By L&T Publisher Earl Watt
I’m not Jeff Foxworthy, and I’m not good at telling redneck jokes like he does, but here is a slight twist: You might be bad at government if ...
1. You like to make rules for other people that you won’t follow yourself;
2. The light bulb bigwigs tell you to eliminate the cheap light bulbs for more expensive “energy efficient” bulbs (with higher profit margins), and you do it;
3. You promise to insure more Americans and your new plan immediately kicks 5 million off their plans (which you also told them they could keep);
4. You grow government with more regulations to protect the consumer, only consumers end up paying more for products that can’t compete against foreign alternatives; and,
5. You don’t encourage high paying jobs, but instead push for a higher minimum wage.
It seems every time the government gets involved, prices go up, jobs go away, and America becomes less competitive.
We were told about five-and-a-half years ago that we were going to fundamentally transform America, and it seems that we have done so, taking a once proud nation into mediocrity.
Why do we continue to push for more government when all it does is drive costs higher?
There are issues when government intervention is required. More than a century ago, working conditions were less than desirable, especially in industrial jobs. Workers were at risk from machinery that was not properly guarded, and the food industry did not always practice the cleanest habits.
For that reason, Theodore Roosevelt established some government oversight.
In the early 1970s, Richard Nixon established the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency as another layer of government to ensure that working conditions would protect workers as well as the environment.
Originally, these organizations did a great job.
Since the 1970s, more than 99 percent of the particulates in the air have been removed. Cities are no longer enveloped in smog, and lakes and streams are not receiving harmful chemicals.
Once these agencies had done what they were intended to do, it wasn’t enough. To justify their existence, there had to be more they could regulate, and our government agreed.
Instead of being non-political servants to the people, the EPA has become a tool in a plan to redistribute wealth. By overregulating coal and other fossil fuels, and driving the cost of business up, consumers have to pay higher energy costs. Likewise, government incentives and subsidies allow more expensive fuel options (solar, wind, etc.) to appear more competitive, but tax money has to be used to fund the ventures, which, again, comes from the wallets of consumers.
This is the typical pattern of government.
Ronald Reagan summed it up by saying, “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
The government cannot dictate every move an individual or a company makes, and the government agencies are supposed to be nonpartisan.
Now, they advocate a certain agenda because that provides job security. After all, if you are a regulator, you feel compelled to regulate.
Congress and the president were supposed to limit the reach and scope of government.
But they aren’t. Instead, they encourage more of it at our expense. Twice. We pay for the cost of the regulator and the higher cost of the products.
Don’t you think you should ask, “Are you really helping me?”