If you want to look at a broad-brush example of what is hurting our country, today’s expected “Net Neutrality” regulations serve as a clear case in point. While we are suffering through bad economic policy and an out of touch administration, a real threat exists in the form of government “solutions” to non-existent, or, at the least, debatable, problems. Worse yet is the way that these “problems” are being addressed, not through legislation (bad enough, and another battle that needs to be fought), but through regulation imposed by government agencies that goes way beyond any legislative authority.
CAFE standards and the EPA’s “discovery” that humans exhale a pollutant that needs to be regulated are but two examples. Net Neutrality will be another. (On a side note; If you want to know how bad something is, just note how far the name given to a proposal is from the actual action it will take.)
Of course, we know by now that the FCC has approved those rules.
The Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday approved “high-level rules of the road” designed to ensure that internet providers grant everyone equal access to the Web.
But the 3-2 vote immediately came under attack from both flanks, with internet-freedom advocates saying the new rules don’t go far enough and critics saying the government should stay out of online business altogether.
The point here goes beyond the rules themselves, bad as they are. What I want to emphasize is that these rules were passed after the courts and Congress have both indicated that the FCC does not have that power. From Ed Morrissey:
The new rules will come under scrutiny almost immediately in the upcoming Congress. Even the Democratic-run Congress objected to Genachowski’s first attempt at claiming jurisdiction over the Internet, as did the courts. A Republican-run House will look even more skeptically at expanded claims of jurisdiction by an agency, especially when Congress has previously refused to grant that jurisdiction.
Van Helsing writes:
You had to know ever-expanding Big Government would close its ham-like fists around the throat of the Internet eventually. Today FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, aka “Julius Seizure” is launching a major offensive that will serve as a beachhead for eventual total control.
He also points to an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal by Republican FCC Commissioner Robert M. McDowell that includes this:
Nothing is broken that needs fixing, however. The Internet has been open and freedom-enhancing since it was spun off from a government research project in the early 1990s. Its nature as a diffuse and dynamic global network of networks defies top-down authority. Ample laws to protect consumers already exist. Furthermore, the Obama Justice Department and the European Commission both decided this year that net-neutrality regulation was unnecessary and might deter investment in next-generation Internet technology and infrastructure.
Analysts and broadband companies of all sizes have told the FCC that new rules are likely to have the perverse effect of inhibiting capital investment, deterring innovation, raising operating costs, and ultimately increasing consumer prices. Others maintain that the new rules will kill jobs. By moving forward with Internet rules anyway, the FCC is not living up to its promise of being “data driven” in its pursuit of mandates—i.e., listening to the needs of the market.
Mark Tapscott, in his article at the Washington Examiner, quotes S.C. Senator Jim DeMint.
Proceeding on its own liberal whims rather than facts, this FCC has chosen to grant itself broad authority to limit how businesses can bring the internet to consumers in faster and more innovative ways.
Americans loudly demanded a more limited federal government this November, but the Obama Administration has dedicated itself to expanding centralized government planning. Today, unelected bureaucrats rammed through an internet takeover, even after Congress and courts warned them not to.
Yesterday’s FCC decision is only the most currently visible example of an out of control federal bureaucracy that refuses to be accountable to the American people. Let’s hope that the 112th will put the brakes on this type of shenanigans and ever expanding government control.