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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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Help The Tampa Bay HEAT (Home Educators Athletic Teams)

I want to talk about my decision to fundraise for the Tampa Bay HEAT.

My decision is based on something bigger than the gratitude I feel for this organization.  I am fundraising for the HEAT’s dream of a full service school building because I see a tremendous need for it.

As I have encountered various homeschool groups in the last two years, I have noticed a pattern.  Each group tends to have a particular focus: academics, informal fellowship, or sports.  Of course, these goals overlap, but most groups give priority to one category over the others.

Without question, the hardest need to satisfy when homeschooling is participation in team sports.  “Tebow” laws are great but not a complete answer to the question of how we provide team sports to the homeschooling community at large.

Groups like the HEAT provide these needed team sports.  They have popped up all over the country.  Here are just a few examples:  Richmond VA, Knoxville TN, Lakeshore WI, Albuquerque NM, and West Michigan.

I don’t know how every group finds space for practice and home games.  I don’t know which ones have an easy time finding the space, and which ones have a hard of it.

Except the HEAT.  I know they have a hard time.  A huge chunk of their efforts and money goes to finding and renting practice space, and then finding and scheduling games against local private schools.  Their need for a gymnasium and sports field is as obvious a wart on a prom queen’s nose.

I’ve also seen how an effort like the HEAT draws so many other incidental programs:  academic classes, special interest clubs, field trips and social gatherings.

I couldn’t help but imagine how easy and wonderful it would be if they could do all these things under one roof.  A homeschool building.

When I mentioned this to the HEAT’s founder, Teresa Manganello . . . well.  It turns out I was preaching to the choir.

It also turns out that at least one homeschool community has already turned this vision into reality:  The Homeschool Building.  The facility in Wyoming, Michigan, is a great example of how a thriving homeschool community can come together under one roof.  Their school facility provides for the needs of the homeschooling community without assuming responsibility for the academic curricula.

A homeschool basketball association near Wyoming, Michigan, explains the importance of a physical school facility:

“As home schoolers, we are truly blessed to live in one of the best places in the world to educate our children as we see fit. One huge factor in that assessment is our access to the Home School Building. Through the years, the HSB [Home School Building] has hosted tutoring classes, soccer practices, volleyball games marching band, orchestras and, of course, basketball games and practices. It is difficult to imagine how different the WMHSAA basketball league would be without the HSB for meetings, practices and games.”

Did you catch that?  Folks have a hard time imagining how their homeschool sports league could have blossomed without the support of a homeschool-run school building.

It’s funny; we homeschoolers escaped brick-and-mortar schools in the best interest of our children.  Now, it turns out that brick-and-mortar buildings may be the best bet for homeschooling’s future.

Please consider donating a purely symbolic amount to the Tampa Bay HEAT building fund, here:  http://www.youcaring.com/nonprofits/tampa-bay-heat-mustard-seed-dream-fund/64690  So far my pledge to match up to $500 total of donations from my readers has elicited only one small donation.  Help me out here, guys, could you?  Just put in the comments that you donated as a No One Of Any Import reader, and I’ll match it up to a $500 total.

Crossposted at http://nooneofanyimport.wordpress.com/2013/06/09/homeschooling-in-and-out-of-our-league/

 
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Posted by on June 9, 2013 in Education, freedom

 

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War Games

The kind of mindset (via Drudge) I never want to see from anyone even remotely tied to our nation’s military:

“Imagine Tea Party extremists seizing control of a South Carolina town and the Army being sent in to crush the rebellion. This farcical vision is now part of the discussion in professional military circles.”

Yeah, it’s just a retired Colonel and some no-good civilian “Civil War expert,” but the article was published in what was termed a “respected” military journal.

Also, there was a stir twenty years ago about a military coup article, but at least it contained a disclaimer that the scenario was “purely a literary device intended to dramatize my concern over certain contemporary developments affecting the armed forces, and is emphatically not a prediction.”

No disclaimer this time.

People who like to play expert with respect to things about which they really have no expertise nor understanding whatsoever . . . well.  Hopefully their foolish words are meaningless.

I, for one, know no military members willing to engage in this type of operation.

Cross-posted at No One Of Any Import.

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2012 in freedom, Military, politics, Tea Party, Veterans

 

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When Religious freedom is threatened who do you want to stand with?

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2012 in freedom

 

Memorial Day Thoughts

I know that every one of you readers are patriots who love this nation and understand the sacrifices that help make it great.

Here at the No One house, we remember all the fallen on Memorial Day.  Yet, there is one we remember and miss every day.  I keep personal stuff under wraps most of the time, but Robert was an extraordinary fellow and worth sharing.  We were so blessed to have him in our lives for a time.

The Marine Corps was his true calling; above all else he wanted to serve his country.  A few years before 9/11 (back when we were young and gonna live forever), he introduced both my husband:

Robert giving Mr. No One his first salute

And me to military life:

“Welcome to the Navy, Mrs. No One.”

The military life has been a good one.  I just wish Robert were still part of it.  Semper Fi, buddy.

I hope everyone has a blessed day, and maybe some comfort from sorrow, should you need it.

cross-posted at No One Of Any Import

 
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Posted by on May 28, 2012 in freedom, Honor, Military, USMC, Veterans

 

Obama Shocked that Authoritarian, Top Down Government Doesn’t Work

Well, in North Korea, anyway.

Dear Leader is in South Korea where he visited the DMZ to stare across the border at the squalid country of North Korea.

If a country can’t feed its people effectively, if it can’t make anything of any use to anybody, if it has no exports other than weapons and even those aren’t ones that in any way would be considered state of the art.

“If it can’t deliver on any indicators of well-being… for its people… then you’d think you’d want to try something different,” Obama said in a highly undiplomatic and unusually frank public appearance.

There are certain things that just don’t work and what they are doing doesn’t work.”

From there he went to Seoul, where a free market creates a bustling and vibrant economy.

Everything you need to know about North vs.South Korea

And even with the stark contrasts between the results of freedom vs. government control, the president just doesn’t get it.

North Koreans enjoy income equality, one of the president’s stated goals. I’m sure North Koreans also enjoy equal access to health care.

Most American leftists believe in socialism and feel the only reason that it’s failed every time it has been tried is because it wasn’t administered by the right people. The right masterminds can make it work just fine.

 

Conservative working women reject the welfare state, Democrats painfully befuddled.

Last night on MSNBC, DNC hack Karen Finney was in anguish when informed that in Alabama, 49% of working women voted for Rick Santorum. She then went on to insinuate that these women are just ignorant of the real message. She said, “yes, there’s the economy, but if you’ve got to worry about basic health care, how are you going to be able to do what you need to do as far as having a job, paying your rent, and taking care of your kids.”

What these progressives fail to understand is that conservative men and women believe that a robust economy is the key to enabling them to earn a living and provide food, housing, and health care for themselves and their families.

 
 
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