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More and More of What We Do Depends on Government Permission

The granting or withholding of that approval is a powerful lever over our lives.

Ingram Publishing/NewscomIngram Publishing/NewscomDo you have permit for that? If you want to keep that permit, you'd better do as you're told.

Increasingly, that's the theme of modern America. More and more of what we do is dependent on permission from the government. That permission, unsurprisingly, is contingent on keeping government officials happy. Rub those officials the wrong way and they'll strip you of permission to travel the roads, leave the country, or even make a living.

That's not a recipe for a free country.

In February of this year, the IRS began sending the U.S. State Department lists of Americans who have a seriously delinquent tax debt, so that these individuals can be denied the right to travel overseas.

"[T]his only applies to a seriously delinquent tax debt," cautions tax attorney Robert W. Wood, "more than $50,000. Even so, that $50,000 includes penalties and interest. A $20,000 tax debt can grow to $50,000 including penalties and interest."

Passport revocation isn't contingent on criminal conviction, or suspicion of flight. Your travel documents can be yanked just for the outstanding debt—even if you're already outside the country.

"If you're already overseas, the State Department may, but is not required to, provide a passport permitting your return home," writes former federal prosecutor Justin Gelfand. "And a 1952 statute makes it a crime for a U.S. citizen to enter or exit the country without a valid passport."

That law requiring a passport to cross the border in either direction, combined with the threat to strip passports from alleged tax debtors, effectively makes the country one big debtors' prison.

What connection is there between taxes and the right to travel? None. Members of Congress and other government officials just thought they could coerce more people into meeting IRS demands if they made the right to travel (not so much a "right" any more) dependent on keeping the taxman happy.

Not that the right to travel within the borders remains free of government demands. If you take a look at the website for your state's Department of Motor Vehicles, chances are you'll find language similar to: "Once the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is notified by the Attorney General of Texas, or a Texas Court ordering a revocation, DPS will revoke a Texas resident's driving privilege for failure to pay child support."

Texas didn't impose that requirement on its own—it was required to do so by the federal government. Under the provisions of the welfare reform law passed in 1996, "States must adopt laws that allow them to suspend driver's, professional, occupational, and recreational licenses of individuals who owe overdue support," according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Which means that not just travel but also the right to hold a job and make a living is at issue in a country that now requires licenses of roughly one-quarter of all workers.

All 50 states have complied with that federal requirement, the National Conference of State Legislatures reports, although the triggers for revocation vary. Some states allow for temporary licenses—or allow debtors to travel to and from work so they can at least earn the money to pay the outstanding debt. But that's up to the state.

Also up to states is the process for suspension, which is administrative with little in the way of due process.

"Arizona law has given the [Department of Child Support Services, or DCSS] authority to administratively suspend a professional or occupational license (such as a contractor's license) without going to court," boasts the state's Division of Child Support Services. "The DCSS may request the court to suspend or restrict a driver's license or recreational license."

While the details vary, most states allow for a window of time, from a couple of weeks to a few months, to pay up or appeal the bureaucratic gut-punch. Good luck with that appeal.

What connection is there between licenses to drive the roads and work in your field and child support obligations? Again, none. They're just a handy lever to extract compliance from the population without too much muss and fuss. They're such a handy lever, in fact, that government officials have succumbed to the temptation to extend their use.

"[I]n 19 states, government agencies can seize state-issued professional licenses from residents who default on their educational debts," The New York Times reported last fall. "Another state, South Dakota, suspends driver's licenses, making it nearly impossible for people to get to work."

As with revoking passports to extract tax payments and denying licenses to collect child support, stripping licenses from people who fall behind on student loans involves administrative procedures with limited due process. It also, finally, may be a bit much for even some politicians.

Photo Credit: Ingram Publishing/Newscom

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  • Trevor B||

    I recently found out that in order to have a garage sale in the town I live in I have to submit an application with a $10 application fee to the city. Once approved they will give me three signs to put out. I must keep a copy of the approved permit prominently displayed and the signage must be picked up daily (and I can't use anything but their issued signage.) I can do this no more then four times a year.

    In short, I must beg the governments permission and pay a fee to sell my own personal property from my own personal property. #freedom

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Count your blessings, ingrate: they don't tax the income from the garage sale, they don't require you and the buyers to submit 1099s.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Don't give the baaahstads any ideas now!!!

