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.
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Washington, D.C. has been – for decades, in bipartisan fashion – a swallowing void of anti-Reality. The federal government has at best terribly mishandled, at worst utterly destroyed everything in which it insists on involving itself.
Despite this record of nigh perfect imperfection – the list of things in which the federal government insists on involving itself has continued to inexorably grow. And as the Feds increased their role in…everything, the tethers to any rational justification for it get thinner and thinner, and ever more frayed.
We the People have finally had it. And have elected political newbie Donald Trump to come in and clean house. His was the Reality Revolution – and it won him the White House. Now he must implement his revolutionary reforms – to begin to undo decades of rank DC stupidity.
To wit: By the time the Feds wanted to impose Obamacare, we already had two decades-long visual aides of government medicine – Medicare and the Veterans Administration (VA). Which are two unmitigated disasters.
Medicare?: “The Medicare Actuary says that taxpayers now face a Medicare unfunded liability ranging from $27.9 to $36.8 trillion.”
The VA?: “One year after outrage about long waiting lists for health care shook the Department of Veterans Affairs, the agency is facing a new crisis: The number of veterans on waiting lists of one month or more is now 50 percent higher than it was during the height of last year’s problems, department officials say.
This is government medicine. People dying on waiting lists – and tens of trillions of dollars short. Thus there was zero tether to Reality for DC to impose Obamacare – because DC had already proven beyond any doubt that they can’t do medicine.
But DC is anti-Reality – so it imposed Obamacare anyway. And stole $716 billion from already-broke Medicare to do it. And how’s Obamacare doing? As oh-so-easily-predicted – horrifically: “Now, because of Obamacare, millions of Americans in the individual market, most of whom have not had a major health crisis, are facing abrupt increases of more than 40 percent in their health insurance premiums. On top of that, they are finding deductibles rising far beyond those that troubled (pre-Obamacare insurance customers).”
Government stinks at managing…anything and everything. So something as big as medicine – is light years beyond its oh-so-limited capabilities. Which brings us to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) – and the Internet.
The Internet is now as big a piece of the economy as is medicine. Both are roughly 15% of our roughly $18 trillion economy. DC watching itself ham-hand multiple attempts at government medicine – did nothing to stop them from assigning itself to ham-hand the Web.
And speaking of completely-untethered-from-Reality – they invoked and imposed 1887 railroad law and 1934 land line telephone law to do it. Because hundred-plus-year-old laws for choo-choos – impose perfectly atop our 21st Century Internet.
The results? Shocker – disastrous: “(FCC Commissioner Ajit) Pai pointed to research that showed a decline in capital expenditures by the major wireless companies of 12% in the first half of 2015 compared to the same time period in 2014 – when the FCC was still expected to restore open Internet rules without reclassifying broadband. ‘Only twice before have broadband service providers’ capital expenditures fallen on a year-over-year basis,’ he said, ‘following the dot.com bust in 2001 and the Great Recession in 2008.’”
Get that? The Internet sector has only been slowed by massive, global economic implosions. And massive, all-encompassing government interference – which bears a striking resemblance to the former.
And before they did that, the FCC had multiple smaller examples that their attempts at bettering the Internet sector are disastrous. For instance, the “Lifeline Program.” Which originally government-funded landline telephones. Which the FCC then expanded to cover Internet-accessing cellular phones.
Lifeline has long been a cornucopia of fraud and abuse. Undaunted by Reality – as DC always is – the FCC again expanded Lifeline to also include government-funded Internet service.
And instead of citing the massive evidence of massive fraud and abuse – to perhaps humble its expansionism – the FCC squelched that evidence to advance said expansionism: “Federal regulators were instructed to keep a massive fraud investigation – concerning the ‘Obamaphone’ program, meant to help get low-income families cellphone access – under wraps until a day after a controversial vote to expand the program.…”
DC reacts to not being able to go small not by modestly retreating – but by going ever huger.
These massive matters of DC anti-Reality are exactly against which President-elect Trump ran. And his Cabinet is looking to be the most Reality-based-and-thus-deregulatory…maybe ever.
But We the People must remain vigilant. To ensure we get that for which we voted.
Trump’s victory gives us hope. Trump’s administration must give us results.
[Originally Published at RedState]