Tagged Government

My Policy on Vaccines and Vaccinations

I’ll have something to say about individual politicians and their stances on vaccines and vaccination policy later. For now, here is where I stand: 1. Vaccinations should be mandatory. 2. Any religious objections to vaccinations should be found to fail even when strict scrutiny is applied as the standard of review. The state certainly can show that vaccinations are necessary to further a compelling state interest (maintaining herd immunity), and that there are no less restrictive means to achieving that interest. This is a no-brainer. 3. State legislatures should pass legislation, if necessary, to establish liability for parents who fail to…

Please Stop with the F***ing Complaints about the President’s Passion for Golf

Every single time at something bad happens, you can count on critics of President Obama to complain that he is playing golf instead of attending to the crisis of the moment (which may not even require crisis attention at the presidential level). The latest round of golf-inspired outrage has emerged in the aftermath of the awful shooting of two police officers in New York. More people than I can count haven taken to social media in the aftermath of the shooting to complain that once the president condemned the shooting, he went back to his vacation schedule, and specifically, that…

Your Government at Work (Social Security Outrages Continue)

Remember this? Sure you do. Guess what? It’s still happening: The Social Security Administration, which announced in April that it would stop trying to collect debts from the children of people who were allegedly overpaid benefits decades ago, has continued to demand such payments and now defends that practice in court documents. After The Washington Post reported in April that the Treasury Department had confiscated $75 million in tax refunds due to about 400,000 Americans whose ancestors owed money to Social Security, the agency’s acting commissioner, Carolyn Colvin, said efforts to collect on those old debts would cease immediately. But although some people whose…

When Busybodies Attack

Apparently, you can’t be a little Floridian kid with a lemonade stand without some “grownup” reporting you to state government officials. You’d think that people would have better things to do than to hassle children, but alas, that just doesn’t seem to be the case. The good news is that “[s]heriff’s deputies have declined” to shut down the offending lemonade stand in question. The bad news is that in doing so, Florida state law enforcement officials have proven themselves to be the exception, and not the rule.

Quote of the Day

Environmental Protection Agency workers have done some odd things recently. Contractors built secret man caves in an EPA warehouse, an employee pretended to work for the CIA to get unlimited vacations and one worker even spent most of his time on the clock looking at pornography. It appears, however, that a regional office has reached a new low: Management for Region 8 in Denver, Colo., wrote an email earlier this year to all staff in the area pleading with them to stop inappropriate bathroom behavior, including defecating in the hallway. In the email, obtained by Government Executive, Deputy Regional Administrator Howard Cantor mentioned “several incidents” in…

Virginia Is for Cartels

Do you want there to be competition and diversity in limousine/ride-sharing/taxicab services? Do you live in Virginia? If the answer to both questions is “yes,” then it sucks to be you. Of course, it shouldn’t suck to be you, but this is what happens when government is too large and too powerful, and when it uses its power to cater to the interests of cartels at the expense of consumers. Key passage: Rather than hinder the growth of innovative livery companies that are taking advantage of new technology, lawmakers in Virginia and elsewhere across the country should consider repealing current…

Let’s All Please Stop Allying with Crazy People

I am going to give the microphone to Jonathan Tobin so that he can preach some righteous truth at all of us: You may have noticed that among the many and varied topics touched upon by COMMENTARY writers in recent weeks, none of us chose to weigh in on the Bundy Ranch controversy that attracted so much notice on cable news, talk radio, and the blogosphere. The reason was that none of us considered the standoff between a Nevada tax scofflaw and the federal government over grazing rights fees to rise to the level of an issue of national interest.…

Uber and UberX Help People Get Jobs

Here is the story. And here is the part where I ask (again) why it is that so many protectionists are willing to try to sabotage Uber and UberX, and by extension, sabotage the lives of those who depend on Uber and UberX to put food on the table and a roof over their heads and the heads of their loved ones.

Outrage of the Day

You have to be kidding: With all the restrictions on selling and marketing food, it’s easy to forget that even sharing food is sometimes still a crime. Despite my own stated optimism last year, it appears that bans on sharing food with the homeless and less fortunate won’t be going away any time soon. Last week, Scott Keyes, a senior reporter with the progressive news site ThinkProgress, reported on the idiotic outcome of one of the latest of such bans. In that case, the city of Birmingham, Ala. has barred a local pastor from sharing food with the homeless from…

Your Government at Work (Social Security Outrages Division)

Using our taxpayer dollars, the government of the United States is confiscating tax refunds of those whose relatives (often their parents) may have received Social Security overpayments. In cases when parents have gotten the overpayments, the federal government sometimes goes after some surviving children, but not others. From the story: No one seems eager to take credit for reopening all these long-closed cases. A Social Security spokeswoman says the agency didn’t seek the change; ask Treasury. Treasury says it wasn’t us; try Congress. Congressional staffers say the request probably came from the bureaucracy. And no due process whatsoever is involved: “It was…