The federal government bought what became Nevada with the tax dollars of American citizens. Most of the Louisiana Purchase was bought and then sold to American citizens at reasonable, cost-recovery rates. Sometimes later, the federal government decided to keep the land, even though it is prohibited from owning land by the Constitution. When Mr. Bundy's family homesteaded the land, like my great-grandfather did in the Dakotas, it was with the understanding that they would have access to the "public land" -- the land owned by them in common with their neighbors. Ninety years later, the federal government broke its contract with Mr. Bundy (and his former neighbors) and decided unilaterally that they could not use the land. The whole "grazing fees" issue is a red herring. It's like the miners in Alaska who are promised they can go on mining so long as they can meet a water quality standard that nature doesn't even meet and then they get hit with administrative fines for imperfect paper work that are so high they can't possibly pay them.

Mr. Bundy was right to refuse to pay. He just would have been driven out of business like his neighbors have been. The federal government should be required to fulfill its contract with the ranchers, but since that is entirely impossible for the federal administrative state to accomplish, BLM should be required to turn the land over to the State and let folks closer to the situation make the decisions.

The federal government tyrannizing American citizens must stop! I'm hoping this was our Tahrir Square. We certainly need one.

More Posts