The Enemy Within­–and It’s Not Donald Trump

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Feb 11, 2016 1:07 PM
The Enemy Within­–and It’s Not Donald Trump

Despite calls from people who claim they will flee the county if Donald Trump is elected president, this new book is sort of a timeout from the partisan noise. As some already know, especially the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party, both sides are up to their necks concerning the expansion of government power. In short, Democrats federal expansion when it comes to social services and the welfare state; Republicans act in a similar manner when it comes to national security policy and the Pentagon. Both areas are fraught with danger concerning trampling American civil liberties and constitutional rights, not to mention setting our wallets aflame in wasted tax dollars or increasing debt. Yet, the most damage isn't necessarily concentrated in the Capitol building, though that's where the life blood comes from, but the various administrative arms that dot Washington.

The gross unchecked power of Washington’s bureaucracy is exactly what John Yoo and Dean Reuter want to illustrate in the book Liberty’s Nemesis.

If there has been a unifying theme of Barack Obama’s presidency, it is the inexorable growth of the administrative state. This expansion has followed a pattern:

  • First, expand federal powers beyond their constitutional limits.
  • Second, delegate those powers to agencies and away from the elected politicians in Congress.
  • Third, insulate civil servants from politics and accountability. Since its introduction in American life by Woodrow Wilson in the 20th Century, the administrative state's has steadily undermined democratic self-government, reduced the sphere of individual liberty, and burdened the free market and economic grown

[…]

Many Americans have rightly shared the Founders’ fear of excessive lawmaking, but Liberty’s Nemesis is the first book to explain why the concentration of power in administrative agencies in particular is the greatest – and most overlooked – threat to our liberties today.

Besides the overreach, and the potential for wasted money, comes the impact on the U.S. economy. One of the best examples of this is the proposed Clean Power Plan (CPP) that’s being pushed by the Obama administration. Overseen by the Environmental Protection Agency, CPP aims to reduce carbon emissions by at least 30 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels. It will grossly impact fixed-income seniors, potentially gut millions of jobs from black and Hispanic communities, and has coal-producing states scratching their heads, as the new regulations would devastate their local economies. It’s part of another area of Washington overreach–Obama’s war on coal–which if successful, would kill over 125,000 jobs, along with a net loss of $650 billion in GDP over the next decade. The EPA’s mission in this regard has been called “constitutionally reckless.” Blueprints from states to accommodate the new regulations are due this September.

Luckily, the Supreme Court issued a stay on a key provision, the carbon regulations on power plants, on Monday. Even with this check on the Obama administration’s overreach on environmental policy–it shouldn’t have reached this point to begin with; and it’s still dubious as to whether the Court will strike this plan down as unconstitutional.