Ginni Thomas

Scholar: America’s Government Is ‘Irreparably Broken’

Calling our American experiment in limited government “irreparably broken,” Charles Murray, a libertarian scholar, says, “we can’t roll back the power of government through the normal political process.”

“If you think about how a kleptocracy operates in a third world country, and then you look at how Washington works now, operationally speaking, there’s very little distinction.”

Our government’s unelected bureaucrats can, by picking winners and losers, bring most any business down and destroy lives, Murray documents in his new book, “By the People.”

Murray, a provocative and prolific scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, makes the case in this book that there’s a proven inability to stop the expansion of the federal government. Murray blames both political parties for the corruption, but has even more harsh words for the tendencies of the U.S. Supreme Court since the New Deal.

Congress isn’t restraining an aggressive, lawless Obama administration because “they have to raise vast sums of money for their campaigns.” Citizens don’t get access to Congress unless you fork over contributions, he says. Secondly, Murray sees Congress as serving their donors by collaborating with bureaucracies for the politically-connected interests, making them co-conspirators instead of opponents. Thirdly, referencing how former House Speaker Dennis Hastert could afford to pay $3.5 million in bribes, Murray says that office-holders and staffers leave Congress to lobby and “cash out,” so they cannot burn bridges by being adversarial.

Commenting on the progressive elites’ victory in creating a massive, unaccountable, unstoppable regulatory state over the last few decades, Murray said progressives believe “the Constitution is antiquated. It’s a road block” to their ideological goals. He says progressives believe “what we need are experts who could solve these objective problems.”

He says that by the mid-1930s, the majority of the Supreme Court began to agree. Murray says we can’t go back to limited government and greater liberties “without saying that 90% of what the federal government does is unconstitutional.” Now, we “are locked into a Wilsonian state” that is “out of reach by democracy.”

The first half of this 22 minute video interview details the growth of government. The second half of the book is on his solutions of civil disobedience, legal defense funds and occupational legal funds. Murray wants to, for the first time, “make government an insurable hazard.” He has also offered a cartoon guide, available here, to promote the understanding and use of his book for civil disobedience.

Murray has a canny knack for edgy scholarship that places missed opportunities right in front of citizens and our leaders. He did it with “Losing Ground,” “The Bell Curve” and “Coming Apart.” Now, many are quietly discussing whether Murray is on to a good idea against the burgeoning administrative state. Murray’s controversial solution is so revolutionary that he even took steps to prepare for the IRS penalizing him for his views with an audit in the future.

For more on these ideas, follow Murray on Twitter.

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