Thursday, September 3, 2009

"When you break the big laws, you do not get freedom; you do not even get anarchy. You get the small laws."

And in today's America there are so many small laws that we all engage in criminal activity without even knowing it. As big government grows ever bigger, citizens are burdened with new little laws each time the President signs a bill. The Congressional Clowns may pass a 1,000+ page bill, but when the bureaucrats finish writing up the regulations, it grows much longer, becomes much more complex, and gains innumerable unintended consequences.

Little laws make everyone think first of our tax law that is so Byzantine even the IRS does not understand it, or in Geithner's case, follow it. If you were to call the nearest IRS office to ask a specific question about a specific tax situation, then follow the IRS advice on that same tax situation, you still could be considered guilty if audited by IRS personnel who disagreed with the IRS person who gave you the advice. Not only is the tax code tens of thousands of pages long already, but more pages of regulations are added each year.

Sales tax regulations sound easy, but twenty states follow recommendations of the Steamlined Sales Tax Project or SSTP. The SSTP is currently considering taxing Wheaties, Cheerios, Lucky Charms, and Rice Crispies as candy, although Cookie Crunch will remain a cereal. Their definition of candy is a substance with sugar in it, but no flour. Wheaties, for example, contains wheat flakes, not flour. According to a comment on American's for Tax Reform article about SSTP, Kellogg's Raisin Bran is considered candy, but Post Raisin Bran is a cereal. Candies, in case you were wondering, can be taxed at higher rates than foods in many states with sales taxes.

Since the regulations of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act were approved this spring, federal agents now have the authority to raid Saturday morning garage sales and jail the offending homeowner in a campaign called Resale Roundup. In addition to the draconian rules about plastic and lead products, the new law makes it a crime to resell any item that has been recalled by its manufacturer. Since hundreds of products might be recalled each year, for various reasons, it's impossible for homeowners to keep up with all of them. As a result, many resale shops have been forced out of business, numerous books taken off library shelves, and the hosts at garage sales face the possibility of jail. However, the really bad news is that Obama has asked for a 11.4% increase in CPSI funding, so more inspectors can be hired next year. Then they can do more raids on yard sales, Craig's List, and Ebay.

And, this round up of stupidity only hints at the growing government intrusion into our private lives.

Obviously, God is not a bureaucrat. He only has ten laws for a peaceful society. And they are so simple a ten year-old can easily memorize them.

*The title is a quote from G. K. Chesterton in The Daily News on 7/29/1905.

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