Allen B. West

Outrage du jour: EPA now has the power to garnish your wages – without a court order.

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Recently, we reported on the government seeking to expand the endangered species act to cover more species, which will have an adverse effect on Americans, especially out in western territories.

As a matter of fact, the recent declaration of the jumping mouse threatens a ranching family in New Mexico. And I’m sure you’re aware that when the Cap and Trade legislation failed to move forward, the Obama administration pivoted to use the pen of regulatory fiat to impose their progressive vision of controlling the American energy sector.

President Richard Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency and I have to believe he didn’t have any idea of the monster it would become. The EPA now wields so much power it may declare dry lands and wetlands, and force inhabitants of those lands to pay hefty fines.

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But here is the latest from this regulatory agency gone wild. As reported by, “The Environmental Protection Agency has quietly claimed that it has the authority to unilaterally garnish the wages of individuals who have been accused of violating its rules.”

“According to The Washington Times, the agency announced the plan to enhance its purview last week in a notice in the Federal Register. The notice claimed that federal law allows the EPA to ‘garnish non-Federal wages to collect delinquent non-tax debts owed the United States without first obtaining a court order.’”

So let me see if I can wrap my mind around this. This government agency, the EPA, just unilaterally came out and wrote itself a rule in the federal registry saying it can take money from an American who breaks its rules — which most Americans are not aware of? Furthermore, the EPA is saying it can do so without court order and approval?

So it seems to me we have a government agency that believes it is well within its rights to enact punitive actions against the citizens of America.

In essence, the EPA believes it can levy a fine — a tax — against an American as part of its own “behavior modification.”

It occurs to me that Americans have had to contend with such actions before. As a mater of fact, it was addressed in a list of grievances by a fellow named Thomas Jefferson in a document called the Declaration of Independence.

About half-way through his list of grievances, Jefferson wrote about the King of Great Britain that, “He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent out hither Swarms of Officers to harass our People, and eat out their Substance.” As well as “imposing Taxes on us without our Consent.”

The U.S. Constitution gives Americans the right to “petition their government for redress of grievances.” So how have we come to a point where the EPA can just write a punitive rule against our citizens?

Fox reports “the EPA had fast-tracked the new rule, enabling it to take effect September 2 unless the agency receives enough adverse public comments by August 1. The EPA said the rule was not subject to review because it was not a “significant regulatory action.” The EPA has claimed this new authority by citing the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, which gives all federal agencies the power to conduct administrative wage garnishment, provided that the agency allows for hearings at which debtors can challenge the amount or the terms of a repayment schedule.”

Hmm, in 1996, the Clinton administration had a fella named John Podesta as part of his inner circle. This is the same John Podesta who was brought into the Obama administration for his keen insight and ability to use executive actions.

This is why Americans need to pay attention to what is being passed in Washington D.C.

Fox says “an EPA spokeswoman also pointed to a Department of Treasury rule from 2011 outlining debt collection for various agencies, including the EPA. Administrative Wage Garnishment (AWG) would apply only after EPA attempts to collect delinquent debts and after Treasury attempts to collect delinquent debts through other means. She added that the agency would provide notice “prior to any action,” giving the debtor the opportunity to “review, contest or enter into a repayment agreement.”

The burden of proof is always skewed against the American citizen — not the government. But what this boils down to for the Obama administration is just another means of taxation and more of what Frederic Bastiat coined in his essay The Law as “legal plunder.” The amount of money the EPA has collected in fines has increased steadily since President Obama took office. In 2012, the agency took in $252 million in fines, up from just $96 million in 2009.

And the hits just keep on coming – or maybe it’s more accurate to call it bludgeoning of American taxpayers.

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