The Deep State

Complimentary Story
September  2022

   The recent FBI raid on Donald Trump’s Palm Beach, Florida home has raised many important questions and fears in this country.   Among them is: who is really making government’s decisions for the millions of people who live, work, and pay taxes here?   

   Basically, a raid by 30 FBI agents on a former president’s home is a highly serious matter that should require presidential review and much solid evidence of wrong-doing.   But since Joe Biden claimed he learned about the raid after the fact from the press, we must conclude that either: (1) he was lying through his teeth, or (2) he truly is out of the governing loop.   Biden may not have initiated the raid idea, but he most certainly knew it was in the works.   The details of the raid were undoubtedly planned by the FBI with the collusion of the Department of Justice (DOJ).   And the fact that Attorney General Garland sat on the search warrant for several weeks not only debunks the claimed “urgency” of the search, but also makes it obvious that the government made no attempt in all that time to obtain the alleged “classified” documents by less drastic means.  

   The DOJ and FBI are, of course, part of the deep state (aka administrative state) – a sea of bureaucrats who actually run the country behind the scenes and have done so for the last several years.   As pundit Jeffrey Tucker notes: “[The administrative state] cares nothing for the elected officials who come and go.   It moves on its own, fueled by money baked into their budgets and with power hardly anyone dares to challenge.   There is never any accountability.”   Overall, the great majority of these bureaucrats are from the political Left – and the most noticeably “activist” agencies are the DOJ, FBI, IRS, Department of Defense (DOD/Pentagon), Homeland Security (DHS), CDC, and EPA.    

   Although most of these agencies are part of the executive branch, they don’t necessarily cooperate with a president’s policies – especially if the president leans right.   Witness the FBI’s moves to undermine Trump from the outset of his administration – e.g., Comey’s failure to indict Hillary Clinton for her private server, the Strzok-Page scandal, the McCabe duplicity, and Facebook’s recent revelation that the FBI advised them the Hunter Biden laptop was Russian disinformation.   Clearly, the FBI has gone rogue.

   One thing this army of bureaucrats all have in common is that NOT ONE OF THEM HAS BEEN ELECTED BY THE PEOPLE.   Another commonality is that they are mostly INCOMPETENT in the disciplines they allegedly serve – and if some have competence, their personal agendas typically avoid serving America’s best interests.   

   What do they do when things go south for elected officials they favor?   Typically, the agency most involved with the issue circles the wagons and obfuscates.   For example, when inflation first became obvious to consumers, we had a denial by Treasury that any significant inflation existed.   Then, when inflation could no longer be denied, we were assured it was only “transitory.”  When it was clear that inflation was worse and not just transitory, we got word salads and finger-pointing everywhere (e.g., at oil companies and credit card companies) but not at the administration’s failures.   And what do they say is the solution?   Well, nobody knows for sure (according to recent statements) so there’s no reason to change policies or direction.   And by the way, there’s no recession either, so all you dumbheads out there should just shut up!    

   One of the real hallmarks of the bureaucracy is incompetence – for example, our disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan a year ago.   As quoted in Townhall (8/14/22): “On April 14, 2021, President Joe Biden announced his decision to unconditionally withdraw all US military personnel from Afghanistan by September 11, 2021…Over the following four months, the administration [basically, the Pentagon] repeatedly delayed critical action that was necessary to mitigate the likely consequences of the decision.   The result of their inaction was a chaotic Non-combatant Evacuation Operation where 13 US service members lost their lives, and more than 800 Americans were abandoned….”   Not to mention a great many Afghans who had cooperated with us and were also abandoned.   

   There was no real withdrawal plan.   Our intelligence agencies underestimated the capabilities and intentions of the Taliban and overestimated what the weak Kabul government’s troops could (or would) do.   They evacuated all 3500 US troops from the Bagram military airbase, with almost no notice to nearby Afghan troops or to coalition partners.   Subsequent reports said that Bagram would have been far easier to defend and facilitate civilian evacuations than the Kabul airport – and the scene at the Kabul airport turned out to be chaotic and deadly.   All this plus the abandonment of $7 billion worth of weapons and equipment.   But the White House and Pentagon pronounced the evacuation a success.   And when the truth later became undeniable and officials and the media tried to explain it away, the roads of blame somehow led back to Trump.   

