The Progressive Dream: the EPA Helps Itself to Our Wealth

The EPA has arrogated to itself the privilege of legally stealing even more money from us: it has decreed that it will “garnish non-Federal wages to collect delinquent non-tax debts owed the United States without first obtaining a court order,” according to its notice in the Federal Register.

The Register, said notice, the EPA and the entire bureaucratic regime are legacies from Progressives of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These statists, like their modern descendants, openly despised the Constitution and created bureaucracies precisely to circumvent that document. By combining Leviathan’s three functions  — legislative, judicial, and executive — in one agency, they pledged to “fix” the deliberately slow and creaky administration the Constitution prescribed. The “efficient” State you see at all levels in the USSA today — local, state, and federal governments that excel at theft, murder, corruption, deceit, surveillance, and predation — is the Progressive dream realized.

Meanwhile, “the conservative [sic for ‘neocon’] Heritage Foundation faulted the [EPA’s] rule for giving the government ‘unbridled discretion’ in controlling the process for challenging fines and wage garnishment, such as dictating the site of a hearing without consideration of the time and travel expense placed on the accused debtor. The rule allows the EPA to decide whether a debtor gets a chance to present a defense and then picks whomever it chooses to serve as a hearing officer, even someone not trained as an administrative law judge, wrote David S. Addington, group vice president for research at The Heritage Foundation.” This is either disingenuous or ignorant on Heritage’s part: bureaucracies have always abused the serfs in this fashion, ever since the Administrative Procedures Act authorized them to do so in the 1940’s. Agencies write the laws (though they call them “regulations”), decide who’s violated them, try their victim at an in-house, kangaroo court, and fine the poor cuss. Only after he’s jumped through all the agency’s hoops may he appeal to a real, Constitutional court — and mighty few subjects have pockets deep enough to support such a quixotic quest.

Hard as we fight politicians, we must remember that in many ways, bureaucrats are even more lethal to liberty. We will never live free until we abolish every last nest of these stinking despots.

(Thanks to Monnie Matthews for alerting me to this story.)


12:18 pm on July 10, 2014