hydra. Now with a curiosity newborn of Berle, I saw how misleading those surface manifestations were, and tactically how advantageous, for they concealed the inner drift of this great movement. That drift was prevailingly toward socialism, though the mass of those who, in part directed, in part were carried along by it, sincerely supposed that they were liberals.

I saw that the New Deal was only superficially a reform movement. I had to acknowledge the truth of what it’s more forthright protagonists, sometimes unwarily, sometimes defiantly, averred: the New Deal was a genuine revolution, whose deepest purpose was not simply reform from within existing traditions, but a basic change in the social, and above all, the power relationships within the nation. It was not a revolution by violence. It was a revolution by bookkeeping and lawmaking. In so far as it was successful, the power of politics had replaced the power of business. This is the basic power shift of all the revolutions of our time. This shift was the revolution. It was only of incidental interest that the revolution was not complete, that it was made not by tanks and machine guns, but by acts of Congress and decisions of the Supreme Court, or that many of the revolutionists did not know what they were or denied it. But revolution is always an affair of force, whatever forms the force disguises itself in. Whether the revolutionists prefer to call themselves Fabians, who seek power by the inevitability of gradualism, or Bolsheviks, who seek power by the dictatorship of the proletariat, the struggle is for power.

Now I thought I understood much better something that in the past had vaguely nibbled at my mind, but never nibbled to a conclusion – namely, how it happened that so many concealed Communists were clustered in Government, and how it was possible for them to operate so freely with so little fear of detection. For as between revolutionists who only half know what they are doing and revolutionists who know exactly what they are doing the latter are in a superb maneuvering position. At the basic point of the revolution – the shift of power from business to government – the two kinds of revolutionists were at one; and they shared many other views and hopes. Thus men who sincerely abhorred the word Communism, in the pursuit of common ends found that they were unable to distinguish Communists from themselves, except that it was just the Communists who were likely to be the most forthright and most dedicated to the common cause. This political color blindness was all the more dogged because it was completely honest. For men who could not see that what they firmly believed was liberalism added up to socialism could scarcely  be expected to see what added up to Communism. Any charge of Communism enraged them precisely because they could not grasp the difference between themselves and those against whom it was made. Conscious of their own political innocence, they suspected that it was merely mischievous, and was aimed, from motives of political malice, at themselves. But as the struggle was really for revolutionary power, which in our age is always a struggle for control of the masses, that was the point at which they always betrayed their real character, for they reacted not like liberals, but with the fierceness of revolutionists whenever that power was at issue.

I believed that the Communists were much more firmly embedded in Government than I had supposed, and that any attempt to disclose or dislodge them was enormously complicated by the political situation in which they were parasitic. Every move against the Communists was felt by the liberals as a move against themselves. If only for the sake of their public health record, the liberals, to protect their power, must seek as long as possible to conceal from themselves and everybody else the fact that the Government had been Communist-penetrated. Unlike the liberals, the Communists were fully aware of their superior tactical position, and knew that they had only to shout their innocence and cry: “Witch hunt!” for the liberals to rally in all innocence to their defense. I felt too, that a persistent effort by any man to expose the Communists in Government was much less likely to lead to their exposure than to reprisals against him. That fact must be borne constantly in mind in understanding what I did and did not do in the next nine years, and indeed throughout the Hiss Case, which was to prove on a vast scale how well-founded my fears had been.

One of my close friends, himself an ardent New Dealer, who knew my story in full detail, summed up the situation tersely. “I see,” he said one day, “why it might not pay the Communists to kill you at this point. But I don’t see how the Administration dares to leave you alive.”

Chambers, W. Witness. Chapter 10, part XI, pages 471-473 Washington DC: Regnery Publishing, Inc.

 

 

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For All

Really, things have gotten so ridiculous that it’s a little hard to keep blogging.  After the eternity that has been Obama’s first term, continually explaining why 2 + 2 = 4 becomes a tiresome chore indeed, especially when one suspects that she is only preaching to the choir and making little headway otherwise.  I know, I know, speaking out is still important . . . but the little things get me down.

