James Bovard

James Bovard

Wednesday, 20 October 2021 14:15

OPINION: 'Fair trade' is still a fraud

The Biden administration is embracing the same flawed “fair trade” mantra that previous administrations used to sanctify protectionist policies. Biden’s team has “largely dispensed with the idea of free trade as a goal in and of itself,” the New York Times reported. U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai recently touted the Biden administration’s plans to “shape the rules for fair trade in the 21st century.” What could possibly go wrong from such a lofty aspiration?

The Biden administration is seeking to compel banks to report to the IRS any bank account with more than $600 in transactions per year. This proposal is a linchpin of Biden’s American Families Plan, and will supposedly help generate almost $500 billion in federal revenue over the next decade. But previous catch-all financial reporting requirements have helped spur national disasters, complete with pervasive federal looting.

"Beatings will continue until morale improves” has morphed from an old joke to the latest prescription for national salvation. “Compulsory National Service Could Unite America,” whooped a New York Times Op-ed headline last week. Prominent media outlets, think tanks, and too many professors and former generals are calling for government to commandeer a year of young Americans’ lives to forcibly restore their faith in the political system. 

At the start of the Biden era, America is being torn apart by more allegations of treason than at any time since the Civil War. Historian Henry Adams observed a century ago that politics “has always been the systematic organization of hatreds.” And few things spur hatred more effectively than tarring all political opponents as traitors.

“Truth will out” is the most popular fairy tale in Washington. Members of Congress are clashing over whether politicians will appoint an “independent” commission to reveal the facts behind the Jan. 6 Capitol ruckus. Proponents are portraying the issue as a simple choice between “truth or Trump.”

Former CNN White House correspondent Michelle Kosinski declared on Twitter last week that American journalists would “never expect … Your own govt to lie to you, repeatedly” and “Your own govt to hide information the public has a right to know.” Kosinski denounced “Trump’s unAmerican regime” and declared, “No one should accept this.” Kosinski’s comments epitomize the “Trump-washing” of American history that explains much of the media’s rage, hypocrisy, and follies in the last five years.

Friday, 07 May 2021 13:21

OPINION: Congress is unfit to govern

“In politics, stupidity is not a handicap,” Napoleon is reputed to have said more than two centuries ago. Boundless ignorance is also not a handicap, as Congress demonstrated last December by approving a 5593-page bill without reading it. Plenty of activists and editorial pages howled over the sloppy procedures propelling $2.3 trillion in new federal spending.

Over the past year, Americans’ rights and liberties have been ravaged worse than almost anyone expected at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Fearmongering quickly proved the ticket for politicians to seize almost unlimited power. But heavy-handed government decrees were more effective at wrecking lives than at vanquishing a virus. 

The easiest way to achieve sainthood in Washington is to cover up a federal atrocity. Thus, it is no surprise that former senator John Danforth continues to be treated by the Washington Post as a visionary statesman. The Post showcased Danforth’s attack on Donald Trump in October after Trump derided the Commission on Presidential Debates. Danforth, a permanent member of that commission, is one of the top five “useful idiots for Leviathan,” according to the revised rankings after the death of John McCain.

Politicians lustfully rejoicing at their own power is the ultimate “dog bites man” story that goes unremarked in Washington. The Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump included one such vivid vignette, an ominous warning that Congress recognizes no limit over its rightful sway over the economy and the lives of American citizens. 

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