Author Archive: K. Lloyd Billingsley

K. Lloyd Billingsley is Communications Counsel at the Independent Institute.
Full biography and recent publications

DEA Hemp Madness


Monday July 28th, 2014   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 7:02am PDT   •   0 Comments

Rep. Jared Polis recently went on record stating that DEA boss Michele Leonhard “is a terrible agency head.” The liberal Colorado Democrat has a strong case, but there’s more to it than that. Sen. Mitch McConnell, a conservative Kentucky Republican, blasted the DEA for wasting limited resources by impounding hemp seeds destined for research...
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Nanny State Surge


Wednesday July 23rd, 2014   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 7:20am PDT   •   0 Comments

Every five years, the federal departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services convene the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. The DGAC mission is to make sound nutritional recommendations based on the best scientific research. Unfortunately as Independent Institute Research Fellow Ernest Pasour notes, in recent years, the DGAC has conscripted nutritional concerns in the...
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Federal $25 Billion Drug Bust


Monday July 21st, 2014   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 7:07am PDT   •   0 Comments

Michael Botticelli, the federal “drug czar” and adviser to Barack Obama, wants to spend $25 billion next year to fight drugs. A report to Congress from the drug czar’s office said, “we must seek to avoid oversimplified debates between the idea of a war on drugs and the notion of legalization as a panacea.”...
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Coastal Commission Carries On Fine Tradition of Bad Government


Wednesday July 16th, 2014   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 7:01am PDT   •   0 Comments

The California Coastal Commission (CCC) is an unelected body that overrides the elected governments of coastal counties and cities on land use and property rights issues. The Commission wields enormous clout, but for more than 30 years it has lobbied for the power to levy fines directly, instead of going through the courts. As...
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The $3.7 Billion Child Trafficking Tab


Monday July 14th, 2014   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 7:05am PDT   •   0 Comments

Already at stratospheric levels, your federal government costs have gone up $3.7 billion, the amount U.S. President Barack Obama wants to address the massive influx of more than 50,000 unaccompanied minors. This new imposition on embattled American taxpayers flows from the ruling-class notion that the United States must be wet-nurse to the world. If...
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$100 Billion in Improper Payments


Friday July 11th, 2014   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 8:30am PDT   •   0 Comments

Readers of this column know that the federal government wastes a lot of taxpayers’ money. How much? Last year, by its own estimate, the government sent out $100 billion in improper payments. In fact, as Rep. John Mica explained, “It’s over $100 billion each of the last five years. That’s a staggering half a...
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Covered California Privatizes Email Stonewalling


Wednesday July 9th, 2014   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 7:16am PDT   •   0 Comments

IRS bosses claim to have lost two years of emails with direct bearing on the targeting scandal. Federal and state government agencies could respond to these mysterious losses by expanding efforts to preserve all public records. But as Christopher Cadelago explains in the Sacramento Bee, Covered California is taking a different approach. California’s health...
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FATCA: A Surge of Seizure Fever


Monday July 7th, 2014   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 7:08am PDT   •   1 Comment

As we recently noted, Americans are still paying a heavy price for mistakes by the Internal Revenue Service. These include a “Seizure Fever” campaign that rewarded IRS employees based on how much money they had confiscated. The IRS also handed out billions in improper payments and fraudulent tax returns, paid millions in bonuses to...
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Withhold Applause for Unhappy Anniversary


Wednesday July 2nd, 2014   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 8:28am PDT   •   0 Comments

Seventy-one years ago, on July 1, 1943, the federal government first started withholding income tax from workers’ paychecks. For the first time, the government would get workers’ money even before the workers did. As a freerepublic blogger noted on the 60th anniversary, that’s not exactly an occasion for celebration. “Why is withholding so bad?...
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Berkeley Professor Warns of Bay Bridge Crack-up


Wednesday July 2nd, 2014   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 7:02am PDT   •   0 Comments

On July 4 many motorists will be heading over the new span of the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge for destinations across the state and beyond. One who won’t be joining them is Abolhassan Astaneh-Asi, professor of structural engineering, mechanics and materials at the University of California at Berkeley. The professor does not believe the...
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