Keane observations about life, politics and sports.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Need Another Example Why Some Republican Senators Need to Face Primary Challenge?

Some say it is unproductive to challenge incumbent GOP Senators. I could agree if a senator got the great majority of votes right, but differed from my point of view on one small matter or another. I get the concept of building a large tent party. However, a minimum standard for admission to the tent has to exist. I would hope we can agree that our party should be opposed to further expansion of the federal government. With that in mind how does reconcile the fact that 15 Republican senators voted for a massive federal power grab. I'm referring to Senate bill 510 - FDA Food Safety Modernization Act.
Spanning some 150 pages, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act would authorize the FDA to dictate how farmers grow fruits and vegetables, including rules governing soil, water, hygiene, packing, temperatures, and even what animals may roam which fields and when. It would also increase inspections of food “facilities” and tax them to do so. And, fulfilling the dream of a long line of agency officials, the bill grants the FDA unilateral authority to order recalls.

In addition to the inevitable costs to consumers, expanding the agency’s regulatory reach would require additional spending of $1.4 billion between 2011 and 2015, according to the Congressional Budget Office.[1] The costs to the private sector have not been calculated but would likely reach into the hundreds of millions of dollars annually. (Ed. I'm quite certain that these estimates like all estimates of damage caused by legislation is vastly under what the eventual costs will end up being)
While there have been a couple of very high profile cases of food borne illness in the last year or so, the truth is the actual number of cases has decreased markedly over the last decade.

This (like a lot of nanny state BS) brings to mind a quote from the late H.L. Menken:
"The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule."

Oh, you want to know which 15 Republicans think now is the time for a massive expansion of the federal government? Here is a list of the sorry wretches:

Alexander (R-TN)
Brown (R-MA)
Burr (R-NC)
Collins (R-ME)
Enzi (R-WY)
Grassley (R-IA)
Gregg (R-NH) *
Johanns (R-NE)
Kirk (R-IL)
LeMieux (R-FL)
Lugar (R-IN)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Snowe (R-ME)
Vitter (R-LA)
Voinovich (R-OH) *

Two are retiring in a month or so, the rest need to be retired when their current term expires.


Want another reason? From the
Republican Sens. Bob Bennett (UT), Thad Cochran (MS), Dick Lugar (IN), Susan Collins (ME), Jim Inhofe (OK), Lisa Murkowski (AK), Richard Shelby (AL), and George Voinovich (OH) all just voted against an amendment in the Senate that would have banned Congressional earmarks. This is terrible public policy for their states, for their constituents, and for our country.

Harvard research shows that states that experience an increase in earmark spending suffer from decreases in corporate capital expenditures and employment. Earmarking also robs money from local government transportation priorities to pay for Senator’s vanity projects.
You'll notice several names on both list of mistaken votes.

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