One of America's leading authorities on technology and telecom policy, Motley is a writer, television and radio commentator, political and policy strategist, lecturer, debater, activist, and policy advisor to The Heartland Institute.
Latest posts by Seton Motley (see all)
- 5G Wireless Makes Net Neutrality Even Dumber Policy - September 16, 2019
- When Deregulation – Actually Makes Things Worse - August 29, 2019
- Localities Shouldn’t Be Dictating (Inter-)National Policy - July 17, 2019
It’s been a bad six years for the United States of America. The examples are myriad.
The national debt has nearly doubled – from ten trillion dollars to over eighteen trillion dollars.
The workforce participation rate has decreased precipitously – to a level not seen since the mid-1970s. (The phony “unemployment rate” is irrelevant – and its computation process is in desperate need of Reality-based reform.)
Then there are the regulations – oh so many regulations. Hundreds of thousands of new pages of regulations added. The total regulatory damage done is now $2 trillion per year – and the costs continue to increase as the pages (and PAGES) of regulations do.
These are but horrendous symptoms (and there are oh so many more). The root cause? Our decades-long drift away from a Constitutionally limited federal government has become in the last half decade-plus a rocket ride. The USS Leviathan is hurtling at light speed away from the diminutive pen within which the Founders intended it to be contained.
The American people in November again registered their pronounced disapproval. There haven’t been this many Republicans in the House of Representatives since the early 1930s. The Senate now has fifty-four Republicans – in 2009 there were forty.
The repudiation has filtered all the way down and out. 53% of Americans live in states whereRepublicans control both the legislature and the governorship. Twenty-four states are totally Republican – governor and legislatures (and Nebraska has a Republican governor and its unicameral legislature is non-partisan). Only seven have similar Democrat unanimity.
President Barack Obama has presided over all of this. His policies – and how he unilaterally implements them – have caused this horrendous damage to the economy and his Democrat Party.
The President’s just extruded State of the Union speech clearly demonstrates he doesn’t care. He will continue to do exactly what has caused all the harm – including ramp up further still his unConstituional “executive actions.”
Just after the election, President Obama demanded the allegedly independent Federal Communications Commission (FCC) – and its Obama-campaign-cash-bundling Chairman Tom Wheeler – pretend to be Congress and rewrite existing law to dramatically increase government’s regulation of the Internet.
The actual Congress was just returned to Washington with an historic less government mandate. The President doesn’t care. The actual Congress is writing actual legislation that gives the Internet regulation zealots like the President what they claim they want. He doesn’t care.
Because the legislation doesn’t do nearly as much private sector damage as the President’s unilateral action will. And the President’s ultimate objective is to repeal the private sector and replace it with government.
The President is just getting warmed up. He recently announced his intention to have even more federal government involvement in local governments’ flailing, failing attempts at providing Internet service.
Government Internet is not a new idea. It is an incredibly, serially failed one.
UTOPIA has accrued more than $500 million in debt for Utah taxpayers with no path to success in sight.
It’s not even new to the President – he spent $7.2 billion on it in the 2009 Stimulus. How’d that go?
These types of uber-failures are precisely why nineteen states have passed laws prohibiting local governments from getting into the Internet business. Laws the President wants to steamroll.
Some of the President’s Congressional Democrat colleagues remember they are in the legislative branch.
Responding to a push from President Obama, three Senate Democrats introduced legislation Thursday to revoke state laws that hinder local governments from getting into the broadband business.
Unfortunately, their grasp of the federal government’s enumerated powers is decidedly lacking – nowhere is it empowered to preempt states’ laws like this. This apparently concerns them not a whit.
Nor the President – who doesn’t even think he needs legislation. Apparently, “executive action” is a magical Get-Out-of-the-Constitution-Free card.
“As a first step, the Administration is filing a letter with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) urging it to join this effort by addressing barriers inhibiting local communities from responding to the broadband needs of their citizens.”
Which brings us to the third casualty: humility.
No one is perfect. Government made up of imperfect people certainly isn’t. Preeminently because it violates human nature – including the Wallet Rule:
You go out on a Friday night with your wallet. You go out the following Friday night with my wallet.
On which Friday night are you going to have more fun?
Spending other peoples’ money is a lot more fun. And government is always on someone else’s wallet – thus it will never spend money as prudently, wisely or well as the people who actually earned it.
It takes humility to acknowledge government’s inherent limitations. It takes hubris on stilts – and/or ideological blinders – to not acknowledge the myriad failures it has already created. And then demand it create more.
But that’s to what we’ve been subjected these last six years. And the President is pressing forward – blindly ideological, and completely devoid of modesty.