Like when I ran into a friend from three duty stations ago, and the upcoming presidential election came up.  I was treated to a casual remark that, while the current President’s record is unsatisfactory, she was afraid that an elected Romney wouldn’t let people have the freedom to marry who they want, and also he would require all women to wear skirts. (!?!eleventy!?!)

National security is more important than homosexual “rights,” I said, bringing up the hot mic incident, during which Obama demonstrated that he is willing to say one thing to the electorate, but another thing entirely to Russian leadership.  She had never heard about it.

Sigh.  Since I ran into this person at the commissary, at least I was able to soothe my nerves by buying some extra nonperishables.

Now, don’t you worry or nothin.  I haven’t given up hope.  I’m just running low on steam.  There’s not much for me to add to the conversation right now . . . at least, not anything that you and I haven’t said a hundred times apiece.

Only thing new to me is a little tidbit from Older Son’s curriculum.  I’ll share it, and see if it’s new to you as well.  You see, I’ve heard comparisons aplenty of the Democrat hold on black voters to the slavery of old.  C.L. Bryant made a whole movie on this very idea.  Click here to see if Runaway Slave is playing at a theater near you.

What I’ve never heard before is a positive comparison of slavery with the protective nanny-state progressives are always striving to achieve.  Apparently, though, pre-civil war Southerners made this very argument.  All defensive about their “peculiar institution,” many Southern apologists sought to explain why slavery was not a necessary evil, but actually for the best.  One of those apologists was George Fitzhugh.

Fitzhugh asserted in Cannibals All! or Slaves without Masters that Southern slaves were luckier than free Northern workers.  The Landmark History of the American People by Daniel Boorstin explains Fitzhugh’s argument:

“They were slaves with masters.  They had the best kind of social security.  Whatever happened, it was not their worry.  They did not have to pay any bills.  They had no problem of unemployment.  Slavery, as Fitzhugh described it, was a kind of socialism, where all property was put in the hands of the people (the white people) best qualified to use it, for the benefit of everybody, whites and Negroes.  Three cheers for slavery!”

Hmm.  Property put in the hands best qualified to use it for the benefit of everybody?  For the benefit of all?  Oh, yeah, I get it#ForAll.

Cross posted at NoOneOfAnyImport.

 

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The passing of Neil Armstrong and an America that could put a man on the moon.

Yesterdays passing of Neil Armstrong is symbolic of the passing of an era, an era in which the the USA was exceptional and extraordinary in it’s ability to accomplish things that no other nation could. In 1961, when John F. Kennedy charted the course for America to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade, this country was a different place. It was an America in which the role of the Federal Government could and did tackle lofty, enormous projects like building a National highway system or large dams and canals. It was a much simpler time when Americans relied on themselves and their family or local community. The social safety net was provided by churches along with charitable organizations like Kiwanis, Masons, Shriners, Knights of Columbus, and numerous others to help meet the challenges that life sometimes brings and the state and local, not federal government was called on to help educate our children, provide local law enforcement and fire protection.

Absent from this America were Food Stamps and Pell Grants, there was no Head Start program and Medicare and Medicaid had yet to be enacted. Americans in the various states could take care of their everyday needs and the Federal Government in Washington was relied upon for that which required a national effort. They by and large stuck to those tasks that they were empowered to as prescribed in Article 1 Section 8 of our constitution.

Today, due to our nanny state priorities, our federal government is now incapable of funding and achieving the equivalent of the moon landing.

The federal government that was able to put an American on the moon has been traded in for a federal government that is all controlling and all providing. Whether it be education, health care, transportation, unemployment and disability payments, food, or housing, the federal government is, if not by mandate, than certainly by coercion, in control.

This decision has led to an America that is so bogged down in supporting the welfare state that it can no longer set and achieve those mega goals that have defined our country. We have come to a point where NASA’s highest priority is not exploring our solar system or some other  galactic achievement but, “to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science … and math and engineering.”

It has been well documented that even absent some lofty project equal to that of our manned space program, our federal government’s current rate of spending is unsustainable. If we, as a nation, choose to stay on this course we will forever be incapable of great achievements, there are not enough resources to both accomplish lofty goals and projects while providing cradle to grave security for all. The Soviet Union tried to do both and did neither well and eventually collapsed.

