There are many stunning differences between President Obama and Mitt Romney, but surely one of the most glaring is the president's addiction to federal regulations and the GOP contender's pledge to slash them.
At one time in the not-so-distant past, America was dedicated - even addicted - to freedom and common sense. Those days are past. Americans now need to have warning signs that say "Caution: Fire is hot. Do not stick face in flames."
All of us are aware of abundantly dumb rules, requirements and regulations. For example, if you hunt or fish, you almost need a law degree to follow and interpret all the various rules in the hunting and fishing regulations, which have quadrupled in size in the past 25 years. It is mind-boggling, to say the least.
The Regulatory Beast is everywhere. Little children are having their lemonade stands closed down by cops for not having a permit. Federal food cops have literally taken sack lunches away from children and then forced them to eat "healthy" government prepared food. Girl Scouts are rousted from their own driveways for selling cookies.
What has happened to America?
I don't know how we let it happen, but America has become zombified by stacks and stacks of regulations that smother every facet of our lives. Author Philip Howard was right when he wrote "The Death of Common Sense" some 20 years ago.
Apparently, Americans have lost their will to be free, independent and ruggedly individual men and women and now need Fedzilla and his crony cousins Statezilla, Countyzilla and Cityzilla to keep us under their bloated, bureaucratic thumbs, protecting us from ourselves.
If all the pesky rules governing our lives are not dumb enough, the reams of new regulations passed since Mr. Obama took office are enough to sink the Bismarck and the Titanic in one fell swoop.
Inane Fedzilla regulations such as Obamacare and Dodd-Frank are thousands of pages long with detailed rules that require teams of overpaid, overzealous lawyers to try to decipher. Even the people who wrote these regulations can't understand them, yet these regulations have the force of law.
Common-sense crusader John Stossel wrote in an Op-Ed on March 21, "Every year, federal government bureaucrats work hard to come up with some 80,000 pages of new and proposed regulations. That's a lot of pages - 23 feet high if you stack them in one pile."
Just a few months ago, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform released a report detailing the number of new regulations along with the cost of these regulations to American businesses. The results of the report should be the second "shot heard 'round the world."
The report said the Obama administration has "imposed 75 new major regulations costing more than $380 billion over 10 years." The report also identified more than 200 more "economically significant regulations" on the drawing board that will cost businesses more than $20 billion over 10 years.
The Heritage Foundation released a report titled "Red Tape Rising: Obama-Era Regulation at the Three-Year Mark." In an interview with Diane Katz, co-author of the Heritage Foundation report, said, "In calendar year 2011 alone, the Obama administration issued 32 new major regulations. Those are regulations with anticipated costs exceeding $100 million a year. Those 32 regulations will impose a minimum of $10 billion in new regulatory costs along with almost $7 billion more in what are one-time implementation costs."
And "we the people" will pay more wasted tax dollars to accomplish nothing but more bureaucratic waste and abuse of power. Know that.
I want to know just what in the heck happened to my country.
Ted Nugent is an American rock 'n' roll, sporting and political activist icon. He is the author of "Ted, White, and Blue: The Nugent Manifesto" and "God, Guns & Rock 'N' Roll" (Regnery Publishing).
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