Rearranging Chairs on the Sun Deck

 

Over the long holiday weekend, America’s national debt crossed the $18 trillion mark. This, combined with the incompetence of a public sector that is fast squeezing out the private, is a partial reason for the GOP’s historic victory in the midterms. Voters might not be clamoring for a smaller government (would that they were), but they certainly want a functional one.

Don’t worry, America. Help is on the way:

Finally.

If November was a mandate on anything, it was the need for bleeding-edge advancements in the Coppertone sector. There are some politicians who look at sunscreen the way it is, and ask “why?” Our Congress dreams of tanning products that never were, and ask “why not?”

We choose Sunscreen Innovation in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard. Ich bin ein Suntanner! 

On its face, the Sunscreen Innovation Act isn’t the most horrible idea. The 17-page law was sold as a way to force the FDA to rise from its ample fundament and approve a variety of active ingredients for balms, lotions and unguents. According to Sen. Ayotte (R-N.H.), who kindly responded to my whinging on Twitter, some products have languished for a dozen years. But why must we pass new laws to force bureaucrats to observe existing ones?

The massive Code of Federal Regulations is a list of every rule and regulation mandated by the federal government. If you printed the entire CFR, it would stand 55 feet tall. Perhaps I should be thankful Sen. Ayotte only added a few millimeters to the total, but when will the soon-to-be GOP majority consider chopping feet out of this regulatory redwood?

The federal government has 2.8 million employees (not counting military) to enforce this five-story-tall rulebook. And instead of making life better, the nation seems to be falling apart socially, economically and internationally. Instead of reforming an out-of-control Leviathan, we are literally rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic (and by “literally,” I mean “figuratively”).

Sure, we could add 17 new pages of rules for the FDA, but why not cut their funding until they can justify the reason for their existence? But if we defund regulators, more companies will violate the law! I propose a compromise: first eliminate 50% of the laws then cut 50% from the FDA’s staff and budget.

As Prof. Glenn Reynolds often says, “what can’t go on forever, won’t.” The size of government will be drastically reduced in the all-too-near future whether those in the Beltway like it or not. The question is, will elected officials be the ones to make difficult decisions while protecting citizens and increasing efficiency, or will the whole scheme collapse catastrophically. Even the most innovative sunscreen won’t protect us from that fallout.

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There are 8 comments.

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  1. Nick Stuart Inactive
    Nick Stuart
    @NickStuart

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:… but when will the soon-to-be GOP majority consider chopping feet out of this regulatory redwood?

    Never.

    My rep sends out chirpy tweets about bundling up because it’s cold outside. Darn glad I have a congressman to remind me to put on a hat.

    • #1
  2. Butters Inactive
    Butters
    @CommodoreBTC

    Ayotte has been quite the disappointment.

    By approving this legislation, she is accepting the premise that the federal government should have this regulatory authority in the first place.

    • #2
  3. carlboraca@gmail.com Inactive
    carlboraca@gmail.com
    @PleatedPantsForever

    JG – so are you saying you want people to get skin cancer :)? This is the mentality we are dealing with……the thought is if you pass some dumb new law you are “doing something” or “making a difference” if you ever try to cut something you are trying to drown puppies. I fear a collapse in the bond market would be the only thing that could turn this thinking around

    • #3
  4. BastiatJunior Member
    BastiatJunior
    @BastiatJunior

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: As Prof. Glenn Reynolds often says, “what can’t go on forever, won’t.”

    It can go on for a long time, though.  Look at Detroit.  The only reason some of the bad things have stopped there is that outsiders took over its government.  If Detroit’s voter’s had their way, those things would still be going on.

    And, “what can’t go on forever” is still going on in Greece.

    • #4
  5. user_358258 Member
    user_358258
    @RandyWebster

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:Instead of reforming an out-of-control Leviathan, we are literally rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic (and by “literally,” I mean “figuratively”).

    Whew!  I thought Joe Biden had slipped in here for a minute.

    • #5
  6. Songwriter Inactive
    Songwriter
    @user_19450

    Randy Webster:

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:Instead of reforming an out-of-control Leviathan, we are literally rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic (and by “literally,” I mean “figuratively”).

    Whew! I thought Joe Biden had slipped in here for a minute.

    Randy – You gotta admit having Uncle Joe comment here at Ricochet would be endless comedic fun for all of us.

    • #6
  7. Jon Gabriel, Ed. Admin
    Jon Gabriel, Ed.
    @jon

    BastiatJunior: It can go on for a long time, though. Look at Detroit. The only reason some of the bad things have stopped there is that outsiders took over its government. If Detroit’s voter’s had their way, those things would still be going on. And, “what can’t go on forever” is still going on in Greece.

    I think a big difference with Detroit and Greece is that both had a stronger economic power willing to bail them out. America doesn’t have that luxury. I’m curious how long the U.S., E.U. and China can prop up our myriad weaknesses before the house of cards falls.

    • #7
  8. BastiatJunior Member
    BastiatJunior
    @BastiatJunior

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:

    BastiatJunior: It can go on for a long time, though. Look at Detroit. The only reason some of the bad things have stopped there is that outsiders took over its government. If Detroit’s voter’s had their way, those things would still be going on. And, “what can’t go on forever” is still going on in Greece.

    I think a big difference with Detroit and Greece is that both had a stronger economic power willing to bail them out. America doesn’t have that luxury. I’m curious how long the U.S., E.U. and China can prop up our myriad weaknesses before the house of cards falls.

    So am I.

    • #8
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