Bureaucracy Is Expensive

View as PDF

By: Val W. Zimnicki

Bureaucracy is the main poison in our republic.  It is self-perpetuating, freedom-robbing and very expensive. As George Washington put it; “Government….is force….it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” America’s forefathers therefore created a Constitution that does not give authority to deal with the many costly administrative services we have become accustomed to.  Some of these federal programs include the Department of Energy, Department of Commerce, Department of Transportation, Department of Education, and many more.

Let’s take the Department of Education as an example. This year’s budget is $7 billion. Of course, we did not have a education department until president Carter created one to appease the teachers unions. Have education problems been solved because of this unnecessary monstrous creation? No, and indeed many new artificial and costly difficulties have been created.

Simply put, students are dumber than ever. Of course, the good news for administrators is that thousands have unessential and redundant jobs. These government officials typically want their agendas to grow in scope. More employees mean bigger budgets, which means more importance. These bureaucrats are not subject to profit-and-loss accountability and they frequently prove it. After all, money can always be raised by taxing the good citizens of the U.S.  When a program fails, as most do, the cry of being underfunded is raised. Raising taxes to pay for failures is standard operating procedure. That’s the bureaucratic way.

Problems caused by expensive government cannot be solved by growing more government. Yet, federal and state governments continue to raise taxes to pay for their failures. The Department of Education is just one of thousands of costly misadventures that stifle economic growth and keep the static government employees occupied with ‘busy work.’

FEDERAL JUDGE STRIKES DOWN ARPA’S TAX MANDATE

View as PDF

Federal Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove gave Kentucky and Tennessee an important legal victory when he ruled that the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)’s restrictions on state fiscal autonomy were unconstitutional and enjoined (blocked) the enforcement of those provisions against both states, according to the nonpartisan Washington-based Tax Foundation. The judge held that the ARPA provision, which limited states’ authority to cut taxes if they accepted their share of the $195.3 billion in state Fiscal Recovery Funds provided under the bill, was unduly coercive and therefore unconstitutional.

“In issuing a permanent injunction against the mandate, Judge Van Tatenhove focused exclusively on the coercion argument,” writes the foundation’s Jared Walczak  “The ruling acknowledges that the states ‘may very well be correct’ about the other three grounds but refrained from anticipating additional questions of constitutional law when, in the court’s opinion, answering only one would suffice.”

The judge noted that the federal government can offer conditioned funds to states, but this power comes with limits. The government can prohibit the direct use of ARPA funds to facilitate tax cuts if it so chooses, but difficulties arise when Congress goes beyond conditioning the direct use of the funds to putting broad limits on “indirect” use which implicates a wide range of state fiscal choices.

Kentucky and Tennessee cases show, that “refusing to accede to the conditions set out in the [law] is not a realistic option.”

The power to tax is central to state governmental authority, a principle that has been affirmed by the Supreme Court going all the way back to Gibbons v. Ogden (1824). However, Congress’s restriction of this crucial aspect of our system of fiscal federalism exceeded the powers afforded the federal government by the U.S. Constitution.

The foundation states that the law’s provision is simultaneously coercive and ambiguous, and are the most likely grounds for rulings against the Tax Mandate.

“The Kentucky and Tennessee case, like the Ohio one before it, only affects the states named as plaintiffs. In his opinion, the judge notes that the coercive elements are universally present, but he nonetheless restricts the scope of the injunction to the plaintiff states, declining to issue a nationwide injunction.”

The foundation concludes, “The process is far from over, but Friday’s ruling is a major development.”

“This is as important ruling and precedent,” said Jim Tobin, president of Taxpayers United of America. “The ruling cuts down the outrageous condition that prevented states from cutting taxes if they accepted Fiscal Recovery Funds.”

Source: https://taxfoundation.org/american-rescue-plan-tax-cuts-federal-judge/

Red Light Camera Tax To Be Reigned In

Red Light Camera

A bi-partisan bill recently passed the Illinois House of Representatives that would ban red light cameras in non-Home Rule municipalities. The bill passed 84-4 on Wednesday and will now move to the Illinois Senate.

“Banning unreliable red-light cameras in non-Home Rule municipalities is a win for taxpayers, but Springfield can do better,” said Matthew Schultz, Executive Director of Taxpayers United of America (TUA). “The primary function of red-light cameras is to steal money from taxpayers with an indirect tax. If the bill becomes law, bureaucrats in non-Home Rule municipalities will be barred from imposing this tax.

“In fact,” added Schultz, “This provides a stronger reason for taxpayers to reject Home Rule in the March 17 election.”

“As TUA founder and President Jim Tobin has always said, Home Rule means home ruin. With Home Rule, local bureaucrats can run wild with tax increases.  Home Rule means bureaucrats are no longer  limited on how high property taxes can be increased; it robs taxpayers of the right to directly vote on tax increases; it puts a municipality on the path of creating a municipal income tax, and may be the only way a local government can introduce red light cameras.”

“Taxpayers need to reject Home Rule referenda and the upcoming state income tax increase in the election on November 3. Local and state governments need to learn to live within their means like taxpayers. The only way for taxpayers to get that message across is to defeat these huge tax increase measures whenever they are on the ballot.”