Commentary: America’s Raisin Police
I remember reading somewhere 20 or so years ago about an office in Washington hunting Nazis. It had been established in World War Two and the staff was to ferret out any saboteurs and sympathizers within the United States. The war ended. The office continued. Nobody paid much attention and for decades administrators continued hiring workers as others retired and received federal pensions. What a cake job that must have been! Long lunches, sharpening pencils and perhaps some travel to other states in search of elusive Hitlerites. All on your dime. I imagine someone on Capitol Hill finally closed own the shop, although. There may still be some guys in fedoras flagging down taxis while shouting, “Follow that car!” It’s like the old black and white movie where the battle with a Nazi spy ends as the bad guy tumbles from the crown of the Statue of Liberty.
Then there’s the Raisin Administrative Committee. It predates World War Two. The office was designed to provide price support for raisin production. The board seizes raisins from producers and puts them far away in storage where I suppose the shriveled fruit finally petrifies. Now one grower has had enough. The Great Depression ended 75 to 80 years ago. He’s taken his case to the Supreme Court of the United States. Columnist George Will has more here at the Washington Post. The government isn’t happy. It’s demanding 700-thousand dollars from the raisin farmer. Just why we need to regulate raisin supply is beyond me but from the perspective of the leaches feeding off taxpayers at the Raisin Administrative Committee this is serious. The staff wants to continue sucking blood. These extra-legal bureaucrats work beyond the law. They create their own rules and fine hard working Americans in order to justify the existence of the office. A couple of points to make. The first, is there a more Orwellian name than Raisin Administrative Committee? Two, how many thousands of these offices are operating beyond the view of Congress, the courts and the American people? Somehow I doubt the founding fathers envisioned the parasitic nature of modern government. I don’t doubt they went to war for less.