Militarized bureaucracies

We blogged about whether police are too militarized.  But, as Mark Hemingway shows, in what his wife Mollie calls the new administrative state, our federal bureaucracies–including those that have nothing to do with law enforcement–are also militarized.  He shows that the Department of Health & Human Services, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Education, the Department of Agriculture, and even the Peace Corps and the Railroad Retirement Board–among many others– have their own armed criminal investigators and in many cases their own SWAT teams.  And they use them. [Read more...]

The administrative state

Mollie Hemingway at the Federalist just rips to shreds the Obamacare contraceptive mandate.  In the course of doing so, she points to an overarching problem:  The establishment of the administrative state, in which Constitutional government is replaced by administrative agencies, which have the power to make laws, enforce them, and judge and punish those who do not comply.  That is to say, we now have bureaucracies that have legislative, executive, and judicial power. [Read more...]

Why corporations move

We blogged about “inversions,” when a corporation moves its official headquarters to another country.  George Will offers an explanation from the corporation’s point of view, going on to criticize liberals for waxing indignant over the consequences of policies they themselves promoted. [Read more...]

Would you trade the income tax for a value added tax?

A former Treasury official in the George H. W.  Bush administration has put forward a new tax reform proposal.  It would eliminate the income tax for households that earn less than $100,000, cutting the rates for those above that threshold to 16% or 25.5%.  Instead, everyone would pay a Value Added Tax (basically a national sales tax) of 12.9%.  Charles Lane explains the proposal after the jump.

What would you think of this? [Read more...]

Thoughts on Ferguson shooting

We’ve blogged about the militarization of the police (here and here), but what about the shooting of Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri?  Some say the 18-year-old was just minding his own business walking down the street when the police officer killed him in cold blood.  Police have put out a more complicated  story.  But let’s assume the police story is true. . . . [Read more...]

The problem with cops in camo

Why would police officers, as in those in Ferguson, Missouri, wear green camoflage jungle fatigues?  If it’s necessary to hide from urban bad guys, they should wear black, grey, and dirty white camoflage so as to blend in with asphalt, concrete, and dilapidated houses.  (Like this.)  The answer, of course, is that since most of our military’s fighting these days requires desert camoflage,  our government unloaded the jungle pattern for police departments and whoever else wants them.  So now the police are purposefully dressing up to look like soldiers.  This signifies a confusion of vocation. [Read more...]


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