TBO.com: Tampa Bay Online, The Tampa Tribune and The Tampa Times - breaking news and weather.
Monday, Dec 22, 2014
Tom Jackson Columns

The Right Stuff: Beware well-meaning bureaucrats and cock-sure presidents

Published:

View allPage 1 of 2 | Next page

Page 2 of 2 | View all Previous page

Tom Jackson’s conservative opinion column is published each Sunday. The Right Stuff blog is updated throughout the week on TBO.com at tbo.com/tomjackson/

Another worrisome aspect of the Federal Communication Commission’s proposal to put its agents in America’s newsrooms — aside from the hideously obvious — is it represents precisely bureaucracy’s inevitable mission creep in pursuit of expansionist instincts.

Sending bureaucrats to poke around inside private companies carrying out provisions of the First Amendment may strike Bill of Rights fans as unconstitutional excess, but understand: This is what they do.

Once an agency decides it needs to administer rectal exams to those under its jurisdiction, it is only a matter of time before the agency declares its excuse for snapping on powder-free latex gloves.

The FCC proposes to “study” newsroom operations to carry out its lawful duty, but the first thing science majors learn is studies affect outcomes. Accordingly, it is almost certain newsroom behavior will be altered, not for the better, when FCC surveyors show up.

And that, bottom line, is why Americans — who still prefer being free citizens and not subjects of an imperial ruling class … I think — should resist encroachments on their liberty represented by expansions of government-run medical care. If functionaries think they can trample constitutional guarantees, how much more emboldened will they be to meddle in the lives of civilians once they have charge over the nation’s health, which the Founders failed to mention?

New York’s zeal in limiting salt, trans fats and the size of sugary drinks under Nanny Bloomberg is merely the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Imagine first lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” operation growing from a suggestion to a mandate.

Not that I’m opposed to sensible exercise and healthy eating. But such things are, just now, individual choices. That changes with increasing oversight by the government in our relentless march toward universal care, unless we figure out how to repeal the laws of limited supplies. One plan — Independent Payment Advisory Board — was to have established savings through treatment dictates, but Congress gutted its budget.

This doesn’t mean Washington’s careerists won’t resort to flanking maneuvers. Alert thinkers understand how the FCC’s game-shaping almost certainly will be molded by federal employees imagining they’ve been assigned to do what’s best for all of us. Because asserting control is what they do. It’s what they always do.

❖ ❖ ❖

Recently, President Obama again claimed a debate was settled — and for once he wasn’t obsessing over global climate change. Instead, the subject was hiking the minimum wage, and the president was just as certain about its undeniable effects.

“The opponents of the minimum wage have been using the same arguments for years, and time and again they’ve been proven wrong,” Obama said Feb. 12 as he ordered a floor of $10.10 for government contractors. “Raising the minimum wage is good for business, and it’s good for workers, and it’s good for the economy.”

Well. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the same economists who recently tossed cold water on supporters’ claims that the Affordable Care Act is a job-creator (actually, it encourages people to work less), says the president is wrong, wrong, wrong again.

Instead of making things better for the working poor, proposed boosts in the minimum wage will make things — wait for it — measurably worse.

As reported in the Washington Free Beacon Tuesday:

“The 40 percent minimum wage hike touted by President Obama and congressional Democrats would cut 500,000 jobs and could leave as many as 1 million people unemployed.”

Moreover, by making entry-level jobs tougher for the unskilled and less-educated to land, 80 percent of the new money would be funneled into middle- and upper-class families, also known as teens of well-off parents working to keep their cars gassed up and insured.

This, interestingly, reflects precisely a White House report that flatly contradicts the president. Notes the Beacon, “A White House presentation found that the majority of minimum-wage earners are not impoverished breadwinners supporting families. Three in four minimum-wage workers are childless and many of those workers are teenagers.”

Other than all that, hiking the minimum wage — to clarify, finally: forcing employers to pay more for an hour’s work than it’s worth — is a terrific idea.

tjackson@tampatrib.com

(813) 371-1851

Twitter: @tjacksonTBO

Blog: www.tbo.com/tomjackson/

Facebook: TomJacksonTampaTribune

View allPage 1 of 2 | Next page

Page 2 of 2 | View all Previous page

Subscribe to The Tampa Tribune

Comments