  • AlydiaHardin||

    These baaahstads need to be put on a ship or airplane (take your pick) and dropped off in the middle of the Pacific or the Atlantic ocean...without a life boat!

  • Quixote||

    Might I propose that a new requirement also be established, of prerequisite registration for a license to engage in any form of "parody" using electronic means? This would be an excellent enforcement tool that would allow us to implement, control, and enforce the new legal principles developed by the courts in America's leading criminal "satire" case. See the documentation at:

    https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

    Those who apply for a license would, of course, be required to read a small booklet on the limits between clearly recognizable "parodies" that are "puerile" enough to be allowed, ones that express admissible "ideas" (also allowed), and others that cross the "line" with excessively deadpan forms of deceit and particular messages that can by no means be tolerated under the criminal laws of our great nation.

  • Seamusmeboy||

    The already are taxing it, hence the $10 fee. I think its lucky they don't require you to get your site inspected for safety violations, or a ton of other little things that they could think up.

  • PHG1960||

    I don't think the resale provision is directly applicable. The ones I have read say something like, "Goods purchased to be resold in the same form in which they are purchased qualify." It might be a stretch to say your grandfather's old chair set meets that criteria. The IRS might not go after it but if you asked them I think they'd tax it.

  • Rossami||

    Sorry to burst your bubble, Scarecrow, but income from a garage sale is taxed already. There are a number of exceptions that make it unlikely that most people will ever have to report the sale but those same exceptions do clearly lay out scenarios when the Feds will demand their cut. (Mostly they boil down to either 'you did this often enough' or 'you charged enough that we noticed.'

  • Tionico||

    Unless they can PROVE you turned a profit, and how much, on the used goods you sold they have no claim. Spending fifty bux on some thing, using it for ten years, then throwing it into your garage sale pile and getting ten bucks back for it is NOT "income". Now IF the dweebs can PROVE you bought it for tendollah, held/used it for ten years, then resold it for fifty, they'd have grounds to claim you owe the tax on a forty dollar profit. To which you would (correctly AND snidely) retort that it cost you to store it, you've lost the opportunity cost of that tenspot, you had to make some repairs on it, you incurred costs to transport it when you moved, and you had to keep it insured. Also business use of the home deductions, the cost to the city for their Mother May I placard to SELL stuff on YOUR OWN property, and a pro rata calculation for all the other costs incurred in running the sale.

    Now tell the IRS to pound sand and come back when they HAVE something on you.....

  • I'm Not Sure||

    The IRS is required to prove its claims? When did that happen?

  • Curmudgeon44||

    I am sorry to tell you, in the case of the IRS you are required to prove you did not make a profit. "Innocent until proven guilty" is so 18th century.

  • TangoDelta||

    Don't forget inflation so that the item being sold actually cost the equivalent of about 13 smacks today so any profit would be that much less. In the case of Venezuela a few million less.

  • ||

    Actually both State and Fed regulations require that you report such income. It is rarely enforced, but wind up in an audit and should they find that income.....

  • tommhan||

    It is not actually income since you paid for these items with your taxed income, it has already been taxed.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    What crappy state is that?

    BTW, you are supposed to pay taxes on all income and taxes on all sales when there is a sales tax.

  • Papaya||

    You call yourself "loveconstitution", yet you espouse control of the populace by taxation?
    You need to change your screen name to something like "lovetaxes" or "democraticliberalisn"

  • Robert||

    No, sales tax doesn't apply to resale. And sale of used goods doesn't generate income unless they've appreciated.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The rules are more complex than "no".
    Forbes- taxes

    tax tips

    The tax laws can be complicated and most people incorrectly assume they never have to pay taxes except for sales taxes and payroll taxes.

  • NoVaNick||

    I think if you generate enough money from yard sales where it could be considered income, that will raise suspicion with the IRS, unless you are stashing the cash you get under a mattress. One of my neighbors seems to constantly be acquiring used junk and has several yard sales a year. She is also friends with most of our local politicians, so will probably never get audited.

  • Tionico||

    gross sales would only be the beginning number in a while chain of them. Cost of good sold, warehousing, oppprtunituy cost of the money tied up, incidental costs for the sale itself, etc.

