Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 22, 2009 / 28 Nissan 5769

The EPA is choking democracy

By Jonah Goldberg


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | One of the most important events of our lifetimes may have just transpired. A federal agency has decided that it has the power to regulate everything, including the air you breathe.


Nominally, the Environmental Protection Agency's announcement last Friday only applies to new-car emissions. But pretty much everyone agrees that the ruling opens the door to regulating, well, everything.


According to the EPA, greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide — the gas you exhale — as well as methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride. It is literally impossible to imagine a significant economic or human activity that does not involve the production of one of these gases. Don't think just of the gas and electricity bills. Cow flatulence is a serious concern of the EPA's already. What next? Perhaps an EPA mandarin will pick up a copy of "The Greenpeace Guide to Environmentally Friendly Sex" and go after the root causes of global warming.


Whether or not global warming is a crisis that warrants immediate, drastic action (I don't think it does), and whether or not such wholesale measures would be an economic calamity (they would be), the EPA's decision should be disturbing to people who believe in democratic, constitutional government.


Two years ago, the Supreme Court — the least democratic branch of our formal government — decided in Massachusetts v. EPA that the agency could regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. With this judicial green light, the EPA has launched its power grab over all that burns, breathes, burps, flies, drives and passes gas.


Yes, the head of the EPA reports to the president, which gives some patina of democratic accountability. Except the EPA is supposed to be politically autonomous, doing what it thinks best according to what President Obama calls "sound science." So the government bureaucracy is on its way to strong-arming the economy in ways Congress never imagined when it passed the Clean Air Act in 1970. Or the president has suddenly gained sweeping new powers over American life, in ways never imagined by Congress or the founders, and despite the fact that these new powers were never put before the voters.


This is not a sudden development. Vast swaths of the state have been on autopilot for years, effectively immune to democratic influence. The Federal Reserve, particularly of late, has been acting like the fourth branch of government. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, without congressional, presidential or court approval, has been committing trillions of dollars to fix the financial crisis. That may be warranted; only time will tell. But there's still something troubling about an institution so immune to democratic control.


In 2002, Congress created the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. It covers its expenses by taxing all publicly traded corporations. It alone determines the amount to tax, without approval of the White House or, more important, Congress, which, according to the Constitution, has the sole authority to levy taxes: "All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives" (Article 1, Section 7). In 1999, the Federal Communications Commission raised the so-called Gore tax on long-distance phone calls by 73 percent without seeking congressional approval. Lord knows what the EPA could collect by extorting "climate criminals."


In fairness, the Obama administration and congressional Democrats reportedly don't want to cede authority to the EPA. Rather, they want to use the threat of an EPA takeover — and its presumably draconian impositions on business — to force reluctant moderate Democratic and Republican members of Congress to sign on to the president's cap-and-trade scheme (itself an enormous energy tax).


California's Barbara Boxer, who chairs the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, has said as much: "EPA, through its scientists, has given us a warning that global warming pollution is a clear, present and future danger to America's families. If Congress does not act to pass legislation, then I will call on the EPA to take all steps authorized by law to protect our families."


Translation: Either you vote our way or we'll render voting meaningless.


Other Democrats are delighted by the EPA decision because it allows them to have their preferred policy — carbon regulation — without actually having to vote for it.


Either way, it doesn't sound like these folks take their oaths of office very seriously.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


To comment on JWR contributor Jonah Goldberg's column click here.

Jonah Goldberg Archives

© 2006 TMS

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles