Bigger Government Means More Corruption

July 1, 2014

Phineas Fahrquar:

This brings to mind a quote from Tacitus: ” The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the State.”

Originally posted on International Liberty:

I’ve posted more than 3,500 items since I started International Liberty. And if you look at the earliest posts, way back in April of 2009, you’ll find that one of the very first of them made the link between big government and big corruption.

My premise was very simple. When government is very large, with all sorts of power to provide unearned wealth via taxes, spending, and regulation, then you will get more sleaze.

Sort of like the way a full dumpster will attract lots of rats and roaches.

A story in Fortune reports that government corruption at the state level is very costly.

…corruption is everywhere, in one form or another. And it’s costing U.S. citizens big time. A new study from researchers at the University of Hong Kong and Indiana University estimates that corruption on the state level is costing Americans in the 10 most corrupt states…

View original 624 more words


#NSA Quote of the Day: Andrew McCarthy edition

June 10, 2013

Quotes, actually, as there are two from his latest post at NRO’s The Corner blog. Both, I think, reflect the way I’m leaning in the uproar over the NSA’s telephone record and Internet data collection program:

How are Americans supposed to rely on congressional oversight to keep the administration in check if the administration misleads Congress about what it is doing?

Which is a huge part of the problem the administration has defending these programs: having been shown repeatedly to be idiots at best and bald-faced liars at worst in scandal after scandal, how are Congress and the general public supposed to trust them now, even though they might actually be telling the truth about how the data is collected and used?

The fable of the boy who cried wolf endures for a reason, you know.

And then…

If politics were logical, we would say: “It is necessary to have awesome national security powers but they can only be trusted in the hands of honorable officials; since the officials we have cannot be trusted, we need to get new officials.” But politics is not logical: It is a lot easier to slash the powers we need than the officials we don’t. That is where this is headed, and I fear we’ll regret it. 

As I’ve been saying, “baby, bathwater.” This is my fear, too.

PS: McCarthy is a writer you should must have in your news reader. Even if you disagree with him, his arguments are always edifying and thought-provoking.


Quote of the Day: Mark Steyn edition

June 10, 2013

After observing that the US government issues so many security clearances that it couldn’t possibly properly vet them all:

One reason for the citizenry not to entrust its personal information to the government is that the big, bloated, blundering government is stupid enough to entrust it to Edward Snowden, as it was previously stupid enough to entrust it to Bradley Manning (the Wikileaks leaker). It’s only a matter of time before the halfwit leviathan entrusts it to a Major Hasan or a Tamerlan Tsarnaev. 

Quite.

(Do read the rest. Steyn is quotable in almost every paragraph he writes.)


Churchill understood what Progressives want

May 13, 2013
Winston_Churchill_1941_photo_by_Yousuf_Karsh

“Wisdom”

It’s a heckuva busy day today with little time for posting, but I have to share this gem via Steven Hayward at Power Line. It’s an excerpt from a longer quote from Winston Churchill’s closing speech in the 1945 General Election, which the Conservatives sadly lost. Read these two paragraphs, and tell me if you don’t recognize the modern Democratic Party, at least by reflection:

Look how even today they hunger for controls of every kind, as if these were delectable foods instead of wartime inflictions and monstrosities. There is to be one State to which all are to be obedient in every act of their lives. The State is to be the arch-employer, the arch-planner, and arch-administrator and ruler and the arch-caucus-boss. . .

A Socialist State once thoroughly completed in all its details and its aspects—and that is what I am speaking of—could not afford to suffer opposition. . . Socialism is, in its essence, an attack not only upon British enterprise, but upon the right of the ordinary man or woman to breathe freely without having a harsh, clumsy, tyrannical hand clapped across their mouths and nostrils. . . Have we not heard Mr Herbert Morrison descant upon his plans to curtail Parliamentary procedure and pass laws simply by resolution of broad principle in the House of Commons, afterward to be left by Parliament to the executive and to the bureaucrats to elaborate and enforce by departmental regulations?

Churchill was of course criticizing the British Labour Party, which had been founded as an explicitly Socialist, albeit non-Marxist, party, but how well this describes President Obama and the dominant left wing of the Democratic Party! The worship of the administrative state, government by regulation and “boards of experts,” the inescapable, inexorable need to control everything — that bolded portion illustrates the progressive “theory of legislation” perfectly: pass a vaguely-worded bill, and let the unelected bureaucrats fill in the details with the full force of law. I’m surprised Goldberg didn’t quote this in “Liberal Fascism.”

Be sure to read the rest. While Hayward is thinking of Obamacare and the IRS scandal, I think Churchill’s quote reflects the heart of the professional Democratic Party in general.

Back to work…

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Quote of the Day: James Madison on making Congress obey its own laws

March 23, 2013

In regard to the duty to serve in the militia and who might be exempt, James Madison said that members of Congress…

“…ought ever to bear a share of the [burdens] they lay on others in order that their acts may not slide into an abuse of the power vested in them.”

(cited in “The Founders’ Second Amendment,” Kindle edition, location 6281)

While Mr. Madison was talking about militia duty, it seems to me that his recommendation is applicable in many, many instances, and as valid now as it was then.

Wise man, that Jimmy M.


Quote of the Day: “When your own side is asking…” edition

March 8, 2013

From Senator Ron Wyden, during Senator Rand Paul’s filibuster:

Mr. President, what it comes down to is every American has the right to know when their government believes that it is allowed to kill them.

That’s liberal Democrat Ron Wyden (1), from the liberal state of Oregon.

Second term isn’t turning out to be as much fun as you thought it would be, eh, Mr. President?

Footnote:
(1) And good for him, too. Seriously.


Quote of the day: Message to Obama from Cicero

February 13, 2013
"Time for a lesson, Barack."

“Time for a lesson, Barack.”

And I don’t mean Cicero, Illinois, but the great Roman lawyer and orator, Marcus Tullius Cicero (1):

“Whoever governs a country,” Cicero wrote in On Duties,  “must first see that citizens keep what belongs to them and that the state does not take from individuals what is rightfully theirs. . . . Indeed, the chief reason we have a constitution  and government at  all is to protect individual property. Even though nature led people to come together into communities in the first place, they did so with the hope that they could keep what rightfully belonged to them.”

Smart people, those Romans.

via Roger Kimball

Footnote:
(1) And whose prose tormented me in Latin classes. Caesar, Livy, Tacitus, Virgil… no problem! But Cicero? That man broke every rule of grammar you ever learned and made you thank him for it. That’s probably the real reason Marc Antony had him killed.


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