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Too Many Crimes Are Based on Red Tape

Recorded on May 9, 2012

From The Heritage Foundation, I'm Ernest Istook.

Innocent behavior has become a crime in America.

People who did nothing wrong still get punished. And it's all over bureaucracy. Even if you do everything right, you get the blame if your seller didn't get all the overseas red tape right.

·         Four men were sentenced to prison for importing lobster tails in plastic bags instead of cardboard boxes.

·         A 61-year-old grandmother was arrested in California for letting her bushes grow more than two feet high—even though she kept them neatly trimmed.

·         Gibson Guitar had to shut down after federal agents confiscated their imported wood—saying it had been harvested in violation of foreign law.

Citizens are charged with crimes, or forced to run up enormous legal bills, based on innocent behavior goes against some obscure red tape requirement.

We've gone too far in declaring some things a crime—and that's a crime in itself.

From The Heritage Foundation, I'm Ernest Istook.