What freedoms have you lost this week?
The Federal Register is the official daily publication for Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as Executive Orders and other Presidential Documents. This column attempts to summarize the highlights (or lowlights) of the Federal Register during the preceding week.
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JANUARY 27, 2003 :
Department of Housing and Urban Development ' $35 Million Initiative to 'End Chronic Homelessness'
The U.S. Interagency Council on the Homeless announces the collaborative effort to 'end chronic homelessness by seeking to create a collaborative and comprehensive approach to addressing homelessness.'
How many times before has the government tried this? Remember LBJ's 'Great Society' and the 'War on Poverty'? Forty years later and billions spent on anti-poverty programs have not improved the situation one iota. Like every other social ill that bureaucrats try to solve using confiscated tax revenue, more government intervention simply worsens the problem.
JANUARY 28, 2003 :
Agency for International Development ' Notice of Meeting of the Voluntary Foreign Aid Advisory Committee
This notice begs the question: When does the Coerced Foreign Aid Advisory Committee meet?
Agricultural Marketing Service ' California Raisin Producers Eligible for 2002 Raisin Diversion Program
The 'Raisin Diversion Program' pays approved growers to 'curtail production' (not to grow grapes) in order to 'control overproduction' (limit supply) and to 'help reduce burdensome oversupply affecting the California raisin industry.'
Herein lies the difference between the voluntary market sector and the involuntary government sector. In the open market, producers are rewarded for production. In the coercive government sector, producers are awarded for NON-PRODUCTION with money stolen from other people.
Department of Health and Human Services ' $1 Million Grant for Terrorism Preparedness
Measurable outcomes of the program include: 'to help the American public prepare for the unexpected; and reduce stress and make the public feel at ease should another emergency arise.'
Give the statists a perceived emergency, and they will give you an excuse to steal your property and deny your freedoms.
Fish and Wildlife Service ' Proposal to Designate Critical Habitat for the Preble's Meadow Jumping Mouse
According to their own estimates, implementation of this proposal will cost taxpayers between $72 million and $174 million over the next ten years! Now, that's really throwing money down a rathole!
FEBRUARY 3, 2003 :
Presidential Documents ' Establishment of the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation (Executive Order 13285)
The mission of the Council is to 'facilitate awareness of the ways in which Americans throughout our history have helped to meet the vital needs of their communities and Nation through volunteer service and civic participation.'
If participation levels in the 'volunteer' program are deemed unsatisfactory, how long before it will become mandatory!?!
FEBRUARY 4, 2003 :
Community Development Financial Institutions Fund ' Bank Enterprise Award Program
Under the Bank Enterprise Award Program, banks are awarded taxpayer cash for increasing their lending and investment activities within distressed communities that meet certain minimum poverty and unemployment criteria.
According to this document, the mission of the fund is 'to increase the capacity of financial institutions to provide capital, credit and financial services in underserved markets.' In other words, taxpayer subsidized lending to high-risk (low-to-moderate income) customers.
I must admit--these bureaucrats are very creative in the methods they choose to disburse their stolen goods.
FEBRUARY 5, 2003 :
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) ' Meeting of the Children and Terrorism Advisory Committee
The purpose of the committee is to make recommendations to the Secretary of HHS on matters related to bioterrorism and its impact on children.
Nanny state? What nanny state?
FEBRUARY 6, 2003 :
Department of Transportation ' Withholding of Federal Highway Funds
The DOT is implementing a new program (don't you just love new programs?) that requires the withholding of state-aid federal highway funds from any State that does not lower its blood alcohol content (BAC) level for DUI offenders to 0.08 percent. The principle of 'state's rights' vanished long ago.
FEBRUARY 7, 2003 :
Federal Transit Administration ' Over-the-Road Bus Accessibility Program Grants
Bus service providers are mandated to provide access to the handicapped, thanks to the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century. Wheelchair lifts and tie-downs must be installed to allow passengers to ride in their own wheelchairs.
Oh, did I mention that $24.5 million of YOUR money would be given to bus operators to ensure their compliance with this law?
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