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Veronique de Rugy: Taming the Tyranny of the Agency

These members of the ‘government within the government,’ as The New York Times‘ John Tierney describes them, produce one freedom-restricting, economy-hindering rule after another without much oversight.

Veronique de Rugy writes: The tyranny of the administrative state is real and hard to tame. Americans would be horrified if they knew how much power thousands of unelected bureaucrats employed by federal agencies wield. These members of the “government within the government,” as The New York Times‘ John Tierney describes them, produce one freedom-restricting, economy-hindering rule after another without much oversight. These rules take many forms, and few even realize they’re in the making — until, that is, they hit you square in the face.

Take the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s rule that effectively banned car dealers from giving auto loan discounts to customers on the claim that they might lead to racial discrimination (a dubious conclusion reached using flawed statistical models). Dodd-Frank, the legislation that created the CFPB, prohibited it from regulating auto dealers — so the CFPB quietly put out a “guidance” document to circumvent due process and congressional oversight.

[Read the full story here, at Creators Syndicate]

Thankfully, this time around, someone noticed. In recent weeks, the Senate passed a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act — a streamlined procedure for Congress to repeal regulations issued by various federal government agencies. The House is expected to follow suit soon and send the bill to the president’s desk, if it hasn’t already by the time you read this. Read the rest of this entry »

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Immigration: Good for the U.S. Economy

immigration-reason


[VIDEO] Oh Yes He Did: Obamacare’s Architect Agreed That Only State Exchanges Could Offer Subsidies

gruber-halbig“What’s important to remember politically about this is if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credit.”

Jonathan Gruber, on the record explaining that Obamacare subsidies are limited to state exchanges

NRO‘s Veronique de Rugy has the best summary of this breaking story, from last night. Follow the links to see more from the sources, and here to see the full text of this one at The Corner. Reason’s Peter Suderman published an interesting revelation about the history of the decision reached this week by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, that Obamacare subsidies couldn’t be distributed unless it happened through a state exchange.

Is there video? Oh yeah, there’s video:

[See Peter Suderman’s revelation at Reason]clip_image002_0073

[See Dueling Rulings Hasten Obamacare’s Almost Certain Path Back to the Supreme Court]

[Also see Ed Morrissey’s comments at Hot Air]

It turns out that one of the key minds behind Obamacare, MIT professor Jonathan Gruber, entirely agreed with Michael Cannon and Jonathan Adler, the scholars behind the legal theory that backed up the Halbig plaintiffs who triumphed this week.  He’s on the record explaining that Obamacare subsidies are limited to state exchanges.

UPDATE: Wait, there’s more video? Yes, there’s more video. The White House takes a flailing spin:

Back to Veronique de Rugy‘s Corner item, quoting from Reason‘s Suderman bombshell Suderman writes:

Jonathan Gruber, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist who helped design the Massachusetts health law that was the model for Obamacare, was a key influence on the creation of the law. He was widely quoted in the media. During the crafting of the law, the Obama administration brought him on for his expertise. He was paid almost $400,000 to consult with the administration on the law. And he has claimed to have written part of the legislation, the section dealing with small business tax credits. Read the rest of this entry »


Washington Post: ‘big government is mostly unchanged’

Matt Welch

Your periodic reminder that the unbearable largeness of government is ongoing and eternal, despite a half-dozen recent showdowns over federal spending, comes from Sunday’s Washington Post. Excerpt:

After 2 1/2 years of budget battles, this is what the federal government looks like now:

It is on pace, this year, to spend $3.455 trillion.

That figure is down from 2010 — the year that worries about government spending helped bring on a tea party uprising, a Republican takeover in the House and then a series of ulcer-causing showdowns in Congress.

But it is not down by that much. Back then, the government spent a whopping $3.457 trillion.

Measured another way — not in dollars, but in people — the government has about 4.1 million employees today, military and civilian. That’s more than the populations of 24 states.

Back in 2010, it had 4.3 million employees. More than the populations of 24 states.

These numbers underline a point not made often enough: The stimulus was supposed to be a surge, a temporary increase to be pulled back after the crisis was averted. Instead, predictably, it just created a new baseline level of government spending.

Whole thing here. Link via the Twitter feed of the Post’s Dan Froomkin, who comments: “I’m still appalled by this poorly argued anti-government diatribe masquerading as a front-page WaPo story on Sunday.”

Serious about balancing the budget without raising taxes? Then read this Reason classic from Nick Gillespie and Veronique de Rugy: “The 19 Percent Solution.”

via  Hit & Run : Reason.com