    Things are not to tightly monitored (yet....) that coming up with a wad of cash four times a year would ever even be noticed. Unless the amount approached five figures...and you were silly enough to place or move or spend it all at once. How many people spend or get ten grand due to the private sale of a car?

  • TangoDelta||

    Sure it does, at least in Cali. If you buy a car for $20k, you pay tax on $20k. If you sell it in a few years for $15k the next rube gets hit with taxes on $15k. If in another few years it gets sold for $10k, that rube pays taxes on $10k. In short, that $20,000 car is actually worth $45,000 to Cali even though its actual value goes down considerably and even though you only used $5k of value you got to pay taxes on $20k.

    It also applies to everything, I paid about $30 in sales tax on a used refrigerator I only paid $325 for and I imagine, if it was resold enough, that the total value of taxes Cali collected on it would probably give it a value of ten times what I paid.

  • Trevor B||

    This is actually in Texas, on the north side of the DFW metro area.

  • Otto Didact||

    Be glad it's so low in Metro DFW. Here in San Antonio, it's closer to $20 although so far we don't have to use govt. approved signage. I agree that it is pretty fekking galling to have to bribe the govt. to get permission to sell MY stuff on MY property. Hey! If I want to put a modest canopy over my back porch I have to provide detailed plans to the appropriate city agency, pay a totally exorbitant fee and let some govt. agent inspect the completed result. MY property, MY time, MY labor and MY money but the govt. has the say over whether I get to do it or not.

    Daniel Webster so ably put it, "The power to tax is the power to destroy."

  • Tionico||

    most states that steal from their underlings in the form of sales taxes mandate their collection ONLY by businesses. And then only goods brought into inventory for the purpose of reselling. "Casual sales" are exempt (if you sell appliances they can't demand you collect tax on the twenty year old bicycle you dropped on Craigslist afteryou've had and used ot for that time.

    Most states also have an exemption for "casual sales" by private parties with no fixed place of business and no consistent hours, or for "pop-up" events such as garage and rummage sales. If such events happen less than some small number of times per year (four is common) and/or for some small number of days running at the same locaion (three seems to be common) then no sales tax collection is mandated.

  • Flinch||

    Find out which pawn shops contributed to your local pols: without inventory, they go out of business. A yard sale hurts them most, as people willing to sell at a discount doing it from home could be their customers. Of course, all this hides behind zoning regs where somebody holding a mini flea market every weekend blurs the lines between residential and commercial property some people are in love with. Local hacks miss the property aspect for some odd reason, and focus only on residential vs. light commercial like the asshats they are. If real estate is nothing more than a registered residential or commercial grant... then it would be nice to put officials in jail for attempting to fraudulently collect property taxes, as the controlling party is not the alleged "owner" but the state. In a word, our deeds & title issued in todays legal morass are one thing: fraud.

  • Rockabilly||

    fuck the government and you too Tony and your big fucking government, fuck you too.

  • Papaya||

    What Rockabilly said!

  • Dadlobby||

    Parental rights are the core of all other rights yet they are denied daily due to federal $$ incentives. The "family" courts despotic control over Americas families has morphed into a regulatory agency which directs schools, CPS, and police to monitor and report everyday activities of parents. Under the guise of creating 'responsible fathers" the system has destroyed families and men are routinely incarcerated in debtors prisons, in addition to other draconian collection of the "child excise tax". It's about time Libertarians started to get "woke". http://nymensactionnetwork.org.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Americans are against a National ID card.

    Fine says statists in Government. All drivers licenses must be approved federal form of ID and used for other things besides the certified ability to drive. Statists now use state Drivers licenses to match biometric pictures with suspects, punish drivers for not paying child support or other fines or fees, and to buy products that have age requirements.

    Presto! National ID card.

  • Rhywun||

    Yeah, we've had 50 different National ID cards my entire life.

    PS. I never used to need a passport to enter or exit Canada - I wonder how that worked given the law mentioned above. Of course "everything has changed" these days but still.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I got my passport to travel internationally. I deactivated the chip in it though. Pisses customs people off because they have to enter the info manually.

  • BambiB||

    And they revoke them at the drop of a hat.
    Here in Florida, if you don't pay your dog registration fee, they can revoke your license. I know first hand. The licensing fee for a "rabies-susceptible animal" in my county is $5. Adjacent counties don't have the fee and the paperwork goes to Texas for processing, so more than likely the city is getting $3 and the processor is getting $2.

