Thursday, October 11, 2012


I thought Radley Balko was at least aware of the doctrine of Separation of powers, and then I find his writing this (in an answer to “You were just sworn in as President of the Union. What are your first TOP 5 actions as declared in your inaugural address?”
‎1) Abolish the DEA, ATF, Dept. of Commerce, Dept. of Education, Small Business Administration, DHS, and ICE. I'm sure there are others.
2) Check for communicable diseases, a criminal record, and ties to terrorism. Otherwise, make it legal, easy, and user friendly for anyone who wants to come the Unites States to work to do so. Also, repeal all import restrictions, subsidies, tariffs, and other barriers to (true) free trade.
3) Replace the income tax with a carbon tax and, if and when it becomes necessary, a national sales tax. Both will be structured progressively. All other deductions and loopholes will be eliminated. The federal government will no longer care about how, where, and why you earn your income.
4) Bring all the troops home. The Department of Defense will become an actual department of defense, not a "department of war-waging, nation building, and humanitarian missions." Troops will be deployed only in the event of a direct, imminent threat to U.S. national security. Then, their mission will be to destroy the threat--and then return home to their families.
5) The Justice Department's first obligation will be enforce the 14th Amendment. DOJ will still investigate terrorism, as well as fraud and theft that crosses state borders. But its primary mission will be to investigate and prosecute abuse and corruption by elected officials, along with police, prosecutorial, and judicial misconduct.
1) I guess the President could shut them down, from a purely technical point of view. He can’t fire the bureaucrats, and the resulting constitutional crisis as Congress fights back will be impressive to view – from orbit. Possibly geo-sync. Or luna-sync. In a history book.
2) The President cannot unilaterally rewrite immigration law
3) Congress all the way, specifically the House of Representatives. (And how exactly do you structure a sales tax “progressively,” anyway?)
4)Well within the powers of the President
5)Well within the technical powers of the President, though practically the established bureaucracy will make it impossible. Civil Service regs prevent firing of uncooperative members.
Overall, the wishlist of a left-handed wookie. Verdict: well-meaning, but wrong. As a platform for a party, I could get behind a lot of it. As much as I can get behind that of the current republicans, to be frank (3 to 3.5 out of 5, depending; #1, 2-ish, some of the intent of 4, and go 5 go!). As actions of the President of our constitutional republic, not so much.


  1. " (And how exactly do you structure a sales tax 'progressively,' anyway?)"

    I went instantly cockeyed at that, too.

    All over, I'm with you: this is a perfect illustration of a fact fact too many American libertarians have not sufficiently internalized: the Constitution is not a libertarian document. Between a libertarian constitution and an unlibertarian constitution, I'll take the libertarian one. Between a President who obeys the Constitution and one that tramples the Constitution for the sake of policies I like, I have to choose the former.

  2. I hate to say it, but Radley is an example of what happens when a Libertarian drinks the "ends justify the means" kool-aid. Laudable ends, even, says the conservative, but we got here by that line of thinking. If you want to change the rules, amend the Constiution.


Please keep it civil