All this fuss over one buried gas transmission line, a minor addition to the 200,000 miles of such pipelines already transporting natural gas in the United States. The county has electric power lines that are more visually obtrusive and carry more soil erosion risk. We apparently accept those intrusions because we all plug into the wall sockets. The shale gas pipeline, however, will initially carry most of its gas to the cities of coastal Virginia and North Carolina, so it is resented here. Big mistake.
Why is it that government grows in size and scope, and is so difficult to stop or reverse? Political economist, Gordon Tullock, who passed away on November 3, 2014 at the age of 92, was a path-breaker is explaining how and why big government keeps getting bigger.
In the Hunger Games franchise of movies and young-adult novels, political power is concentrated within the Capitol; citizens there revel in pageantry and pomp while their fellow Americans suffer from the dire, impoverishing consequences of the government’s policies. That same sort of sedimentation of power and money into the nation’s capital is happening in the current-day United States.
The American presidency has grown in power almost continuously since the outbreak of World War II. The executive has risen from being simply the chief magistrate of the government to be being a quasi-legislative force, a leader who pushes an aggressive legislative agenda as well as enforcing the laws passed by the legislature. The president is frequently referred to as “the most powerful person in the world,” or “the leader of the free world.” Such appellations represent far more than good PR. They are statements of fact that the president of the United States has drastically more power and authority than any other individual on Earth. For that reason certainly, presidents should be restricted to a single term of office.
In my last post I discussed the apparent inversion of the responsibility of the executive branch of government, namely that it has taken on a far greater role in domestic policy while turning its back in large part on its traditional responsibility for foreign affairs. The result has been an over-mighty presidency at home, a weakened and ineffectual Congress, and a rudderless foreign policy. While I challenged the American public to rise against the tide of executive overreach, I did not thoroughly address what Congress itself can do to challenge the siphoning away of its traditional powers. There is in fact a great deal it can do.
It was long the case that American presidents held less power on domestic issues than the Congress. The executive branch could only enact the laws of the legislature with a limited tendency to veto. The president’s real power lay in setting foreign policy, as he had much more freedom of action in that arena than on the home front wherein the checks and balances of the Constitution were in full force. That traditional balance has been overridden in the current political system. The fault for this breakdown of traditional magisteria of influence lies with both the executive and the legislative branches.
FreedomWorks’ CEO Matt Kibbe’s new book Don’t Hurt People and Don’t Take Their Stuff was the topic of discussion Tuesday at Heartland Institute, and due to flight delays and re-direction the author himself had to reschedule his presentation for Wednesday. However, having read Kibbe’s book Joe Bast, CEO of the Heartland Institute, and Jim Lakely, ably filled in for Kibbe’s absence in a discussion about liberty.
The FCC seems bent on overreaching their legal authority – yet again.
At the NCTA convention, Chairman Wheeler said: “I believe the FCC has the power – and I intend to exercise that power – to preempt state laws that ban competition from community broadband.” And in an FCC blog post, Chairman Wheeler also said this preemption of states on muni-broadband “is an issue that remains high on my agenda, and we will be announcing more on this topic shortly.”
The Federal Communications Commission’s upcoming “incentive” auction of TV airwaves is already at war with itself.
Somehow the FCC imagines it can maximize the revenue necessary to incent TV broadcasters to sell their 600 MHz spectrum by minimizing actual revenue collection via dis-incenting, and even banning some wireless company bids.
Relationships fascinate us. Americans are always picking up the latest issue of their favorite magazine or clicking on that random pop-up website that promises five easy secrets to a satisfying[…]
This article explains the broad implications for the Internet of: America handing over the master key of the Internet to ICANN; and the European Parliament updating privacy law for the first time since 1995 nearly unanimously. As the Internet’s moorings increasingly detach from America, the Internet ship will enter the uncharted waters of Internet realpolitik.
Solar electricity is growing, promoted, and most importantly, heavily subsidized. The promoters of solar electricity claim that it is close to being competitive with conventional sources of electricity. That is a fantasy.
As Americans watch congressional hearings on the Internal Revenue Service, they should ask themselves what this enormously powerful, corrupt, politically motivated agency might do with its new job of administering[…]
Democratic Senators Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., took advantage of last week’s tornados in the Midwest to boost their climate change plans. More “green” energy from wind and solar[…]