Report: 400 new federal crimes created since 2008

posted at 10:01 pm on August 5, 2014 by Mary Katharine Ham

The Free Beacon‘s C.J. Ciaramella reports on a Congressional Research Service report that can only mean great things for our country:

The federal government has created more than 400 new crimes since 2008, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service (CRS).

In a June report to the House Over-Criminalization Task Force, the CRS identified 439 new criminal offenses to the U.S. Code between 2008 and 2013.

A 2008 analysis by the law scholar John S. Baker for the Heritage Foundation found that, between 2000 and 2007, the government added 452 crimes to the books, indicating the government has increased the rate at which it created new crimes.

The 2008 report identified “at least 4,450 federal crimes.” Adding in the CRS report tally, there are now 4,889 federal crimes on the books.

Many of the new crimes simply expanded the criminal code surrounding fraud, racketeering, child pornography, recruitment of child soldiers, and other crimes often pursued by federal prosecutors.

However, there were a few new activities liable to land one in federal prison. For example, it is now a federal crime to conduct “high seas navigation of an unflagged submersible or semi-submersible vessel.” The law was created in response to so-called “narco-subs” used by drug cartels in South America.

Another new section of the code “criminalizes mailing cigarettes and smokeless tobacco.”

Hey, and that’s with Congress not exactly in overdrive. Imagine if they were working at full capacity to make new things illegal, as the Left wishes they could. Damn near everything could be illegal by now! Sadly, we have missed out on much progress on this front. Vox laments.

Read Ciaramella’s whole piece to get an idea of exactly what you’re now not allowed to do.

What’s good to know is that, even though government officials have so very much on their plates, the state of Pennsylvania’s not letting anything fall through the cracks. In small-town Pennsylvania, the state Department of Agriculture is making sure free Americans don’t establish a system for trading seeds from their gardens:

CARLISLE — It was a letter officials with the Cumberland County Library System were surprised to receive.

The system had spent some time working in partnership with the Cumberland County Commission for Women and getting information from the local Penn State Ag Extension office to create a pilot seed library at Mechanicsburg’s Joseph T. Simpson Public Library.

The effort was a new seed-gardening initiative that would allow for residents to “borrow” seeds and replace them with new ones harvested at the end of the season.

Mechanicsburg’s effort had launched on April 26 as part of the borough’s Earth Day Festival, but there were plenty of similar efforts that had already cropped up across the state before the local initiative.

Sixty citizens— or should I say criminals???— signed up for seed trading, according to reports, and no one thought there was reason to worry about the legality of this rather modest endeavor that doesn’t even actually involve commerce. Oh, but they forgot about the Seed Act of 2004, which the Department of Agriculture claims means they can crack down on the trading of seeds to curb the twin scourges of mislabeling and agri-terrorism.

The commissioners were equally flabbergasted by the change of events, as well as with how the agriculture department handled the investigation — sending a high-ranking official and lawyers to a meeting with the library.

Darr explained that the Seed Act primarily focuses on the selling of seeds — which the library was not doing — but there is also a concern about seeds that may be mislabeled (purposefully or accidentally), the growth of invasive plant species, cross-pollination and poisonous plants.

The department told the library it could not have the seed library unless its staff tested each seed packet for germination and other information. Darr said that was clearly not something staff could handle.

The Department of Agriculture in Pennsylvania, due to public outcry, has decided mercifully not to shut down seed libraries entirely but to spend a bunch of man hours and tax dollars coming up with a complicated regulatory protocol for free citizens who frickin’ wish to give cucumber seeds to one another.

Now, if only we could make this seed library thing a federal concern, we’d really lick all our problems. Sure, Pennsylvania sent a lawyer and a high-ranking official to deal with a seed-sharing ring, but I bet the feds could send a SWAT team. Get on it, USDA!

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Report: 400 new federal crimes created since 2008

And none of them apply to the crooks responsible.

FloatingRock on August 5, 2014 at 10:06 PM

And only 200 of them deal with criticizing Dear Liar.

rbj on August 5, 2014 at 10:06 PM

Don’t forget about the crime of disagreeing with the Government! President Agitator will sic the IRS on yo ASS

Privatize It on August 5, 2014 at 10:09 PM

Sure, Pennsylvania sent a lawyer and a high-ranking official to deal with a seed-sharing ring, but I bet the feds could send a SWAT team. Get on it, USDA!

Oh, GREAT, MKH! Give these guys a bright idea! :o)

OTOH, ordering certain types of equipment online, like grow light, hydroponic kits, etc may also get you put on a watch list…or worse.

BlaxPac on August 5, 2014 at 10:11 PM

No one dares cross President Job Killer!

Privatize It on August 5, 2014 at 10:12 PM

I have a pen and a phone. That means I can ignore those laws.

Right?

Wino on August 5, 2014 at 10:13 PM

And of course, even more selective enforcement.

VorDaj on August 5, 2014 at 10:15 PM

But partial birth abortions are still peachy.

