Mitch went down to Texas last week where he spoke to three local Chambers of Commerce. The report is amusing, if unsurprising:
One of U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s favorite words on Tuesday while in San Antonio was “regulation.”
The powerful Kentucky Republican is against them.
Many business owners are, too — sometimes for good reason.
Yes. Sometimes. That’s why sometimes, the government rescinds certain regulations and sometimes it doesn’t fully enforce others and sometimes it just allows the rest of us — the non-business owners — to consume water and air and food with carcinogenic particulates well-above the medically recommended level. So sure, sometimes there’s a good reason and when there is, the government scales back the regulations. Happens all the time. Always has. No big deal, right?
McConnell set the stage in his opening statements. The American public, by electing in 2008 a Democratic Party president and a Democratic congressional majority, apparently thought that “America suffered from not enough government.”
McConnell characterized that way of thinking as “a West European view of what America ought to be.” The 2010 electoral backlash in favor of the Republicans was like “a restraining order” on that way of thinking.
McConnell later listed the industries under threat from government regulation: health care, financial services, labor and, so he wouldn’t leave anyone out, industries regulated by “every agency.”
Yes, that’s exactly what both those elections were about. When they write history books, that will be it. It will have nothing to do with Mitch McConnell and the Republican party destroying America.
Also… as for his charge that Health Care and the Financial Services industries are “under threat” — only in a room full of Chambers of Commerce members would that elicit sympathy. “Oh! Those poor babies. Whatever will they do? Why is everyone so mean, why is the world so unfair?”
And then he throws in Labor… because it’s government regulations that are threatening to bust the unions.
And then… “industries regulated by ‘every agency.’”
Here’s a neat fact. Mitch McConnell is regulated by every agency and so are you.
The IRS regulates that you pay taxes, the taxes pay for departments of transportation and the DOT regulates that you stop at red lights and stop signs and generally don’t kill other people. The Police department regulates that you don’t get shot by wackjobs and the Fire Department regulates that if you house catches on fire, maybe it won’t burn the fuck down. The EPA regulates that when you drink water you don’t drop dead and that when you go outside and breathe the air, they regulate that you not cough up blood. The Department of Defense regulates that young men sign up for the Draft and they regulate that when your town floods they will come in and help you sandbag your house. They also regulate the ability of terrorists over there to come over here. OSHA regulates that you don’t die at your desk while you’re doing your crummy job and the Department of Labor regulates you not work 80 hours a week without proper remuneration. The Department of Health and Human Services regulates that certain standards of health be upheld and the Department of Justice regulates your ability to get totally and entirely hosed by the poor put-upon Health Insurance industry.
It’s all so sad! Our lives are totally controlled. We are not free. Freedom is dead.
And do you know what’s worse? Do you?
Regulations are the main reason companies collectively are sitting on between $2 trillion to $3 trillion in cash. They are “afraid to invest any of it,” McConnell said.
Because your kid has to get educated and because you have to not get behind the wheel of a car with no brakes, the very companies who brought this country to its knees are hoarding offensive amounts of money (of taxpayer money) and they aren’t giving it back. Because you and me and Mitch McConnell and poor little Trillion Dollar them are being regulated!
And what did the Chambers of Commerce make of Mitch’s impassioned speech?
Yet, no one ever said why the economy fell into recession or why other problems arise.
The housing and financial crisis of 2008? The environmentally disastrous oil blowout in the Gulf of Mexico last year? Bernie Madoff? Contaminated food outbreaks? Refinery explosions? Coal mine accidents? Appropriate and smart regulation could have prevented those.
Maybe McConnell and business owners believe the recent regulatory steps are the wrong ones. The new ones don’t address what caused past problems and therefore make matters worse. If so, that’s not well articulated.
And why should they articulate it? Why should they speak of what caused the recession? Why should they? Or… wait… is there a government agency that regulates their level of honesty? Because last I checked, this is still America and if a roomful of businessmen want to sit around patting each other on the back whilst willfully ignoring the 2 to 3 Trillion things that are really wrong with the country, that’s their business and Uncle Sam can butt the hell out.