Excessive Environmental Regulations Are Strangling the Economy
There have been comparisons made with other countries that show the average American doesn’t pay enough taxes. While I feel the basis for such an argument doesn’t hold water, there are also indications that it may not be true.
First, why should we be compared to any other country when it comes to anything? This is America, we are what every nation on earth aspires to become. We are not to be measured; we are the rule that is used to measure everyone else. On occasion another country surpasses us but, in general, this is rare. We are still the country people throughout the world would most like to live in.
This is not to say we don’t make mistakes, we do. But when we do, we usually hang them out on the line for everyone to see. One of the mistakes we are making right now is listening to these people who think we aren’t paying our share of taxes. They point out in other countries people are paying more. As usual this may not be true.
According to Nancy Bord and William Laffer of the Heritage Foundation, the average American pays over $11,000 per year to the federal government in taxes. They also point out the average American also pays an average of almost $13,000 per year in federal and state regulations. These costs are hidden in the prices we pay for items and materials whose industries are regulated by the government.
The federal regulations are contained in the Federal Register. In 1940 the Federal Register was approximately 5000 pages. Using the number of pages as a guide or a measuring stick we can see how our federal regulations have increased over time. By 1970 the number of pages had increased to 20,036. One could now assume we had quadrupled the number of federal regulations.
By 1980, the Carter administration had pushed it to 87,012 pages, the all time high. By 1986, President Reagan had reduced it to 47,012 pages and I’m sorry to report by 1991, it was up to 67,718 pages. Leading the charge for the increase in regulations is the EPA and it’s environmental regulations. Anyone who disagrees with excessive environmental regulations is automatically branded as a polluter, or a pawn for big business by the greens. Take dirty water as an example. The environmentalist extremists, including Senator Gore, would have you believe the opposite of clean water is a global catastrophe.
If there is a stream, river or lake that is contaminated with some form of pollutant, it is a LOCAL problem. Depending on the pollutant, it may be more than a problem but it remains LOCAL. The answer to a LOCAL problem is, FIX IT! The local government, city or county can get the people together and fix the problem. It might be a company dumping something into the lake or river. It may be something else but whatever it is, it can be fixed at the local level. So why is it called a global catastrophe?
One reason is the only way you will not complain about an increase in taxes is when you believe the problem is greater than the need for you to keep your money. So the greens must create a crisis so you will go along with their fix. More taxes and regulations!
In Southern California, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) controls people with an iron fist outside the legislature or any voter-controlled process. In 1991 the Air Quality Management Plan (AQMP) stated, “The control programs adopted pursuant to the AQMP shall be designed to be consistent with the maintenance of a healthy economy, with equal job opportunity for all.” It continued with “The goal is clean air at the lowest possible cost.” In 1989 the AQMD’s economic predictions were quite optimistic when they announced the agencies 160 control measures would cost $3.9 billion per year and benefits to the area would be between $9.6 and $11.0 billion per year. The agency also estimated an increase of 84,000 jobs as a result of their regulations.
When the same numbers were examined by National Economic Research Associates of Cambridge Massachusetts, the AQMD’s figures were off just a tad. In- stead of costing $3.9 billion the cost is estimated at $14.8 billion. Instead of receiving $9.6 to $11.0 billion in benefits, it’s more like $2.6 billion. Instead of gaining 84,000 jobs, the job loss was estimated at 56,700. The Pasadena Research Institute forecasts that when all is said and done 351,000 jobs will be lost. The fact is, between 1988 and 1991, over 227,000 jobs were lost in Southern California alone. All due to excessive environmental regulations.
Regulations that force companies like McDonnel Douglas of Long Beach, California, to fly its planes to Arizona to be painted because of excessive paint regulations. Regulations that define the wonderful aroma that comes from bread, cinnamon rolls and other confections made of yeast as pollutants. Regulations requiring increased parking fees and limited parking for single occupant cars at schools, colleges, retail centers and entertainment centers. The AQMD tried to ban BBQ starter fluid but public protest forced them to back off. Instead they passed new regulations mandating that manufacturers of BBQ lighter fluid could not exceed .02 lbs. Of VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) per start. The penalty being $25,000 or one year in jail, per day of violation.
By 1989 the AQMD’s rules, regulations, definitions and explanations were contained in 45 volumes totaling 5,500 pages. Southern California had now reached the number of pages the National Register of the United States of America had in 1940!
Companies like Lockheed Aircraft, Hughes Missiles, Anderson Desk and Bushline are but a few of the companies that have left or are leaving California. There is a three-month wait to rent a truck to leave Los Angeles alone.
How soon will the EPA regulators chase them out of your state? How much more in hidden T AXES are you willing to pay for unnecessary excessive regulations? How many more jobs are you willing to lose because of an owl or a tortoise.
The environmental agenda is focused on two main goals. The destruction of America’s industrial base and the reduction of humans on earth.
America, when will you wake up?