American Elephants

The Obama Administration’s Excessive Regulation by The Elephant's Child

I often refer to Liberals as the “perpetually discontented,” because they don’t like things the way they are, they want them better, or different, or fixed, and consider themselves just the ones to fix things.

I think they have never thought much about human nature, and what a flawed species we are. Not just in the Biblical original sin way, but we are selfish, greedy, envious, stupid, lazy, inconsiderate, lascivious, treacherous, to mention just a few characteristics.

A good knowledge of history offers guidelines — more for what not to do, but it’s the only real guidelines we have. You can tell something about the extent to which liberals have considered human nature by their recurring idea that world peace would be just around the corner if we all just thought nice thoughts.

Liberals also assume that government is full of wise platonic guardians who instinctively know what is best for the rest of us. That is why they are so eager to regulate. President Obama, following that instinct, has overseen a dramatic expansion of the regulatory state that will far outlast his time in the White House.

The executive branch has extended its reach, further authorizing the bureaucrats who churn out regulations that touch every aspect of American life and business. Some deny that rule-making has accelerated under Obama, but few would dispute that Washington is reaching deeper into the workings of society.  Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, remarked that “It would be difficult for anyone to pretend that this isn’t a high-water mark in terms of regulation.”

Federal rules are accumulating far faster than outdated ones are removed. Data collected by researchers at George Mason  University’s Mercatus Center shows that the Code of Federal Regulations, where all rules and regulations are detailed, has grown from 71,224 pages in 1975 to 174,545 pages last year.

The EPA has sought to regulate the amount of dust in the air that a farm may allow. That will sound reasonable to apartment dwellers in the city, and a joke to anyone familiar with farming.

A “major rule” is one that has an annual economic impact exceeding $100 million. More “major rules” were enacted in 2010 than in any year dating back to 1997. Over Obama’s first three years in office the Code of Federal Regulations has increased by 7.4 percent. In contrast the regulatory code grew by only 4.4 percent during Bush’s first term.

What matters is not the “intent” of the regulation, but what it actually does in practice. Broad ideas about “protecting the public” may prove to do nothing to protect and a lot to ruin businesses, or disrupt lives. The EPA has famously attempted to extend the authority it has been granted under the Clean Air Act to cover things such as the aforementioned farm dust, and it’s authority over navigable waters to include every trickle of water that eventually runs into a navigable water. As The Hill said in their article:

Supporters of aggressive federal rule-making have high hopes that Obama will act boldly during the remainder of his term.

“I think you have cases where Congress has not been able to address threats to the public,” said Katie Greenhaw, a regulatory policy analyst at the Center for Effective Government. “So if there is existing authority, agencies have obligations to use that authority to protect the public.”

There you have the nub of the problem: “supporters of aggressive federal rule-making” suggests that the need for a rule is not important, it’s about control.  Agencies have “obligations to protect the public.” um, whether or not the public needs protecting? Again, it isn’t about needing a rule, it’s about control and they want to control your life, because they know better — because they are liberals.

There is Never Enough to Satisfy a Liberal! by The Elephant's Child

The public’s approval rate for Congress is a dismal 10%. People think Congress should be getting along and striving to do what’s right for the country, specifically fixing the economy and creating jobs. That is why President Obama’s endless speeches this week have emphasized creating jobs and growing the economy from the middle class out.

The economy, Democrats believe, is in recession because of a lack of demand. People aren’t buying enough stuff. To help the economy recover, they must stimulate it by pumping money in — doesn’t matter where or how. There is a multiplier effect as dollars pass around from hand to hand. That’s the theory behind the stimulus, and the recovery act, and the spending on clean green energy. The stimulus failed to get us out of the recession because it wasn’t big enough. There is never, never enough.

October, 2012, President Obama made his case for reelection  saying “I stopped a Second Great Depression.” “My policies are working.” “A slow recovery was inevitable.” He’s rephrased it now, but he’s still quite sure that he is doing all the right things. He just needs us to believe.

There is never enough. There is never enough government, because the next agency, the next bureau, the next commission will fix things. The next big investment in infrastructure, in health care, in new ports for supertankers, in a new solar array, a new wind farm, the next regulation will fix things. They just need more money to spend.

When they institute the new bill of rights, the one that guarantees a good job at a good wage for a day’s hard work, a good education that allows them to compete in a global economy, a home of their own, affordable health care that’s there when they need it, and a secure retirement. Never enough.

But the good job? We have over 20 million people who are unemployed. The schools have been growing worse steadily. The government offers a national curriculum called “Common Core” which is being rejected by school districts and parents. Infrastructure — back to the crumbling roads and bridges. A vast battle to stop the nonexistent carbon pollution that is causing the nonexistent global warming that hasn’t warmed at all in this century.

But why hasn’t the economy recovered? Why aren’t there any jobs? Business does not hire because of the skyrocketing cost of ObamaCare. Because of soaring energy costs. Because of increased and unnecessary regulation. Because of government interference in business. Because they can’t find well-educated job applicants.

Never enough. Never enough taxpayer money. Never enough regulation, Never enough entitlements to give to the people. And they have no understanding of why the recession has not ended yet.

But you see, it’s just a kneejerk habit of the Republicans. If Obama is for it, they’ve got to be against it. He knows Republicans who are deeply concerned about the effects o the sequester, and say it doesn’t make sense to cut discretionary spending more. Never enough.

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