Jim covered Congress and The White House during the George W. Bush administration for The Washington Times, and worked as a reporter, editorial writer and columnist for newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California. He has appeared on the Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, and many local and national talk radio shows to talk politics and policy.
Latest posts by Jim Lakely (see all)
The House of Representatives has planned a vote Monday to repeal the de facto ban on the incandescent lightbulb — one “energy sucking” wattage at a time. The Heartland Institute’s energy experts will have a statement at the ready tomorrow. While we wait, it’s worth reading the great Mark Steyn’s take on this issue.
Steyn notes a comment from Friday by Energy Secretary Steven Chu, who’s most famous quote to date is: “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.” Well, chalk up another classic from a government know-it-all who actually believes taking away basic freedoms — even what lightbulb you may use — is for your own good.
We are taking away a choice that continues to let people waste their own money.
So that’s the new government standard, eh? Stopping us from wasting our money? Well, purchasing a vinyl album, or even a CD, in the digital music age is a waste of money (and energy in production costs). So why not ban those, too? I’m sure those who saw the latest Julia Roberts romantic “comedy” thought that was a waste of money. Let’s ban any more from her while we’re at it.
Steyn, of course, has few peers in wit. His response to that sure-to-be-infamous Chu quote:
So what? I waste my own money on all kinds of things. If I wanted Steven Chu to have a say in it, I’d get Parson Bloomberg to marry us at Gracie Mansion.
More to the point, I wonder if Secretary Chu has any idea how stupid this argument sounds from an administration that has wasted more of other people’s money than anybody else on the planet. Secretary Chu and his colleagues took a trillion dollars of “stimulus” and, for all the stimulating it did, might as well have given it in large bills to Charlie Sheen to snort coke off his hookers’ bellies with. …
The media are loyally doing their best for the Flatline Administration by insisting that the dead parrot economy is not deceased but merely resting for an ”unexpectedly” longer period of time than had been expected. Nevertheless, having nothing to show for blowing a trillion dollars of other people’s money does at least make the point in a fairly spectacular way: the distinguishing feature of the west at twilight from Sacramento to Albany to Brussells to Athens is the failure of the Chu class – the People Who Know What’s Best For Us.
Technocracy is a delusion, and for some developed nations it may yet prove a fatal one. There’s a limit to the amount of damage I can do wasting my own money. There are no limits to the damage Chu & Co can do wasting my money. Maybe they should give up the car keys first.
Brilliant. If the Energy Secretary’s statement is among the best our current administrative state can do to defend this senseless ban on the incandescent lightbulb, the ban won’t last as long as my current porch light. I’ve always believed this ban would never actually happen — because as it came close to implementation, Americans would become fully aware of its stupidity and infringement on their liberty and become enraged. That now appears to be happening.
Let’s hope the lightbulb ban joins a too-short list of nanny state actions on the ash heap of history. One troubling concern: Even if the repeal gets through both houses of Congress, it still has to be signed by America’s Nanny-in-Chief. No sure bet, that.
(NOTE: I have, in the past, ripped George W. Bush and Rep. Fred Upton for putting this ban into law. They still deserve contempt for that.)