    My dog is vaccinated against rabies, so she's not "rabies-susceptible" - and I refused to pay the fee. Next thing I know, I'm notified that my license is suspended. I called the county animal control folks and told them that unless they wanted to hash the matter out in court, they better reverse their action. They did. In less than an hour the suspension was reversed. Then I required the court to send me written proof that my license had been reinstated.

    I'd actually planned to ask those in court if they had registered their children who, presumably human, are members of class Mammalia and hence, unless inoculated, are rabies-susceptible. That is, they would be required to register their children, but I would not be required to register my dog.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Such government control over vast areas of our lives makes it very difficult to pretend that we're free.

    Ever notice how nobody ever says "it's a free country" anymore?

  • sarcasmic||

    Yep. It's gone from "It's a free country!" to "Who said you could do that?"

  • Nardz||

    That's actually a very profound point you've made.
    Troubling

  • Papaya||

    We're not free". Jr Bush destroyed the last vestiges of freedom with his "Patriot Act".

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    How much can you really fault Bush for signing something 99/100 Senators voted for?

    The P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act was about as bipartisan as it gets.

  • MoreFreedom||

    Bush gets the discredit, because he was the head statist at the time. The senators also showed they prefer more government, which isn't surprising. Bush also gets credit for creating the Touch and Sexual Abuse (TSA) agency rather than allowing airlines to do their own screening. And he gets credit for making Democrats look fiscally conservative compared to GOP controlled government. At least with three strikes he's out.

  • Qsl||

    To an extent it is to be expected as the numerous laws and cruft starting taking on function of spaghetti code. And as the process of removing a law is to pass another law, well, that is quite a pickle. I don't foresee anything changing soon without a radical restructuring of government.

    But for the next evolution of government, it would be wise to meditate on how to keep laws very specific and deliberate to pass as well as possibly a body devoted to consolidating and removing laws.

    I still like the idea of having guest readers to read aloud the entirety of every bill to congress (using pictures if necessary). The public could agitate for people with speech impediments should the laws become too heinous.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    "" "And a 1952 statute makes it a crime for a U.S. citizen to enter or exit the country without a valid passport."""

    Does DeBlazio know that?

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Sadly it seems today, more young people talk about democracy but little about liberty. What I find funny about that is they want to be for, and help minorities, but fail to realize democracy is about the minority losing.

  • Austen Heller||

    It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once.

    David Hume

  • PHG1960||

    This article doesn't even begin to touch the tip of the permitting iceberg and I doubt the general public is even aware of it. I work in environmental permitting and the laws and regulations require dozens of approvals to do most significant projects. When the environmental movement says environmental protection creates jobs they are right--it creates jobs fighting and questioning ("reviewing") the permitted operations. What they don't tell you is that 95% of this does absolutely nothing to protect the environment and is intended to give some government worker a job, and that that government worker (that phrase can often be an oxymoronic) probably doesn't understand half of what comes over their desk but they still comment because if they don't someone might notice that they aren't really needed any more. The communists and socialists didn't disappear--they merely slipped into the environmental movement and they are doing a world class job of transforming this country and the rest of the world through their propaganda campaigns.

  • Sparky Wilson||

    I spent a few years as am environmental protection officer. While my position and salary didn't really matter on the costs, my civilian counterparts pay and benifits equated to just under 100k a year, plus expenses such as office stuff. His sole job was to double check my work, because as a military member my work was instantly discredited. Never once was my work found faulty, but to appease the environmental groups, he got a cushy job that didn't require him to do anything except occasionally question my work. I used to love that work but over time I learned it is all just about money. Before holding the position of being my baby sitter, he was part of an environment group that liked to pressure military bases and was anti military. It's amazing how ideology can change when there are some dollar signs involved.

  • Peter||

    We already have "Debtors Prisons" for those (mostly men) who fall behind on child support.
    This is a surprise?

  • Naaman Brown||

    If you lose your driver's license due to being behind on child support, not being able to drive means being unable to get to work if you have a job or unable to look for a job if you don't have one. You then end up going to jail for not paying child support.

