This week has seen a lot of dilapidation in our ship of state. For openers, Peggy Noonan takes an overarching survey of events that reflects on our national character. From other perspectives we see what it is to be on a careening progressive luge as this administration more fully reveals itself, and what it can accomplish after getting the hang of it during the last three years. A minimally hopeful sign is that more than a few Democrats are beginning to shake their heads at the excesses of socialist thought.
After all the information sharing between our intelligence services ordained by 9/11, we now hear that the FBI has pulled out of that little daisy chain, and has gone back to its insular ways of doing business. It seems they weren’t getting that much from other agencies, and their stuff was leaking out. A correlative to this is that the US seems to have shut down its pursuit of Russian spies on these shores, in spite of professional estimates (including from defectors) that Russia today has more spies in the US than it did during the Cold War, and has declared America to be its number one intelligence target. The last prosecution of a Russian spy (Robert Hanssen) was in 2001, which case indicated that there was at least one more mole left in the fabric of the DOD.
In the meantime, the Transportation Safety Administration is starting to implement its VIPR program of checkpoints on US highways (google ‘VIPR checkpoints’ for a snootful). The first ones were being tested in Florida to gauge public reaction to them. It is, of course, all done for our own safety and to check the terrorist threat. The counterpart of the policy is a further achievement of Agenda21 goals and objectives. The checkpoints will spread from commercial transport vehicles to private automobiles in no time. And, as everything else responding to the terrorist threat, these will remain a permanent fixture of our constantly expanding state that continues to grow 20% faster than our private sector economy.
A couple of years back we were on a bus from Alexandria to Cairo, and shook our heads sadly at what the Egyptians had to live with as we passed checkpoint after checkpoint manned by tough looking guys sporting AK-47s and more sinister stuff. It can’t happen in America.
Back at the ranch, it seems that harbingers of the Great Divide are already in full swing. Nationally known demographer and “Truman Democrat” Joel Kotkin writes and extensive peace on ‘The Great California Exodus’ and “what is driving the middle class out of the Golden State” (to loud denials from the loyal looney left). It used to be only the mobile ‘rich’ who packed their bags and their companies to head to points east (I was going to say more about this, but Russ Steele beat me to it on NC2012).
Adding to the whole picture of our country’s ongoing and growing cross migrations is a report by Art Laffer and Stephen Moore about what impact the states’ income and corporate tax policies have had on states’ revenues and GDPs. This is in addition to the Mercatus Center report we brought home from their Scottsdale conference last month.
But I don’t know whether to laugh or cry when reading that Elizabeth Warren, running for Congress in Massachusetts, has had at least one epiphany, maybe two. The border line communist and "liberal heroine", recently on Team Obama, now acknowledges that 1) when you tax something more, you get less of it, and 2) real wealth and jobs are actually created by entrepreneurial private sector companies. In fact she, along with a growing cohort of Democrats, are daily finding more and more things not to like about the impact this administration’s biggest lie, Obamacare, and faux pas on stopping the Keystone pipeline. Even Barney Frank (gasp!) has climbed on this wagon.
So that’s a little update on how we are quietly becoming a progressive police state with daily more criminalized behaviors on the books, ever increasing taxes, frantic migrations of people seeking freedom, and a growing government that continues to add bureaus and (monitoring/enforcement) functions employing thousands to sop up the unemployable and increase its cohort of supporters on autopilot. And then there are the rest of us.