(NRO) Mark Steyn–The All-Seeing State: The inevitable corruption of the permanent bureaucracy

A few years ago, after one corruption scandal too many, the then Liberal government in Canada announced that, to prevent further outbreaks of malfeasance, it would be hiring 300 new federal auditors plus a bunch of ethics czars, and mandating “integrity provisions” in government contracts, including “prohibitions against paying, offering, demanding or accepting bribes.” There were already plenty of laws against bribery, but one small additional sign on the desk should do the trick: “Please do not attempt to bribe the Minister of the Crown as a refusal may offend. Also: He’s not allowed to bribe you, whatever he says.” A government that requires “integrity provisions” is by definition past the stage where they will do any good.

I thought of those Canadian Liberal “integrity provisions” passing a TV screen the other day and catching hack bureaucrats from the IRS Small Business/Self-Employed Division reassuring Congress that systems had now been put in place to prevent them succumbing to the urge to put on Spock ears and moob-hugging blue polyester for the purposes of starring in a Star Trek government training video. The Small Business/Self-Employed Division had boldly gone where no IRS man had gone before ”” to a conference in Anaheim, where they were put up in $3,500-a-night hotel rooms and entertained by a man who was paid $27,500 to fly in and paint on stage a portrait of Bono. Bono is the veteran Irish rocker knighted by the Queen for his tireless campaign on behalf of debt forgiveness, which doesn’t sound the IRS’s bag at all. But don’t worry, debt forgiveness-wise Bono has Africa in mind, not New Jersey. And, as Matthew Cowart tweeted me the other day, he did have a big hit with “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” which I believe is now the official anthem of the IRS Cincinnati office….

Read it all.


Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Canada, Economy, Psychology, The U.S. Government, Theology

3 comments on “(NRO) Mark Steyn–The All-Seeing State: The inevitable corruption of the permanent bureaucracy

  1. David Keller says:

    Steyn gets what most people seem to be missing. We don’t care if NSA is looking for terrorists. We don’t mind if DOJ is looking for criminals. We don’t mind if the IRS is looking for tax cheats. What we are worried about is the IRS denying you health care when they take it over in 2 years because of your politics, your religious beliefs, your purchasing history, the friends you email etc, etc, etc.

  2. Katherine says:

    Or, David Keller, they may not be able to deny you health insurance, but they might deny you the subsidy if you’re entitled to one, and they might, if you refuse to purchase government-backed health insurance and pay the fine instead, target you with tax audits, and because information will be shared across the government, the FBI, ATF, OSHA, and other alphabet agencies might suddenly take an interest in you.

  3. Capt. Father Warren says:

    Or, they make take Real ID and make it mandatory such that you will not be able to partake in commerce of any sort, hold a job, or visit a doctor or emergency room without your Real ID. And your Real ID might block you from certain services or trigger investigations if your Real ID tags you as a conservative, or you email friends who are on special lists.

    Literally, “the mark of the beast”.