  • Slave of the state||

    Plus not to mention most men end up with a felony on their record. No license, Felony, = no job = no CS = go back in to the system. Its a racket. So unconstitutional -

  • Slave of the state||

    Yup! Sad country we live in. no escape. its hell.

  • ||

    Leave the country, become a citizen of a South American country. Denounce your citizenship and come back to the United States illegally. You will be given an attorney, and will be exempt of all of the laws above, plus you will be given free education, free health care, section 8 housing housing, a monthly welfare entitlement, along with food stamps an EBT card or both.
    Oh, I forgot, the United States will no longer allow you to denounce your US Citizenship.

  • An Owl Named Dur||

    It's renounce, not "denounce", and the Supreme Court has ruled any citizen has a conservative right to renounce their citizenship. Congress has not and forbid it. They IRS May tax you on exit, if you're a high income or net worth individual, but they can't stop you from renouncing.

  • An Owl Named Dur||

    "Constitutional right" not "conservative right" - damned autocomplete.

  • Sparky Wilson||

    Rhonie, this comment wins

  • Mr Happy Man||

    No matter how unjust all this is, people won't go "up in arms" over it, especially at this time. In fact, the collective desire is for bigger government - much, much bigger government. Especially if this Medicare for All thing gets through. Then imagine what the bureaucrats will dictate in the interest of health, as it now becomes part of "the public interest." Want a Twinkie? You may need permission to have one base on guidelines issued by your health provider. In other words, the efforts of those who love liberty should currently be on fighting any attempts to grow government, not roll it back. Because the desire now is to grow it. Otherwise, it will be much bigger and intrusive than it is now, because the efforts were on the things listed here, which won't be defeated (because politicians won't have time to address them as they are focused on laws to grow government). That's the unfortunate reality we face today.

  • Blankovich The Great||

    Government in general has become arrogant and greedy. Good government is one where you don't have to think about what it is doing to you on a regular basis.

  • ||

    Our government has become a mess. At the federal level it has, sadly, become a swamp. The day to day operations of government are handled by hired individuals that know they will still be working regardless of the elected or appointed supervisor they must answer to in the short term. A good example is the leaks and activism at the EPA lately.

    Locally, things like the garage sale example are more likely a permit process process put in place to quell complaints about too many garage sales in some neighborhoods. In other words, neighbors complaining about neighbor's behavior. That's how nuisance governance usually comes to be.

    Add to that, the small time politician wanting to look like he is doing something (anything) for their constituents.

    In the end, we collectively have let this happen. We have to be the ones to end it.....or live with it...

  • powrsurg||

    This article is spot on point. Nowhere is this issue more prevalent than at the local level. In my town, they control every aspect of your residential property. You want a shed, you need a permit. You want a gazeebo, fence, Permit Permit!! You want to clear your land of invasive growth and replant with trees and shrubbery? Permits Permits Permits!!! You want a wood deck? Permits! Its disgusting. They have no problem charging you a full property tax assessment with these restrictions. They also have no problem charging you thousands in fines if you don't follow the rules. It's disgusting.

  • BrianB||

    I know it's not easy for everyone, but in this case I'd move.

    One thing I've done whenever shopping for a house is look into zoning stuff like that; I don't want to find out after I've bought a house and moved in that I can't have my Amateur Radio antennas or work on my car in the driveway or plant or chop down my trees, etc. Screw property Nazis!

  • DrZ||

    But if they don't tell us what to do, how will we ever know what we should do?

    I mean people need paternal guidance or else they will make wrong decisions.

    If you don't believe me, ask a politician.

  • BowserB1946||

    Must be a slow news day?

  • rdlynch||

    Article 5, Convention of the States. The federal government should continue to run Defense and the Courts, and that's enough. We are not federal property. They are not our owners. We need to make these things clear to our would-be owners. No Humans as property. Since slavery has been outlawed, working for the federal government is today's best substitute for wannabe slavers.

  • Tionico||

    that war that started at Lexington in 1775 was over one thing... and that thing was NOT taxes, government permits (the Stamp Act), or even disarmament, though that WAS the Red Line in the Sand that sparked the first shots. No, the real issue was this:

    "THEY had a mind that they should tell us how we should live, and WE had a mind that they wouldn't".

    Nothing has changed, has it? Somehow those with power are never content to use only that smallest amount possible to make happen the minimum necessary to preserve the basics of society.

