by John Stossel
The chattering classes shout that the BP spill proves we need more regulation. I’ve argued no — just look at the track record of the regulators we already have. Just before the spill, they were about to nominate BP for a safety award.
This month, EPA officials outdid themselves to show why goverment should be given less, not more, authority. The Holland Sentinel reports:
New Environmental Protection Agency regulations treat spilled milk like oil, requiring farmers to build extra storage tanks and form emergency spill plans. …
“It’s just another, unnecessary over-regulation by the government just lacking any common sense,” said Bill Robb, dairy educator for Michigan State University Extension.
Why would the government make such a ridiculous demand? The EPA explanation:
EPA regulations state that “milk typically contains a percentage of animal fat, which is a non-petroleum oil. Thus, containers storing milk are subject to the Oil Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure Program rule …”
Only a government bureaucrat could think that would be a good idea.
Think of it as Greece on the Pacific: A place with beautiful scenery where the government spent so far beyond its means that mass layoffs, welfare reductions that leave a million children and the poor and elderly without needed services and failing infrastructure are now the norm.
California’s fiscal hole reportedly is now so large that the state would have to free 168,000 prison inmates and permanently close 240 university and community college campuses to balance its budget in the fiscal year that begins July 1.
“We are on the verge of system failure,” Jean Ross, executive director of the California Budget Project, told the Globe and Mail.
“We have to get some federal money,” Ross says. “It would be bad for the U.S. and, arguably, bad for the world to do the shock-therapy approach.”
Peter Dreier, a professor of politics at Occidental College, calls this a classic American dilemma.
“Americans expect a lot of their government,” Dreier says. “But politicians have convinced them they’re not getting what they want.”
Budget analysts say Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has no choice but to ask Washington for bailout funds, and that Washington has no choice but to agree because not bailing out the Golden State could put the entire U.S. economy at risk.
It seems that California — which at one time had the third-largest economy in the world — is like the biggest U.S. banks: Too big to fail.
Neither Democrat Jerry Brown nor Republican Meg Whitman has offered details in their campaigns to become the state’s next governor about how to close this year’s $19 billion budget deficit or handle next year’s anticipated $37 billion deficit, the Mercury News reports.