by Hans Bader on July 15, 2011 · 0 comments
The EPA has donated millions to the very environmental groups that routinely sue it. Then, when they sue it, it gives them millions more in attorneys fees — even when such fees would appear to be barred by provisions in the Equal Access to Justice Act. This includes millions to groups that have sued it over greenhouse gas-related issues.
The net result of many of these lawsuits is court rulings or consent decrees that effectively expand its jurisdiction. As Walter Olson notes, the EPA has a symbiotic relationship with the groups that sue it. And this is not unusual for government agencies: as he notes in his book Schools for Misrule, many government agencies are delighted when they are sued by liberal special-interest groups that demand that they spend more money and assume more responsibilities, and collude with them to produce a court ruling or settlement that expands their power and budget. I comment on this phenomenon here. Earlier, I wrote about how the Obama administration uses discrimination lawsuits against federal agencies to transfer wealth to trial lawyers and left-wing special interest groups.
Obama is now refusing to sign off on any deal to lift the $14 trillion national debt ceiling unless it preserves wasteful green-jobs spending that has wiped out thousands of American jobs. He also refuses to give up rail boondoggles and waste-ridden stimulus programs that destroyed jobs (stimulus money has gone to prisoners and dead people, wasteful welfare spending, abandoned bridges, and redundant government buildings). His administration’s rail projects are expensive white elephants that will be used by very few travelers at an enormous cost per mile, and will not enable trains to go anywhere near as fast as they do in Europe, Japan, or China (making his claim that they are “high-speed” rail deeply misleading). Obama also refuses to trim increases in education outlays, even though there is plenty of waste and duplication in federal education spending, which has skyrocketed (and some education spending seems positively harmful, like the $130,000 in stimulus money was recently spent for a book that demonized white people and encouraged teachers to treat students differently based on their race).