  • Observant||

    You've hit on the key word that's the entire answer: Power.

  • woodNfish||

    Anyone who thinks this is a free country hasn't been paying attention or they are still blinded by the indoctrination propaganda they were force fed in grades 1 - 12.

  • dchang0||

    It would have been far better for Rubio to have passed a bill removing all federally-backed student loans.

    It would have solved the problem of the revocation of occupational licenses AND would also have put the brakes on the tuition bubble AND would have indirectly defunded most of the far-left activists and indoctrinators ensconced in academia.

  • D-Pizzle||

    Why do you hate education so much?

  • Rockabilly||

    Fuck the government and the bureaucratic mind!!!

    Now the bureaucratic mind (BM) is a special type of mind.

    According to scholars, the BM, was brought into the modern world by the German egghead Max Weber and introduced to the USA by the egghead Woodrow Wilson.

    Writing as an academic while a professor at Bryn Mawr College, Woodrow Wilson's essay "The Study of Administration" argued for bureaucracy as a professional cadre.

    When he was elected the 1st democrat progressive socialist president - he was said to remark- "now I can really now tax, regulate, and control !!!"

    Wilson, got the USA involved in WWI, a war that had nothing to do with America. Few American men wanted to fight in Wilson's war of choice, so he started a military draft to force men to fight.

    But what really got him all excited was how to fund his war of choice, so he started a federal income tax. Wilson personally wrote the first IRS forms along with the instructions and regulations .

    Do government forms and regulations befuddle you?

    Blame Woodrow Wilson, the socialist god.

    Fuck you Woodrow Wilson, the socialist god, and you too FDR, another socialist god!!!

  • Otto Didact||

    Most people are unaware of this but it was under Wilson that federal offices and buildings were first segregated. Yup! Prior to Wilson, federal offices and buildings were completely racially integrated. It took a Democrat/Progressive to segregate the FedGov.

    Read about the rise of Administrative Law and the Administrative State here:
    https://tinyurl.com/kngcodj

    Remember folks; for evil to flourish, good men (AND women) need only to stand idly by and fail to shoot the government agent committing it. Remember also that the ratio of Chiefs to Indians always favors the Indians. Why do you think our would-be political masters so long to disarm us? But even then they cannot rest easy. A sufficiently large number of sufficiently motivated unarmed serfs can take down an armed and armored knight. They WILL not do so easily or bloodlessly but they CAN do so.

  • JerryGlen||

    Just wait till we 'get' our health care from the government. We have already handed over the keys to our income. And that free education and guaranteed job won't seem so free when you realize it has strings -- No -- Chains attached. We are tracked, watched, monitored and recorded. We are free as long as we don't create trouble. Problem is - who determines what 'trouble' is. No! We are not free and we are losing our liberty with each passing year. Sad thing is we are too busy texting and tweeting to notice.

  • JungleCogs||

    Sorry little girl... you need a permit for this Kool-Aid stand.

  • The End is Far||

    Rights are actions/behaviors that DO NOT require the permission of another to act/behave.
    Privileges are actions/behaviors that Require the Permission of another to act/behave.

    On paper we have all sorts of Rights and there is great argument that the 9th Amendment covers almost every action/occupation our Two Party Oligarchy taxes, regulates, licenses, and forbids. The problem is NO ONE GIVES A DAMN.

    One of the main problems is the American Bar Association has no competition and they have legalized and proceduralized almost every aspect of our lives. All aspects of improving one's condition, which is also a RIGHT especially if it is mutually beneficial to others. That is the definition of TRADE.

    If you combine the Commerce Clause and the 16th Amendment, you get Servitude, voluntary or not. Our governors (all those who participate in regulating our Lives) are using our molested Constitutions to Rent Seek. If you examine our gov't and the hundreds of agencies one will find that Rent Seeking is the actual purpose of their existence.

    Hayek was more right than he knew.

  • DaneelOlivaw||

    WOW.

    America gets its own social credit system.

    Look at what the Chinese regime does to get a glimpse of where this goes.

  • james.resner@gmail.com||

    Please link your coverage of this topic for the 8 years during the previous Administration, when government regulations expanded at a record pace. I'm sure that's an inconvenient truth, ins;t it? Kind of like how gasoline prices during the last 4 years of the Bush administration was a daily gloom and doom topic for the liberal mainstream media but the moment Obama became president it also disappeared,even though prices rose substantially during this terms.