SpongePuppy on August 5, 2014 at 10:15 PM

(E X P L E T I V E S . . . . . ), ( . . . . . C E N S O R E D . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ),
( . . . . . . . . . . . R E D A C T E D . . . . . . . . . . . . )
.
.
.
Sometimes ya’ just gotta “vent”.

listens2glenn on August 5, 2014 at 10:16 PM

No one dares cross President Job Killer!

Privatize It on August 5, 2014 at 10:12 PM

So true.

FloatingRock on August 5, 2014 at 10:16 PM

But can I still transport a large whitefish across state lines, as long as it’s not for immoral purposes?

/Real old Woody Allen joke that isn’t really funny now that we know more about him

clear ether

eon

eon on August 5, 2014 at 10:17 PM

- joining the Tea party
- saying the words ‘tea party’

faraway on August 5, 2014 at 10:18 PM

More felons = more DimocRat voters

Meople on August 5, 2014 at 10:20 PM

The feds our out of control. With their SWAT teams. And their laws. Like EPA laws, now backed SWAT teams and asset forfeiture: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/aug/1/feds-raid-nc-home-to-seize-land-rover-in-epa-emiss/

And the federal drug laws too. Especially the asset forfeiture. Like the case where a $21 million motel was stolen because of someone selling drugs from a room. The motel was targeted because the police wanted the money. The sad story is here: Governmental Highway Robbery: Asset Forfeiture and the Pillaging of the American People.

And off topic, but there was just an ad above the comment box against Lamar Alexander (R-TN, primary Thursday Aug 7th), talking about his votes for gun control like measures (I’ve just skimmed it, but I saw Alexander voted for the dubious “Toomey-Manchin” gun registration scheme and to take away your right to defend yourself in National Parks [like against bears?]). I don’t know if you all are getting the same ad but this is the link: http://nagr.org/2014/Issue/tn1a.aspx?pid=lam3a&gclid=CNCqiOvG_b8CFahaMgod9lcA5A

And Lamar is a big fan of the leftists with climate change and Common Core. The main thing is that Lamar Alexander voted for the Gang of 8 amnesty bill. Tomorrow is our last day to do what we can to defeat Amnesty Alexander.

anotherJoe on August 5, 2014 at 10:24 PM

- being a White Hispanic
- saying the word ‘redskins’

faraway on August 5, 2014 at 10:27 PM

Far more than that number of federal criminals, primarily residing in D.C., have also been created …

ShainS on August 5, 2014 at 10:28 PM

Hopefully being a Christian isn’t on the list yet.

Laura Castellano on August 5, 2014 at 10:33 PM

This is a huge problem. This is how big government agents force compliance from the anyone that dares to challenge them. Agents simply threaten dozens of bogus charges that may survive motions to dismiss because of overly broad language. This is also a problem at the local level. Cops force compliance to their every whim by threatening arrest for something. Standing on a public sidewalk results in an arrest for obstructing pedestrian traffic. Filming a cop becomes obstructing a peace officer. Refusing to surrender your smart phone becomes withholding material evidence. Doing something a liberal doesn’t like becomes disorderly conduct. Etc. Etc. 1984, here we come.

corkie on August 5, 2014 at 10:33 PM

Who better than our government to think up new crimes?

I’d think many of them are far beyond expert by now.

Oxymoron on August 5, 2014 at 10:40 PM

The federal government is too big and too powerful.

Deep down it’s that simple folks.

Drained Brain on August 5, 2014 at 10:41 PM

“There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.”

― Ayn Rand, “Atlas Shrugged”

Prophetic

iurockhead on August 5, 2014 at 10:45 PM

- saying the word ‘redskins’

faraway on August 5, 2014 at 10:27 PM

They don’t like potatoes?

freedomfirst on August 5, 2014 at 10:53 PM

Carlisle and Mechanicsburg are full of dangerous agricultural anarchists. The retired extension agent who lives next door recklessly gave my kids a couple tomato plants. The brandywine one is making some delicious fruit. But what about the danger of cross pollination? Could I have poisoned the possum that has been pilfering from it? What if Al Qaeda gets their hands on it?

To make matters worse, my older kid brought home a mystery seed from school and he insisted on plating it. Going against my better judgement, I helped him plant it in a pot. To my horror it turned out to be cucumber. Fortunately due to the small pot we put it in it has only produced one fruit.

I’m not sure if I’ll break more laws by eating the cucumber or by just leaving it to become tough and stingy.

And I’m pretty sure all the neighbors have seen it by now, so I’ll surely be denounced to the authorities if I try to disappear it to the compost bin.

forest on August 5, 2014 at 10:57 PM

“There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.”

― Ayn Rand, “Atlas Shrugged”

Prophetic

iurockhead on August 5, 2014 at 10:45 PM

Etc. Etc. 1984, here we come.

corkie on August 5, 2014 at 10:33 PM

Agreed.
I made the observation here a couple years ago that by making us all criminals, the government endeavors to wield greater control over us. I hope when the time comes, I’ll have the courage not to submit.

freedomfirst on August 5, 2014 at 10:59 PM

So, does the left still think congress is missing-in-action? This do-nothing congress is able to fabricate crime out of whole cloth…fabulous!

freedomfirst on August 5, 2014 at 11:05 PM

I hope when the time comes, I’ll have the courage not to submit.

freedomfirst on August 5, 2014 at 10:59 PM

Knowing when the time has come will be difficult enough. Convincing others that the time has come will be impossible. It’s happening so slowly that acceptance of government control is becoming more and more accepted by every generation.

corkie on August 5, 2014 at 11:10 PM

If you outlaw trading seeds, then only outlaws will trade seeds!

