Tuesday, June 25, 2013

IRS-style abuses endemic to expansive government


Last month, Robb analyzed the IRS/AP interventions by the federal government to argue:

He believes in entrusting such a government with enormous and wide-reaching discretionary authority. The he here is President Obama and Robb goes on to make the claim that "conservatives" are more apt to experience the cost of centralized and expansive state participation.

Robb is only half correct, think to Nixon as representative of the right (or Bush) in expanding government into what were once areas of personal liberty. Think of J. Edgar Hoover as representative of the apolitical and amoral (serving under both right and left) bureaucrats who post as great a threat to our liberties as right or left politicians.

In the following you can substitute Nixon, Wilson, Lincoln, or either Roosevelt for Obama - they are playing on the perceived trade off between security and liberty.

"In the Road to Serfdom, F.A. Hayek illuminated a different view of good government, one bound by what Hayek called the rule of law. According to Hayek, the essence of the rule of law is that “government in all its actions is bound by rules fixed and announced beforehand.” He quoted favorably A.V. Dicey that the rule of law “excludes the existence of arbitrariness, of prerogative, or even of wide discretionary authority on the part of government.”

A government of arbitrary powers distorts and diminishes productive enterprise. The people who live under such a government are less free.

Earlier in the month, Obama delivered one of his periodic odes to government in a commencement address to Ohio State University. Shortly after saying he wasn’t going to get partisan, Obama told the graduates to ignore those who “warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner.”

Well, tyranny may not be lurking just around the corner. But with a government of enormous and wide-reaching discretionary authority, you don’t have to turn the corner to run into arbitrary, abusive and prejudicial exercises of that power."

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