American Elephants

The Obama Administration’s Over-Regulation Creates Economic Destruction. by The Elephant's Child

Those on the right side of the aisle generally regard additional regulation as seldom necessary and often harmful to the economy.  Liberals, on the other hand, are anxious to regulate.  They believe that the job of the enlightened elites is to provide good regulation that can enhance safety, make things move more smoothly and make life better for all. So you have to accept that this is a major philosophical division point.

The Obama administration is particularly intent on adding new regulation. Whether it’s a matter of all those agencies and bureaus having lots of good ideas for improving the world stored up; or whether the new Democrat president waved his sceptre and said “Go forth and regulate” will have to wait for the inevitable histories and exposes on this administration are written.

Business has spoken with a single voice: the gush of regulation from this administration is causing economic destruction, unemployment, reluctance to hire,  reduced output, and increasing offshoring of business.  Now America’s farmers and ranchers are joining them in loud complaint.

The Obama administration wants farmers and ranchers to obtain commercial long-haul drivers licenses to conform to new driving regulations.  The licenses would be required of farmers driving farm equipment down public roads.  Traditionally, farmers driving farm machinery have been exempt from commercial driving licenses, as have farmers hauling wheat providing they did not cross state lines, or traveled no more than 150 air miles to the elevator.  Regulators are suggesting that all wheat shipments be considered interstate, even short hauls to elevators that don’t cross state lines.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration wants to do away with exceptions. They argue tat because grain will ultimately be shipped out-of-state it should be regulated as an interstate product at every transportation step. Treated as a product destined to cross state lines, grain becomes federally regulated under the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Most farm kids are driving tractors long before they get drivers’ licenses. Trailers are used to take livestock to County Fairs and Livestock shows.  Horses are hauled to rodeos, parades, or just down the road to another pasture.  Farms and ranches are not necessarily contiguous property—there may be 40 acres here, 60 there, and another patch on down the highway.  Trailers are used for all sorts of things from hauling a load of hay to the barn to taking a bunch of sheep to an auction.

But I suppose you can’t assume that people who are sure that next month or next year electric cars will be popular, can grasp the complications of rural life. Or the unintended consequences —higher food prices, more expensive bacon.

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