LashRambo on August 5, 2014 at 11:17 PM

Did Hustler Holder succeed in making “whistleblower” one of the worst “crimes” ?

viking01 on August 6, 2014 at 12:14 AM

How about those who slander the prophet of Islam? Is that a law yet?

Oil Can on August 6, 2014 at 1:35 AM

Muhammed screwed goats nightly. Uh oh, I just broke one of king obummer’s laws….uh oh, make that two.

Middle finger to obama….make it an even three.

Diluculo on August 6, 2014 at 2:47 AM

Report: 400 new federal crimes created since 2008

Did we shift into an alternate universe where there are only 9 amendments in the Bill of Rights?

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 6, 2014 at 5:12 AM

I am guilty of blaspheming the god-king.

When will the Civilian Defense Corpse SWAT team arrive?

ConstantineXI on August 6, 2014 at 7:44 AM

The federal government is too big and too powerful.

Deep down it’s that simple folks.

Drained Brain on August 5, 2014 at 10:41 PM

And NEITHER party is going to do a thing about it. In the end, there is only one Establishment, the DC Establishment. The DNC and RNC are just two franchises of that Establishment.

ConstantineXI on August 6, 2014 at 7:47 AM

The Seed Act is a great example of why a do nothing or do as little as necessary congress is highly preferable. This also could be another form of fed control over our food. We should be buying it from approved stores with a fed issue card that can track what we buy and carts that direct us to the approved food sections. Get the big picture here, we can’t be growing food on our own.

Kissmygrits on August 6, 2014 at 8:43 AM

I am guilty of blaspheming the god-king.

When will the Civilian Defense Corpse SWAT team arrive?

ConstantineXI on August 6, 2014 at 7:44 AM

.
WHAT ? ! . . . . . You expect a courtesy “heads-up” ?

listens2glenn on August 6, 2014 at 8:44 AM

.
WHAT ? ! . . . . . You expect a courtesy “heads-up” ?

listens2glenn on August 6, 2014 at 8:44 AM

About all one needs to do to avoid the Civilian Defense Corpse 3AM ELITE Commando Squad is not be at home at 3AM.

ConstantineXI on August 6, 2014 at 9:20 AM

The Seed Act is a great example of why a do nothing or do as little as necessary congress is highly preferable. This also could be another form of fed control over our food. We should be buying it from approved stores with a fed issue card that can track what we buy and carts that direct us to the approved food sections. Get the big picture here, we can’t be growing food on our own.

Kissmygrits on August 6, 2014 at 8:43 AM

We need a period of at least one Congress in which Congress is PROHIBITED from doing anything but reviewing and REPEALING laws.

ConstantineXI on August 6, 2014 at 9:21 AM

The more crimes created, the more laws— the more need for police, justices, clerks, stenographers, courthouses, lawyers, construction of courthouses and jails, cafeterias, janitors, bailiffs, prison guards and you get the picture.

Creating crimes where none existed before makes imperative a larger, more restrictive government with more power and authority.I5t also creates less respect for the law since everyone is a criminal.

MaiDee on August 6, 2014 at 9:45 AM

They don’t like potatoes?

freedomfirst on August 5, 2014 at 10:53 PM

FLOTUS most certainly does not!

The Seed Act is a great example of why a do nothing or do as little as necessary congress is highly preferable.

Kissmygrits on August 6, 2014 at 8:43 AM

I have always liked Jonah Goldberg’s phrase: Don’t just do something, STAND THERE!

The federal government is too big and too powerful.

Drained Brain on August 5, 2014 at 10:41 PM

Absolutely!

GWB on August 6, 2014 at 10:07 AM

With the war on (white) men in full swing, it’s just a matter of time ’til their seed will be illegal.

vnvet on August 6, 2014 at 10:13 AM

My attitude is the same as always: F the government.

earlgrey on August 6, 2014 at 10:18 AM

A few years ago I think the average count per American was 3 felonies per day, just by various acts we innocently do as part of our daily routines. I guess we’re probably up to an average of 4 or 5 by now.

So all it takes is a prosecutor with an axe to grind, a gullible jury, and you and your rights are toast.

s1im on August 6, 2014 at 1:04 PM

What’s good to know is that, even though government officials have so very much on their plates, the state of Pennsylvania’s not letting anything fall through the cracks. In small-town Pennsylvania, the state Department of Agriculture is making sure free Americans don’t establish a system for trading seeds from their gardens:

Oh, fer goodness’ sake.

OK, I’m a PA citizen, and I know my Assemblyman. He’s retiring, but I believe I went to school with his likely replacement. I’ll see what I can do.

That’s why state government is better. You know who the culprits are, and can get hold of them easier. You think Bill Shuster knows anyone back here?

ReggieA on August 6, 2014 at 3:30 PM