Setting the Record Straight

September 17, 2008

It’s Regulation, Stupid!

Regulation and the Economic Mess

     Take this as a given, because it is as much a truism as it ever was—Democrats risk erring on the side of the average citizen, Republicans risk erring on the side of business. Now look at today’s economic mess.

     One of the most glaring differences between Republicans and Democrats is their view of regulations. This difference not only is glaring, it is historic. There is barely any difference between Republicans and Liberterians on the issue—they would prefer none.

     Take a look at each presidential candidate’s statements having to do with economy, energy, health care, what have you, and most of their differences boil down to how much, if ever, should the government regulate. See what John McCain says, see what Barack Obama. Now look at today’s economic mess.

     Look at every administration in the White House, particularly if the president’s party also controls Congress, and you will see that pattern repeated, again and again. Take a look at the past 56 years, 36 with Republicans in the White House.

     Republican administrations always, without fail, reduce the emphasis on enforcing regulations and laws, sometimes to the point of simply ignoring those already in place and fighting against imposing new ones. Now look at today’s economic mess.

     When Republicans controlled Congress during those 36 years, that meant a weak tendency to oversee the departments and agencies of the federal government, to hold their feet to the fire in following regulations and even the law. Even in years when Democrats held the reins in Congress during a GOP administration, oversight carried out rarely could be enforced.

     Every government agency has a pair of subcommittees and committees with oversight authority over them and the power of the purse resides in the whole of Congress.

     In those 20 years when a Democrat sat in the Oval Office, little more than half were years in which Democrats also controlled Congress. With or without congressional backing, Democrats end up spending much of their time and effort trying to right the ship Republicans before them tilted to the right. And that is why you rarely see Democratic administrations accomplishing as much as they did before 1968.

     If you do not believe that is the reality, watch the next administration closely if Congress and the White House are under control of Democrats. Look at this fall’s election with that in mind, and remember, you also get to vote for a member of the House and a third of the states will get to vote for a member of the Senate.



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