Chris Edwards

Government: The Bigger, the Leakier

One of the many problems with Big Government is that it abuses our privacy. The potential for abuse has been greatly heightened in the information age. The problem is not just that government officials themselves can abuse the vast troves of data that they collect, but that thieves, hackers, organized crime, and other private actors can gain access as well.

The Sugar Program is Central Planning

House and Senate negotiators are working out details of a big farm bill that may pass this year. No industry in America is as coddled as farming, and no industry is as centrally planned from Washington. The federal sugar program is perhaps the most Soviet of all. Here’s a sketch of the sugar program, which the supposedly conservative, tea party-dominated lower chamber may soon ratify:

The Sickness of Government

People shouldn’t be surprised about the botched roll-out of Obamacare and all the damaging effects of the law that are now generating headlines. Over the decades, federal efforts to subsidize and manipulate the economy have failed over and over again.

Federal Overtime Pay Abuses

Thank goodness for whistleblowers in the government, whether regarding intelligence activities or the mundane bureaucratic waste that occurs in every department. Congress does a generally pathetic job of oversight and presidential administrations are rarely transparent—despite their promises. So the citizens who pay for our $3.6-trillion government rely on federal workers who witness illegal and unethical activities to come forward and inform the press.

Back to Spending as Usual?

The real loss for fiscal conservatives this week was not that Obamacare wasn’t defunded or that there were no entitlement cuts in the deal that reopened the government…Instead, the bigger concern is that the Republicans caved in on renegotiating the discretionary spending levels set by the 2011 Budget Control Act and sequester.

Clean Coal Subsidies

The federal government has been subsidizing so-called clean coal for decades, and the hand-outs have resulted in one bipartisan boondoggle after another.

Crumbling Bridges

A Wall Street Journal story today begins “America’s road to recovery may face a costly detour due to a fraying transportation network. One in nine of the country’s 607,380 bridges are structurally deficient …”

Budget Battles Highlight Importance of Federalism

Despite the fears expressed in news stories, federal worker furloughs do not seem to have caused major economic disruptions. While the National Parks were closed, most government workers that provide useful services to citizens are at the state and local level, not the federal level.

Thatcher Provides Insight on GOP Battles

Former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher’s autobiography indicates that the internal struggles in her Conservative Party in the 1980s were as intense as today’s struggles within the Republican Party.

Tea Party Republicans Resist D.C. Hazing

You may remember the scene in Animal House where Kevin Bacon plays a fraternity pledge being hazed. Down on all fours getting paddled, Bacon says, “Thank you sir, may I have another?”

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