Monday, May 20, 2024

SIEGNER: Government Is the Problem, Not the Solution

'We will protect whistleblowers and prosecute officials who abuse the public trust...'

(Clint Siegner, Headline USA contributor) Too many politicians have a religious faith in government. They may never give up on government as the solution, regardless of the evidence piling up which proves government is, in fact, the problem.

It’s maddening for everyone, including investors. The answer from political candidates is almost always more regulation or different regulation.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. recently made headlines in an interview on Joe Rogan’s podcast. Tens of millions of Americans watched and listened to Kennedy make an excellent case for the complete corruption, incompetence and failure of government regulation surrounding COVID and the vaccines.

RFK Jr. clearly understands the problem. Yet, somehow, the remedy for total failure in governance, according to his campaign website, is “to remake public institutions to serve the public.”

That sounds great, but only to someone willing to ignore history and lacking an awareness of the basic nature of government. Bureaucrats and politicians will always find a way to slip out of the chains that bind them. We know this because they have been doing it for thousands of years, not just the past three.

Kennedy suggests he will “roll back the secrecy and make government transparent.” He does not acknowledge there have been a variety of efforts to improve government transparency since America’s founding. Those efforts have accelerated in recent decades.

Congress passed the original Freedom of Information Act in 1967. It has since been amended eight times. Despite all the legislation, the problem remains.

Officials are notorious for hiding anything they want behind “classified” status or declaring they can’t answer questions because the subject is part of an “ongoing investigation”.

Kennedy says, “We will protect whistleblowers and prosecute officials who abuse the public trust.”

The Whistleblower Protection Act became the law of the land thirty-four years ago. Congress passed an “Enhancement” during Obama’s tenure. However, the legislation did nothing to protect some of the most impactful whistleblowers in the nation’s history — including Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning.

Likewise it is hard to think of any high-profile official exposed by a whistleblower who has been successfully prosecuted. What good is regulatory reform when enforcement has also been corrupted? Federal investigators, prosecutors and judges need to be ready and able to hold bad actors to account. Unfortunately, as we have learned in recent years, the Department of Justice and the judiciary have gone rogue.

Kennedy also asserts, “We will get money out of politics.” This too has been tried. Today the maze of campaign finance restrictions is bewildering as well as completely ineffective. More money than ever pours into elections.

Kennedy’s heart is in the right place. The reforms he is proposing might even rein in some government excesses in the short run. Yet, neither Kennedy nor anyone else vying to be president seems able to pair the obvious problem (government) with the obvious solution (dramatically less government).

The drive for bureaucrats and politicians to keep secrets, punish whistleblowers and use their positions to enrich themselves has everything to do with the power they wield.

When failed and corrupt federal agencies are disbanded and the federal government yields back all power not explicitly granted by the Constitution, the crooks, the sociopaths and their money will leave Washington. But not a minute before.

Clint Siegner is a graduate of Linfield College in Oregon. Siegner applies his experience in business management along with his passion for personal liberty, limited government and honest money as director at Money Metals Exchange, where he writes extensively on the bullion markets and their intersection with policy and world affairs.

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