"There is no pillow so soft as a clear conscience." ~ French proverb
Federal Register Watch
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.
Instructions for subscribing to the Federal Register can be found at the end of the column.
MAY 20, 2003:
INTERNATIONAL TRADE ADMINISTRATION (ITA) ' ANTI-DUMPING DUTIES ON SACCHARIN FROM CHINA
The ITA announces its intention to impose 'anti-dumping' duties on Chinese-produced saccharin that is imported to the United States and sold at 'less than fair market value.'
If the International Trade Commission (ITC) determines that these imports 'threatening material injury to an industry in the United States,' the Department of Commerce will assess anti-dumping duties of 250% to 330% on all future Chinese saccharin imports!
PMC Specialties Group, Inc., of Cincinnati, Ohio, the petitioner for the anti-dumping investigation, is the only domestic manufacturer of saccharin. By petitioning the federal government, PMC Specialties Group, Inc. proves that government intervention in the market (on behalf of domestic producers) can, indeed, protect the interests of a select few manufacturers, at the expense of many consumers.
MAY 21, 2003:
CHILDREN AND FAMILIES ADMINISTRATION ' $13 MILLION IN GRANTS FOR THE 'HELP AMERICA VOTE ACT'
On October 29, 2002, President Bush signed into law the 'Help America Vote Act' to provide disabled individuals with greater access to, and participation in, the election process.
Authorized uses of these state allotments include: making polling places accessible to disabled individuals; providing disabled individuals with information about the accessibility of polling places; and training election officials and poll workers on how best to promote access and participation by disabled individuals.
Voting is essential to legitimize the power of the State. Elected officials will go to great lengths to ensure that citizens are able to participate in the election process.
PRESIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS ''WORLD TRADE WEEK'
President Bush proclaims May 18-24, 2003, as 'World Trade Week,' praising the benefits of free and open trade and how it contributes to the prosperity of our nation and that of the global community.
Meanwhile, various administrative offices under the Department of Commerce impose tariffs, duties, and quotas on thousands of imported goods to 'protect' domestic manufacturers and prevent 'unfair competition' ' resulting in higher prices for these goods to the end user.
TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMINISTRATION ' TEMPORARY SUSPENSION OF SEPTEMBER 11th FEES AND AVIATION SECURITY INFRASTRUCTURE FEES
September 11th Security Fees and Aviation Security Infrastructure Fees (ASIF) will be temporarily suspended on all airline tickets purchased between June 1, 2003, and September 30, 2003.
The 'Emergency Wartime Supplemental Appropriations Act,' an $80 billion spending bill that authorized funding for the military operation in Iraq, also provided $2.3 billion in aid to the airline industry to offset losses related to the war in Iraq.
The airline industry sought reductions in its tax burden, such as the tax on jet fuel. Instead, they received a taxpayer handout.
Why did legislators opt to provide a government handout to airlines instead of reducing their tax burden? Simple. They can take credit for the airline industry recovery if they provide direct financial assistance. They cannot take credit for a recovery that is aided by less government intervention (i.e., lower taxes). Besides, bureaucrats are generally unwilling to give up any revenue stream by lowering taxes, no matter how obvious the benefits.
MAY 22, 2003:
STATE DEPARTMENT ' ARMS EXPORT CONTROL ACT
According to the State Department, the following countries are not cooperating with the United States antiterrorism efforts:
Cuba, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, Syria.
What does that mean? Perhaps they are potential targets for future "preemptive" strikes? The "official" military hit list for the imperialist U.S. war machine.
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