"Light bulbs may be small things," Ricochet member Kenneth wrote yesterday, begging Republicans to lift the penalties on good old-fashioned incandescent bulbs, "but liberty is a big thing." Beautifully put. But if the Tea Party wishes a true victory--if the GOP intends to demonstrate that we Americans remain, even now, a proud and freeborn people--then Republicans should start with toilets.
The 1992 Energy Policy Act, as you may recall, empowered the Department of Energy to require a new national toilet standard. Out went toilets that used three, four or more gallons on a flush. In came the 1.6 gpf--toilets limited to 1.6 gallons per flush.
"The new 1.6 gpf modles had to be flushed two or three times each use and even then succumbed to constant clogging," wrote Andy Ferguson in 2006.
They backed up easily, causing sanitary, not to mention olfactory, problems. Utility officials reported sewage system blockages caused by insufficient quantities of water flowing through community pipes -- blockages that were undone only by flushing the pipes with thousands of gallons of fresh water.
No surprise then that by 2000 several reports showed that the new generation of toilets had brought minimal water savings....
Today's toilets are better than the first 1995 models, though not as good or as cheap as the toilets of our youth. U.S. consumers in 2006 can thus buy a worse product at a higher price than they could in 1992, thanks to the government's insistence on fixing a problem that wasn't there...
Could there be a better way for Republicans to renew their traditional commitment to shrink government and exercise power on behalf of the general public instead of special interests?
Manifestly, there could not.
Let freedom ring--and toilets flush.