Lacey Smith

Unrecognized invasion of government

In Uncategorized on May 4, 2012 at 3:44 pm

After my last post, in which I asserted that we are losing our right to choose by being presented with false choices and because of our lack of questioning, I wanted to specifically focus on that second reason.

I am of the opinion that when we are actively engaged in honest questioning, the false choices, half-truths and downright lies are quickly exposed. We never get into the situation I was in in April with the TSA because we never accept that false choice as acceptable when we have an actively, honestly questioning citizenry.

But we rarely question those things, especially the sneaky ones. Quiet government overstep is much more common and pervasive than we realize.

By providing the following examples, I hope to both prove that government is involved in our lives in ways we don’t realize and get you to start questioning constantly. When we start really questioning, maybe we’ll recognize the insanity and start pushing back.

Cell Phone Bill
The following is a copy of a portion of my cell phone bill:

Although it’s a small portion of my total cell phone bill, there’s $11.02 of total taxes and fees added to my bill every month. Even though the top portion is not listed as government charges, they all are.

I have never, ever questioned these until recently. Can anyone tell me, what the heck is a “Regulatory Cost Recovery Charge”? Have you ever asked?

Here’s the answer from AT&T’s web site:

The Regulatory Cost Recovery Charge is a charge assessed by AT&T associated with payment of government imposed fees and to recover the costs of compliance with government imposed regulatory requirements. It may include costs incurred in prior years that are not yet fully recovered. It is not a tax or charge which the government requires AT&T to collect from its customers. This charge is subject to change from time to time as the cost of compliance changes.

Basically, it’s exactly what happens when the government regulates businesses: they pass those costs on to consumers.

Also curious to me was the “Federal Universal Service Charge.” While the Regulatory Cost Recovery Charge is not necessarily a federal cost, this one is.

The USF helps to make phone service affordable and available to all Americans, including consumers with low incomes, those living in areas where the costs of providing telephone service is high, schools and libraries and rural health care providers. (FCC)

Again, this is a cost that is passed on from my phone company to me as a cost of complying with government mandates.

Gas Tax & Driving
I mentioned ethanol in my last post – a federal mandate – but at the pump we also pay fuel tax. Some of that is a state charge, some of it is federal. While I understand why a state taxes gasoline, are roads – run and managed by states – really within the scope of the federal government? (BTW, you can see how much of your gasoline bill is taxes here). Remember, too, that both gas and sales tax are a double-tax, meaning that you are being taxed a second time on money you’ve already paid taxes for once.

The reason that the drinking age is 21, that roads have a speed limits and your car has a mpg requirement are all because of the federal government.

Everyday Purchases
When you go to buy Tylenol from Walmart, do you know how much government is involved in your purchase? The FDA, the Department of Commerce and the Consumer Protection Agency all have their hands all over your purchase. Why? Are the jobs they do within the scope of the federal government?

Watching TV
Watching the TV every night, you probably think about the feds, but they are extremely involved in the process. It’s not just the FCC’s profanity rules. The reason you can’t watch TV with a traditional antennae anymore is because of the Feds. Closed Captioning is regulated. Commercial time & content is regulated. Even the volume of programming is controlled.

Of course, this is an argument that goes back to original intent, strict constructionism and the overall role of the federal government. However, if we don’t ask the hard questions, think critically and evaluate all the questions.

The facts are that – whatever you feel about the federal government – the feds are intrusively involved in all of our lives. We just don’t recognize it because we have pretty much just always lived with it.

The federal government is also huge. Just listing all the agencies takes up 14 pages and comes to 3,446 words. It is incredibly expensive and we cannot afford it anymore. We are being crushed in so many ways and our federal finances is one big place.

We got here by being too trusting, too docile and not critical enough. We have to start questioning and start rolling back the expansive, invasive federal government. We must be critical thinkers who don’t accept the false choices and quiet overstep.

We have to get out. Honest questioning is the way out – the only way out.

  1. I’ve always been bothered by those government cell phone charges! As you so astutely point out, it’s a symptom of how the long arm of government regulation reaches deep into our daily lives. I mean, all these taxes on cell phone use didn’t exist at first, right? So what criteria are used to determine when a new activity/product/service should be taxed? And what it the true intent of the tax? I work in health care and the regulations there are mind boggling- both in number and in rate of growth. We know the internet is the next target. But what comes after that? It’s hard to imagine the founders held a vision for America that included such pervasive taxation and regulation!

    • I’m glad to know I’m not alone. The thing that really bugs me is how invasive government is in our lives. I literally could write pages and pages and pages on overstep. I think that even the most “big government” founders like Hamilton would be completely opposed to where we are now.
      We have GOT to get things under control. If that view makes me an “extremist” so be it! We’ve got to back away from big government in the quickest least harmful way possible. The problem is, we don’t even recognize all the ways they are invading our lives.

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