There's little debate that one of the many reasons for the country's stagnant economy and high, chronic unemployment is the massive, relentless and pervasive regulations coming from the Obama administration that affect every aspect of our lives. They are many. They get at every aspect of business and job creation. Worse, they just keep coming at you, non-stop, every time you turn on the news or pick up a paper. Whether it's Obamacare's all encompassing regulations of the medical and insurance industries, and our personal lives, and purchasing and medical decisions, or in EPA regulations destroying jobs in Virginia's coal country, increasing our dependence on foreign energy, President Obama has his finger — make that his thumb — on everything American. The constant pressure on industry and individuals is crushing the standard of living of middle class families and less well off families of every race and creed, in every region of the country.
Then, yesterday, I heard on the radio that the president was announcing a major new initiative to cut "government red tape." I thought that maybe he had come to his senses or at least some desperation had set in and he knew he had to relax some of his ideological rigidity. The realist in me figured it was window dressing, but even then there's usually a bone in there somewhere.
The big announcement was that POTUS was cutting regulations on . . . ready? . . . GOVERNMENT! Yes! Government is the one that's been overtaxed and over supervised by government. It is doing so to build more roads more quickly. You know, the roads it doesn't want us driving on because of fossil fuel emissions, the roads that tear up the environment to construct, the roads that were "shovel ready" and were going to create millions of jobs. I thought we'd all be in light rail Nirvana by now. After all, wasn't he supposed to heal the seas and air and . . .
But the president apparently has figured out why those jobs weren't created — the government is regulating itself too much. Too bad he can't understand that if it's bad for government, it's bad for the private sector, too. Here's from the official White House announcement:
Today, the Administration is releasing a comprehensive plan to accelerate and expand permitting reform government-wide. The Administration’s plan adopts the best practices learned from the initial focus projects and calls on federal agencies to apply those practices going forward. By turning best practice into common practice, we can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the federal permitting and review of all major infrastructure projects.
The "reforms" include: "Improving Interagency Coordination to Increase Decision Making Speed," "Driving Accountability and Transparency through the Online Permitting Dashboard," and "Launching an Interagency Permitting Center to Institutionalize Reform." Did someone say "transparency"? From the same people who brought us Obamacare? Too good to be true.
While this announcement generated little commentary, it is very instructive of the liberal mindset. Government is, and always will be not only the best instrument to accomplish every goal, it is the only instrument. When it fails, it is only because it isn't tweaked just right. In order to make those adjustments, only the elite, the people who believe in government, are qualified to make them. That pretty much rules out conservative thought and policies.
Get conservatives elected, then, you say? Understood. But the more the Left gets America hooked on government for its problems' solutions, the more government is not only the best answer (bad enough) but the only answer, the more people will cast their lot with the Left. Then, as we've seen now, even conservatives get relegated from true reform, to managing the messy maze of vast and counterproductive government.