    Or what about lethal drone strikes on U.S. citizens abroad? I could go on and on but when trying to reason with j̶o̶u̶r̶n̶a̶l̶i̶s̶t̶s̶ propagandists from the Stalin School of Information it's kind of like talking to a 3 year old during a temper tantrum.

  • emmanuel||

    Y'all have a common law right to travel freely on any public road, using the conveyance of you choice. Some caveats of course; you can't endanger others; you can't impede commerce. The Supreme Court of the United States ruled that requiring a license to travel public roads is unconstitutional.

    Look it up; you may even find it on google. Or you can look up tao of law dot com and learn all about it.

  • D-Pizzle||

    Statutory law always supercedes common law. Common law can best be thought of as the default law in the absense of any statutory authority. Also, the SC has not held that requiring drivers licenses in unconstitutional, so you may not use the conveyance of your choice.

  • RoninX||

    Thing that San Francisco just banned: plastic straws

    Thing that San Francisco just proposed banning: company cafeterias

    Sigh. I love my job, and I love the Bay Area weather, but the SF city government is just out of control.

  • My Dog Bites Better Than Yours||

    I had to Google the cafeteria thing, RoninX. Based on the rapid spread of strawbanning. I guess it's the government's job to make sure TINSTAAFL. I predict
    this will be be nationwide in six months.

  • SH68137||

    "Only slaves need permission."--SGH

  • The March Hare||

    The ability to work is very dependent on being able to drive, yet I know people that are recovering drug addicts and find it almost impossible to establish a productive life because of way too heavy fines and penalties preventing them from driving. Alright, go out there and be a responsible person and pay your fines, penalties and child support. One would think that they can never re-enter society and be a productive citizen. I have seen some get so distraught over being unable to get anywhere they go back to drug use to escape the pain of the struggle saying what's the use.

  • Priscilla King||

    Preventing people from driving or working is a pretty efficient way to STOP them paying child support. Total lose-lose for many, and the social workers actually seemed pleased when a recovering alcoholic who'd worked his way up to a decent house and job, then been temporarily disabled by an injury, was shoved all the way back to the bottom...another "case" for them to "manage" again, rather than a decent human being making a positive contribution to his community.

  • ||

    Charlotte NC (Site of the 2020 RNC convention) loves its tree canopy. They fined a church for trimming its trees without permission.

    A few years ago in Ansonia Connecticut, the State of CT replaced a bridge in a run down drug infested town with abandoned factories. The city has no actual problems to solve, so it took legal action because the State of CT did not ask permission from the Ansonia Arbor commission before cutting down trees on state land needed for staging materials and equipment.

  • Slave of the state||

    I am too caught up in this, I am good father, always paid child support, et al. I lost my company in the recession and got behind, the courts allowed it to be in the arrears and just pay on it. I took a great job and was to travel, I renewed my passport and they declined it for arrears. So, I could not take the position. I am a software engineer now but don't have to travel outside the states.

    I have always worked hard, I pay all health insurance, 1535.20 per month in CS and the mother does not work but remarried and lives in a million-dollar home, has done everything to keep me out of their picture. It's a sad country we live in. I don't recognize America any more. Hats off to the journalist for taking this one on. I fear that if the government continues to deny civil liberties there will be a civil war the likes never seen. Whilst I have ZERO criminal record and I am an American, I am restricted from traveling. In a global society this is almost a requirement for earning a living. Best to all the slaves of America! Hang in there.

  • swampwiz||

    To those who are in arrears: PAY YOUR TAXES!

  • MSimon||

    Would a pound of flesh be a suitable substitute?

  • onebornfree||

    REALITY CHECK!: "Because they are all ultimately funded via both direct and indirect theft [i.e.taxes], and counterfeiting [central bank monopolies], all governments are essentially, at their very cores, 100% corrupt criminal scams, which cannot be "reformed", "improved", or "limited" in scope, simply because of their innate criminal nature." http://onebornfree-mythbusters.blogspot.com/

    Regards, onebornfree

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  • Natural Rights||

    The 19th Century was American's best days. Today, America is a giant Socialist Democracy betraying our Founding Principles. Most Americans are happy being subjects.

    Our Founders would declare their independence from This America.

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