As we mark the passing of Neil Armstrong, one of the most accomplished men in history who served the most accomplished nation ever let us remember that our current president once promised to fundamentally transform our country, let me be the first to acknowledge that he has accomplished his mission and if it is not already irreversible, given another four years of Obama as president, it will be.

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2012 in Entitlements, politics

 

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Justice John Roberts, the King Maker

Supreme Court Justice John Roberts just handed Obama a crown, scepter, and an ermine trimmed velvet cloak.

It isn’t the SCOTUS job to protect the American people from bad political choices? Perhaps not, but it IS SCOTUS job to protect and uphold the Constitution.

If you are not registered to vote, get registered. I don’t care if you like Romney or not; I don’t care if he wasn’t your first choice; he must win. Why you ask? Because he is NOT Obama.  We need every single person to vote because even Obama voters who hate ObamaDoesn’tCare and are disappointed in Obama overall have said they will STILL vote for him in 2012.  That stymied me until I realized that these people have lived most of their lives being indoctrinated by the Progressives and/or living off the government teet. They’d rather throw their fellow Americans into the compost pile of history than to do the right thing and admit that they are personally responsible for the total upheaval of this country.

They must not be allowed to steal our country from us. My flag will hang upside down until Obama is defeated. Make no mistake; we are in distress.

If you haven’t read Ameritopia by Mark Levin, get it, read it, understand it.  It’s important.

 

Julia, oh Julia, the Heritage Foundation looks at what could be a better life for Julia

President Obama’s team introduced the “Life of Julia,” a portrayal of a liberal vision of life for one woman. In response the Heritage Foundation has released a version which shows how conservative policies, like the ones outlined in Heritage’s Saving the American Dream plan, can empower Julia and all Americans without government interference at every stage of life. Follow Julia’s new story here

 

 

Obama Walking the Plank of His Own Making. Fellow Democrats Sawing Plank.

Schadenfreude.  It’s what’s for dinner.

Democrats are running away from Obamacare, which will likely be ruled unconstitutional in June.

Sen. Jim Webb said the law would be Obama’s “biggest downside” in the election and had cost him “a lot of credibility as a leader.”

Some of us were at your office, providing such advice to this affect during the run up to this vote, Jimmy.  I saw you walking down the hallway towards your office and once you saw us gathered outside your office you ran from us.  We were there and we were ignored.  Now you hike up your skirt and run away from a re-election bid because you know you screwed up big time.

No worries though, mate.  We’ll release the same fury against your replacement candidate, Timmy Kaine, that we would have on you.  Timmy is a big Obama guy.  Big Obama guys don’t do so well with the electorate since 2008.

And then there’s this from former Congressman Artur Davis from Alabama.

“I think the Affordable Care Act is the single least popular piece of major domestic legislation in the last 70 years,” he said. “It was not popular when it passed; it’s less popular now.”

And now Democrats are running away from President Obama’s blockage of the Keystone XL Pipeline.  Funny how constituent feedback about the pain at the pump brings new wisdom to even the most radically green Democrats.

Sharks are swirling below the plank.  Sharks of Obama’s own creation.  Shutting down and restricting coal fired power plants isn’t going to help, either.  When electricity rates ‘necessarily skyrocket’ (your words, not mine) going into the cooling season, this will add more pressure.  Coal fired power plants are shutting down because of Obama.

When GSA employees lavishly waste taxpayer money and flaunt it on You Tube, that doesn’t help either. 

When Obama uses the Justice Department to promote illegal gun running resulting in the deaths of American border and ICE agents and this Justice Department turns a blind eye to voter intimidation perpetrated by the Black Panthers while harassing states over voter ID laws and immigration enforcement laws, that doesn’t help either.

When Obama racks up $5 Trillion in debt in 3 years, tosses our money at pet projects that are massive failures like Solyndra, LightSquared, and others, that doesn’t help either.

When Obama takes an unprecedented number of vacations while the ranks of the unemployed moved from gainful employment and self esteem onto demeaning government dependency, well that don’t much help, either.

You know what, Champ?  You’re doomed.  If your cratering poll numbers don’t advise you, then your own party distancing themselves from you certainly does.

America’s got a big party planned for November 6th. 

You’re not invited.

 

 
 
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