The $4-trillion-per-year federal government works incessantly against the private sector. Likely no wing is more pernicious than the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
On his way to prison for defrauding taxpayers out of more than $1 million, former high-level EPA official Jon Beale said that while at the agency he was: “working on a ‘project’ examining ways to ‘modify the DNA of the capitalist system.’ He argued that environmental regulation was reaching its ‘limits’…so he began working on his plan.”
Thankfully that plan was eventually scrapped. But how obnoxious is the EPA - and how much free time does it have - to even consider, let alone work on, such a plan?
Idle bureaucrat hands are the Devil’s playground. There are more than 800,000 federal government employees - that the employer its own self deems “non-essential.” Get that? The Feds have hired almost a million people - they themselves say are totally superfluous.
We have far too many bureaucrats - with nigh nothing to do. So they start looking for things to do - like trying to “modify the DNA of the capitalist system.”
Rather than assigning them things to do, or allowing them to go on these regulatory spelunking forays - how about we scrap their gigs? And while we’re at it - the agencies in which they work? Because if these agencies green light these sorts of regulatory search-and-destroy missions, they have no productive work to do - and thus shouldn’t exist.
President-elect Donald Trump has repeatedly said he’d all-but-shutter the EPA: “‘Environmental Protection, what they do is a disgrace. Every week they come out with new regulations. They're making it impossible…’ (Fox News’ Chris) Wallace interjected, ‘Who's going to protect the environment?’ ‘They - we’ll be fine with the environment,’ Trump replied. ‘We can leave a little bit, but you can't destroy businesses.’”
Trump, by the way, also wants to close the Department of Education: “‘I believe that we should be - you know, educating our children from Iowa, from New Hampshire, from South Carolina, from California, from New York. I think that it should be local education.’”
Trump is, of course, absolutely right. And that local solution for education is the same solution for the environment. Nearly all 50 states have some bureaucratic iteration of both Education and the EPA. So why are there completely redundant, fifty-first entities in Washington?
Iowa’s version of the EPA and Hawaii’s version know how to handle their respective issues far better than does the bureaucracy in far-off DC. The 50 states can each tailor their policies to their very different climates, topographies and industries.
DC’s EPA can only issue one-size-fits-all mandates - which never fit anyone anywhere. And these mandates have to be overreaching enough to consume and cover the biggest states - which of course crushes all the rest.
Trump should thus realize - we don’t even need to “leave a little bit” of the federal EPA.
Also because as happens with all things DC, the “little bit” you leave behind will eventually grow back into the monstrosity with which we are currently afflicted. So end it - don’t mend it.
All the while, the DC EPA continues to inexorably stray ever further from any tether to legislation passed by Congress. But one example is its repeated, vast unilateral expansions of its powers under the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) law. Courts have repeatedly rebuked the EPA - but why would bored bureaucrats allow either the law or the courts to rein them in? So they’ve expanded yet again - even further than ever before.
Trump gets this too: “‘The President can go in and tell the director of the EPA to eliminate the Waters of the U.S. rules,’ he says. ‘We will get through the abuse of the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act, which is taking place through the EPA, and we will eliminate those abuses. We think the Waters of the U.S. is an enormous overreach, and it needs to be eliminated.’”
Hundreds of millions of Americans will be thrilled. Farmers in particular will be ecstatic.
President Trump should absolutely shut down these WOTUS abuses - but he shouldn’t stop there. He should shut down entirely the agency engaged in this obnoxiousness. The EPA absolutely needs to go. And, thankfully, it will be one of the easiest of all of them to close.
Team Trump has brilliantly named Myron Ebell as leader of their EPA transition. Ebell is no fan of the EPA and its egregious assaults on the private sector.
President-elect Trump should have Ebell transition the EPA right out of existence.
The nation, its people and its economy will all be dramatically better for it.