The Latest Taxpayer-Funded Boondoggle
From Sandra Fabry
Americans for Tax Reform,
The EPA is at it again. No, we’re not talking about the latest (and possibly biggest power grab yet – Oberstar’s Clean Water Act — but we’re talking about a shameless (and wasteful) propaganda video contest announced by the EPA last week.
The very agency that has been plotting to impose economically damaging regulations on greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act is soliciting the public to submit YouTube videos explaining the alleged benefits of government regulations. The EPA’s implied reasoning it wants participants to convey: Regulations are swell because “almost every aspect of our lives is touched by federal regulations” — a pretty pathetic argument along the lines of we “already pay so much in taxes, so let’s raise them some more”!?
Now, I am not saying that each and every federal regulation is necessarily bad, but there are certainly scores of regulations or examples of regulatory overreach out there that are not only silly or useless, but potentially harmful and extremely economically damaging, and all of them have a price tag. Did you know that the average American had to work 65 days in 2009 to pay for the cost of government regulation, which was estimated to consume 17.7 percent of national income that year? And that’s just a conservative estimate.
What is even worse about the EPA’s transparent propaganda move to push for more government regulation is the fact that there is a $2,500.00 prize for the “best”(or should I say most pro-regulation?) video.
Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) has taken issue with this and has sent President Obama a letter asking him to rein in his regulators and to instruct the EPA Administrator to rescind the offer of prize money. Writes Blackburn:
In an era of ever mounting debt, a $2,500.00 prize for a YouTube video is truly not the best use of taxpayer dollars. I understand that in context of the trillions the federal government spends every year, $2,500.00 seems inconsequential. (“¦) Washington spends fifty times this amount every second. We must remember however, $2,500.00 is the total tax contribution for a working American making just under $30,000 a year. Do you believe that taxpayer wants the entirety of his or her tax contribution to be given away as prize money for a YouTube video?
The Congressman will be submitting her own video in the contest and is currently asking her friends on Facebook to send her stories on how federal rules and regulations have impacted their lives for inclusion in the video. She has vowed to make sure the prize money goes towards debt reduction, should she win.
The folks at Americans for Prosperity, who share our concerns regarding regulatory overreach by the government, have also entered the contest with this video. Somehow I don’t think this is the type of video the EPA is looking for.
If you would like to submit your own video explaining to the EPA and the rest of the country why more government regulation might not be the way to go, here are the rules for the contest.