Friday, April 12, 2013

Gina McCarthy is wrong for the EPA

There is no question that we must be good stewards of the planet that God gave us. But, those who learn from history know that EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) regulation is an expensive and inefficient way to protect our environment.

Innovation is best driven by consumer preferences and entrepreneurial spirit, not forced by regulation and central planning. While regulation does drive some innovation, the net effect of the EPA’s regulation is job and income losses and constrained innovation by companies to meet consumer desires. Government-driven innovation almost always results in products that don't work, that fail prematurely, and that don't meet consumer needs. EPA-driven fuel-economy and emissions standards for automobiles are a prime example.

An example of how the EPA has adversely distorted the market is the SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle). Many Americans drive large gas-hog four-wheel-drive SUVs -- not because they need the off-road capability, but because they need the space and payload capacity. They need to move family, groceries, soccer teams, Cub Scout packs, camp trailers, ski boats, etc. A generation ago, Americans did all these chores with relatively more efficient and cheaper "station wagons". The traditional station wagon has been so crippled by EPA-mandated 'innovations" that it no longer meets the needs of many American families. So, Americans have resorted to SUVs -- trucks in disguise -- to meet their transportation needs.

If not disbanded altogether, the EPA clearly needs to take a different path -- a path which must be based on the US Constitution and the limits it imposes on central-government power. More specifically, our laws and regulations must come from the legislative branch of the central government -- not from unelected and unaccountable career bureaucrats.

Obama has nominated career bureaucrat Gina McCarthy to run the EPA. By her actions and her words, she has made it clear that she wants to micromanage American life. She wants to make the rules in defiance of Congress. She said,

But I will tell you that I didn't go to Washington to sit around and wait for Congressional action. Never done that before, and don’t plan to in the future.
This activist mentality is not appropriate for any federal employee, especially an agency administrator. The EPA’s regulatory overreach has already surpassed every other agency in abusing legal authority to the detriment of the economy, jobs, and Liberty. The EPA desperately needs a leader who will rein in the EPA, not one who seeks to use it to defy the elected representatives of the People.

Gina McCarty must be denied any position of influence or authority in the central government.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Arms Trade Treaty and the US Constitution

On April 2, the United Nations General Assembly voted 153-4 to pass the Arms Trade Treaty, with the United States voting in favor. The Community Organizer in Chief reportedly will sign the treaty early in June. The primary beneficiaries of this treaty will be third-world dictators who will be relieved of concerns that freedom fighters might be able to overthrow tyranny.

Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) urged Senate opposition, declaring, "It's our job to make sure any treaty the US enters doesn't interfere with our sovereign ability to uphold the rights of Americans....The arms treaty simply doesn't include strong enough protections to pass that test, and I won't support any treaty that undermines the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Montanans."

Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) joined in by saying, "I have great concerns that this treaty can be used to violate the Second Amendment rights of American citizens, and do not believe we should sign any treaty that infringes on the sovereignty of our country."

Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) added, "The UN Arms Trade Treaty that passed in the General Assembly today would require the United States to implement gun-control legislation as required by the treaty, which could supersede the laws our elected officials have already put into place."

I find the text of the approved treaty to be deeply troubling because threatens the rights and privacy of American gun owners. Signatories are encouraged to keep information on the "end users" of arms imported into their territory and supply such information to the exporting country. The treaty also encourages states to adopt domestic legislation to facilitate the treaty's onerous requirements. It is clear that the Obama Administration is eager to do so.

If ratified by the US Senate, this treaty would join the US Constitution as a significant part of "the supreme law of the land." Ratification of the treaty would require the consent of 67 senators, something which seems unlikely.

Unfortunately, once a treaty has been signed, it typically haunts American Liberty in perpetuity, unless a later president withdraws from it. Even if not ratified by the Senate, history proves that anti-Constitution presidents and bureaucrats can and will do much to comply with unratified treaties through administrative action. Congress also can, and likely will, do much to comply with an unratified Arms Trade Treaty through legislation that doesn't need the two-thirds treaty-ratification vote.

It is every senator's sworn duty to defend the US Constitution. I therefore urge every senator to not only work aggressively toward Senate rejection of the UN Arms Trade Treaty, but to implement legislation that will defund and/or prohibit any and all Administration efforts to comply with any feature of the treaty which adversely affects American rights to arms.

Further, this vote highlights how important it is for the Senate to never confirm a presidential nominee who is an enemy of the Constitution. If the Senate took this essential role seriously, there never would have been anyone representing the US to the UN who would have voted for this monstrosity.