   Speaking of Trump, some critics believe the obsession with the former president displayed by Leftist politicians is not so much about Trump, per se, as it is about preserving a covert, unelected power base that he was threatening to dismantle.   In other words, the bureaucracy worries about preserving hundreds of thousands of “lifetime ruling class” jobs that Trump’s promise to “drain the swamp” would have obliterated in a second term.   In his first term, besides forcing the swamp to cut many of its burdensome, costly, and innovation-stifling regulations, he was pushing a proposal to convert the vast majority of government jobs from lifetime sinecures to fire-at-will jobs, just like in the private sector – AND THAT MADE THE BUREAUCRATS VERY NERVOUS.   

   In general, we should keep in mind that the great majority of Federal bureaucrats, including those politically appointed, are little more than dilettantes and idealogues in the disciplines of the agencies that employ them.   Few have real expertise – and if they do, their politics or incentives often militate against using it for America’s benefit.   They spend other people’s money and rarely pay for costly mistakes or wasting resources.   In the private sector, such behaviors and outcomes would be career-ending.

   According to economist Mark Hendrickson: “If you want to put a dollar figure on the cost of bureaucratism in the United States, economists John Dawson and John Seater calculated that the 2011 gross domestic product of $15.1 trillion could have been $53.9 trillion – 3-1/2 times greater – if federal regulations had remained at their 1949 level.”

   Of course, even with consistently conservative governance, new products and services would likely have called for a few more regulations between 1949 and 2011, but some other regulations may have been eliminated as obsolete.   In any case, the calculation shows how overregulation hugely diminishes the nation’s GDP.  Professor Hendrickson continued: “Unlike in the private sector, where profit-seeking enterprises seek to contain costs to improve their profit margins, bureaucracies disregard costs…In the private sector, a firm that does a poor job loses customers and profits and possibly goes out of business.   By contrast, when a bureaucracy does a poor job, its managers tell congressional overseers that they need more money for additional personnel, equipment, and so forth, and they usually get it” (The Epoch Times, 8/3/22).   

   There’s no doubt that overregulation makes us less competitive.   Indeed, many foreign producers are manufacturing products much cheaper than American producers, not only because they pay lower taxes, but also (and mainly) because they are subject to fewer government regulations.   In the overregulated US, big companies typically hire a bevy of lawyers to ensure compliance, but that drives up costs, and therefore prices.   Most smaller companies can’t afford the luxury and risk government meddling and fines.   

   But worse than losing our competitive edge is losing our freedom.   It’s common knowledge that the IRS and other federal agencies have stockpiled large amounts of weaponry and ammo – and the (misnamed) Inflation Reduction Act provides for the hiring of over 80,000 new (and armed) IRS agents.   The claim is that the new agents won’t be looking at taxpayers with less than $400K of income, but we all know that’s a deception.   

   And then there’s mission creep.   For example, the Department of Homeland Security was formed after 9/11 to discover and prevent attacks by foreign terrorists.   But now, DHS is homing in on domestic terrorists (that’s us) – those who criticize the government.   Overall, much has been written about the federal bureaucracy’s mission creep, incompetence, waste, and bloat – and the case for dismantling it is a no-brainer.      

   In general: (1) some federal agencies wastefully duplicate state agencies – e.g., Education, CDC, and EPA; (2) none of these bureaucrats are elected; (3) you, the taxpayers, pay them, but they make an average of 33% more than you in the private sector for “comparable” work (it was the opposite 50 years ago); (4) they produce nothing of intrinsic value that contributes to our GDP – in fact, most of their regulatory activity drives GDP down; and (5) most are incompetent, as demonstrated by their inefficiency, waste, continued spending on failing programs, and susceptibility to fraudulent claims.  

   Finally, be aware that much of the Deep State’s agenda is hidden from public view, quietly chipping away at our liberty with an obscure regulation here and a seemingly minor restriction there.   We have some good watchmen (like this newspaper), but if we ignore their warnings, we may wake up one day as subjects of the state.   And no political party will save us.   A nationwide revival of active faith in Jesus Christ must start now!

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