In today’s moment of historical headscratchers, John Stossel questioned the purpose of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, saying on Fox News:
Why is there a Bureau of Indian Affairs? There is no Bureau of Puerto Rican Affairs or Black Affairs or Irish Affairs. And no group in America has been more helped by the government than the American Indians, because we have the treaties, we stole their land. But 200 years later, no group does worse.
Stossel was attempting to make a small-government argument that federal intervention has actually hurt Native Americans, but instead, he displayed stunning ignorance of history and, well, the Constitution. The BIA exists as a liaison between the U.S. government and the 565 tribes who reside on sovereign land located within the U.S. That’s not to say there aren’t problems with the Bureau and its interactions with its constituents, but boiling the challenges Native Americans face down to a complaint about the existence of the BIA is pretty absurd.