Opinion

Budget-Whiners Are Pernicious Pests

It’s budget-whiner season again and progressive big-government gadflies are swarming around President Trump’s proposed budget cuts like the buzzing blood sucking pests that drive arctic caribou herds and humans to literal madness in the Great White North.

It is pernicious progressive political propaganda that any attempt to downsize the federal government is somehow evidence of President Trump’s putative penchant for fascism. Dystopian author George Orwell said of fascism “It is impossible to define Fascism satisfactorily without making admissions which neither the Fascists themselves, nor the Conservatives, nor Socialists of any colour, are willing to make. All one can do for the moment is to use the word with a certain amount of circumspection and not, as is usually done, degrade it to the level of a swearword.” But shriek fascism as a swearword the pettifogging panderers of political profligacy do at the slightest suggestion that the federal government is too large and costs too much, despite the inherent idiocy and hypocrisy of suggesting that smaller government is somehow fascistic.

Circumspectly, fascism is to political polarity as religion is to theocratic polarity. Religion is how you go about practicing your religious beliefs, not the beliefs themselves. In the same way fascism is how you go about achieving your political goals, not what your political beliefs are. You can be a Buddhist or a Baptist and you’re still practicing religion. Likewise, you can be a Socialist or a Conservative and still be a practicing fascist. Therefore liberal fascism is an actual thing precisely because liberal fascists in the guise of progressivism are all about authoritarian government and oppression of pretty much anybody who doesn’t hew to the leftist party line, as seen in the freedom-suppressing wildings of liberal fascists at UC Berkeley and pretty much anywhere else a conservative or Republican tries to engage in free speech and expression.

The Wilsonian premise of progressive politicians including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton is that we, the People, are simply too stupid to know what’s good for us, therefore the more federal bureaucrats there are to shepherd the sheeple the better, and shearing the sheeple to pay for it is obviously necessary. This progressive presumption fits quite nicely with both Marx’s “useful idiots of Marxism” statement and the general opinion of the Socialist elite that the lumpen proletariat cannot govern themselves, which is why Marxist and Progressive elites usually work hand in hand to create oppressive authoritarian governments that definitely qualify as liberally fascistic.

The progressive purpose of creating an enormous federal bureaucracy that gets its marching orders from the President is to unconstitutionally transfer power and control to the Executive branch to marginalize Congress in order to turn it into a mere debating society that has no power of its own. This unchecked “administrative state” is the ultimate goal of progressivism as espoused by its creator Woodrow Wilson back in 1912 and exemplified by former President Obama when he said “We’re not just going to be waiting for legislation…I’ve got a pen…and I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions that move the ball forward…”

Progressives have been moving the ball towards this goal for more than a hundred years and the election of President Trump is viewed by them as the gravest threat progressivism has ever faced: the wholesale dismantling of the administrative state and the salvation of the Separation of Powers doctrine that once again makes all three branches of government equal in authority and equal in power, particularly when it comes to checking and balancing overreaches by the other branches. Thus the hysterical response to President Trump’s budget recommendations and the political panic at the prospect of a Republican-controlled Congress and White House going nuclear on progressivism.

When it comes to budget cuts it’s important to remember that the federal government creates nothing but expenses to taxpayers. Every dollar that the federal government grants to some program or other must be first forcibly extracted from the pockets of the people. These filched funds flows to the government, where at least 15 percent is skimmed off the top to fund the bloated bureaucracy. According to an article in the Washington Post, the government spent $200 billion in discretionary funds on federal employee compensation alone in 2011.

Once the bureaucrats have been paid more is skimmed off to pay for their office buildings, desks, computers, paperclips and for air-conditioning their offices (which if eliminated by executive order would go a long way towards downsizing the bureaucracy all by itself through voluntary attrition from the actual swamp that is DC in the summer).

Only after all the costs of creating and supporting the entire federal bureaucracy are paid is any money left over to “grant” to federally-funded social programs like National Public Radio or Planned Parenthood. But remember where all that money comes from in the first place: taxpayers. So these programs are simply a matter of robbing Peter to pay Paul with a middleman skimming 15 percent off the top. Therefore, any grant the federal government can make can be made by a state with at least a 15 percent increase in available funds.

It is an economic truth that bureaucrats are always looking for something to do in order to justify their existence. The rule for academic researchers and government bureaucrats is “publish or perish.” Nowhere is this more clearly demonstrated than at the EPA, which under President Obama was the king of pointless and costly over-regulation. According to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce between 2009 and June, 2016 the EPA issued about 3,900 new final rules comprising more than 33,000 pages in the Federal Register that will cost the economy hundreds of billions of dollars.

The Obama administration stuffed the EPA with platoons of progressive civil-service bureaucrats, who like many pests are incredibly hard to get rid of, precisely in order to publish as many new regulations as possible, whether or not the regulations were actually necessary and regardless of the economic harm they might cause, simply in order to increase the size and power of the administrative state to levels unprecedented in human history.

But along comes President Trump, who was elected in large part based on his promise to downsize the government, and when he proposes to do so more dramatically than any president since Ronald Reagan or perhaps Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge, the pestilential progressive politicos swarm and subsume all rational discussion in a sea of shrieks about their oxen being gored.

This is not unexpected, but just as one deals with mosquitoes in Alaska by dispensing DEET and then getting on with life we must apply the anodynes against progressive pestilence, which include reason, determination and fiscal responsibility and get on with applying a healthy dose of political DDT to the bloated bureaucracy in DC.

The best way to do that is to deconstruct the EPA administrative state entirely by abolishing the agency and return both the authority and the money to the individual states, all of which have their own environmental protection agencies that are perfectly capable of dealing with environmental issues all by themselves, particularly if the state doesn’t have to fork over billions of dollars to the feds every year to run the duplicative and entirely unnecessary EPA. Where environmental issues cross state lines nothing prevents states from either cooperating with one another in making interstate agreements or, if necessary, suing one another in federal court to deal with such problems.

Government that governs from a position as close to those governed as possible is best. That is a fundamental precept of our union of sovereign states and the Founder’s concept of federalism demands that the federal government butt out of state and local matters. How Colorado deals with a pollution-generating gold mine is not the business of people in New Jersey, and how New Jersey deals with pollution in their rivers is not the business of Coloradoans. And in neither case is federal government meddling either needed or wanted, so we need is to ignore the pests buzzing about and do what needs to be done.