I received my renewal notice for my car’s registration a few weeks back. But new for this year was an order to run my vehicle through a smog check certification before being able to renew its registration.
My car is not an old car. In fact, I have under 35,000 miles on it. There’s no reason to suspect that this modern car made with modern emission considerations would now start spewing more ‘smog’ in the air than last year.
Still, government has the monopoly on legal unprovoked force and so off to the smog check we went, or actually my wife went on my behalf. Not surprisingly, my car passed inspection. Also not surprisingly, they still managed to find something to extort me with (in addition to the fees, of course): a supposed slight leak from my visibly perfect gas cap. I know this is bullshit. The smog inspectors know this is bullshit. My wife is told she has no choice and pays for the new gas cap. The government-sponsored extortion scam works perfectly.
Meanwhile, my new gas cap does not hang to the side when removed like my old one did which means I risk gasoline on my hands and scratches on my car every time I remove it. So once a week, when I pump fuel into my car, the inconvenience of my new gas cap with nowhere to go will be a little reminder of how the government forever finds big and small ways to bend us over.
If the history of slavery ought to teach us anything, it is that human beings cannot be trusted with unbridled power over other human beings - no matter what color or creed any of them are. The history of ancient despotism and modern totalitarianism practically shouts that same message from the blood-stained pages of history.
“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that justifies it.”—Frederic Bastiat
Government cloaks itself in magnificent titles, marble buildings, and majestic ceremonies. Behind this glorious façade, though, is a fusillade of brutal and deadly force, ready to be violently unleashed against anyone who disobeys the commands of ruling politicians.
There has been much speculation that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released its charges against Goldman Sachs on the eve of a Senate vote on new finance regulation in order to help Democrats win that vote. Perhaps that theory is wrong: It now looks more likely that the SEC timed its Goldman case in order to divert attention away from two SEC inspector general reports criticizing the commission.
The president’s complicity in the housing collapse hasn’t stopped him from pinning the blame on Republicans, “special interests,” and Wall Street “fat cats.” As he does with other problems, the president blames everyone except himself and his party.
If by “capitalist” you mean someone who cares more about his own profit than yours; if you mean someone who cares more about providing for his family than providing for yours; if you mean someone who trusts that he is a better caretaker of his own interests and desires than a bureaucrat he’s never met, often in a city he’s never been to: then we are all capitalists. [C]apitalism isn’t some far-off theory about the allocation of capital; it is a commonsense description of what motivates pretty much all human beings everywhere.
So chanted thousands of bused-in ACFSME union “grassroots” agitators to Illinois state congressmen, urging them to “raise [our] taxes!” so that their salaries and benefits wouldn’t be cut. But that sort of indicates right there that their taxes aren’t really being raised, doesn’t it? Their employer is the government. If the government raises their taxes a bit but continues hiking their salaries, they are net-ahead as far as the government. They’re paid out of taxes, of course. They are in the unique position of actually seeing their net income go up whenever taxes are raised.
Californians are sick of watching their leaders kick the state’s fiscal problems into the future. They are also tired of sterile debates about how much to spend on X vs. Y, with no attention to the results these expenditures produce or the long-term liabilities they create for the state.
If the Dodd bill were to eliminate future financial crises and related bailouts, perhaps its high cost would be worth paying. But it instead ignores the causes of the crisis, in favor of an agenda that rewards the very regulators that failed us the last time. It’s a win for special interests, and a loss for job creation.
[J]ust as drug companies and insurers used Republicans to kill the public option before using Democrats to mandate insurance and subsidize drugs, big banks are using Republicans to kill a bank tax while using Democrats to erect barriers to entry, to institutionalize bailouts, and to restore confidence in Wall Street.
Banks, as with all big-money lobbies, are working both sides. Per usual, big government and big business cronies win, taxpayers lose.
The problem is looking at the lobbies as the bad guys when only government has the monopoly on force. The solution is having so little government as to almost confuse it with no government at all.
I’m sorry to burst the eco-misanthropes’ bubble, but it wasn’t so much an awesome natural force that brought Europe’s skies to a standstill, as it was political cowardice—which is something we can predict, control, master, and change.
How public employees became members of the elite class in a declining California offers a cautionary tale to the rest of the country, where the same process is happening in slower motion. The story starts half a century ago, when California public workers won bargaining rights and quickly learned how to elect their own bosses—that is, sympathetic politicians who would grant them outsize pay and benefits in exchange f or their support. Over time, the unions have turned the state’s politics completely in their favor. The result: unaffordable benefits for civil servants; fiscal chaos in Sacramento and in cities and towns across the state; and angry taxpayers finally confronting the unionized masters of California’s unsustainable government.
First, the bill contains a $50 billion fund for resolution of systemically risky institutions. The bill allows a 2/3 vote of the Financial Stability Oversight Council to deem any firm (financial or non-financial) as coming under its rubric and then authorizes the FDIC and Treasury Secretary to treat each of the firm’s shareholders and creditors as they choose, without regard to bankruptcy law. Second, the bill gives the Treasury and the FDIC authority to grant an unlimited number of loan guarantees to systemically risky institutions. No Congressional authorization or appropriation is required. Third, the bill gives the Fed the authority to fund any “program” to assist these institutions accepting as collateral anything it deems appropriate.
So when the President says there will be no more bailouts, he must mean that Congress won’t have to pass and the president won’t have to sign the icky, unpopular bills. Because they’ll have delegated permanent bailout authority to a couple Executive Branch agencies.
A closer look at [Justice] Stevens’ record shows that he has been anything but consistent in his opposition to government excesses and that in some ways he has become less inclined to protect constitutional rights.
[G]inning up anger about corporations is always a useful distraction, because what Leahy is really asking is this: Do you share our concern that the Constitution, too often interpreted as written, is holding back an empathetic and enlightened progressive agenda?
This is insane. How dare a government that supposedly serves the people impose on us this way? Politicians who pass these tax laws aren’t our representatives. They’re our rulers! They increase the tax burden and its complexity, and then demand we pay them homage to get exemptions for little pieces of our lives.