Obama's "De-Regulation"

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

David Harsanyi of the Denver Post writes about Barack Obama's latest crusade, which the President outlined recently in a recent Wall Street Journal editorial. First, the President signed into law a massive (but unread) bill regulating medical care and medical insurance in the name of protecting our health from consensual trade between doctors and patients. Now, in the name of protecting the free market system, Barack Obama is going to "root out regulations that conflict, that are not worth the cost, or that are just plain dumb."

On one level, Harsanyi makes his point beautifully:

Obama doesn't have to look far, if he's serious. Nor does he need an executive order [or the cost-benefit analysis it calls for]. Right now, the Environmental Protection Agency is drafting carbon rules to force on states, even though a similarly torturous 2,000 pages on a cap-and-trade scheme intending to make power more expensive was rejected. Maybe there's something in that pile of paper to mine.
But on another level, the piece falls flat: Harsanyi neither questions the propriety of government regulation of the economy nor mentions that controls breed controls. It is such hard questions, particularly the first (which is a moral question), that pundits must raise before the tide of popular opinion will really turn against such regulations.

Only then can we really root out this enormous, $1.75 trillion (and growing) annual burden on the economy.

-- CAV


kelleyn said...

Unfortunately, economic and utilitarian arguments are about the only ones I'm seeing used in support of (PDF warning) H.R. 2. The opening debates yesterday afternoon focused on CBO scoring, and it is being spun as a "jobs" bill. It makes sense that House Republicans would want to be expedient, and hopefully, the moral arguments can be put forth during the time the bill's passage buys us.

Gus Van Horn said...


In one sense, the GOP ceded this round when they failed to call it a "patient-killing" bill, and again when they stopped using the term "killing" in deference to the unjust charge that conservative rhetoric "caused" a maniac to fire shots into a crowd in Arizona.

I won't say it CAN'T happen, but between the Dem Senate and Obama, I'm not sure the bill gives us anything more than a feel for just how bad the GOP's arguments presently are. (I'd love to be proven wrong on that score.)

On the bright side, the buildup to the 2012 elections offers a much better chance for real debate.