Istook’s Insights: Runaway regs, OSHA’s bathroom ‘guidance,’ Obama’s power, mud puddles as a federal issue

It’s hard to get ahead when prices keep climbing.

There’s a link between rising prices and runaway regulations. Higher costs of doing business hurt the whole economy, and fewer jobs get created.

But billions in red tape costs get tacked onto the prices that all us consumers must pay.

One study shows that since 2009 — when Barack Obama became President — consumer costs have gone up by $11,000. 

That’s like a punch to your face.

Most of that is higher energy costs and more expensive automobiles, appliances, and everything that the government says must be more energy-efficient. 

That means your toasters, washers, dryers, refrigerators, and everything else cost more.

They also tend to wear out before any energy savings make up for the higher prices you paid.

So ask yourself, have you gotten back your $11,000 that you pay due to new regulations? Or the thousands more you pay for the old regulations?

Elsewhere in the news, say goodbye to your restroom privacy.

Employers should let people use the restroom of their choice, according to new federal instructions. 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration calls “guidance” rather than a legal requirement. 

They won’t even admit that men and women are different. Instead, they write that our sex “assigned at birth” can be disregarded.

We’re told to be sensitive to the emotions of someone who feels trapped in the wrong body, so a male who considers himself female can use the women’s bathrooms. 

The emotions of a transgender person are given more importance than everybody else’s right to privacy.

It’s not just OSHA. 

The EEOC and some states are forcing schools to let people use whatever restroom they want. 

And the Obama Administration has decreed that sex change surgery will now be paid for by Medicare.

This transgender stuff has gotten mighty messy.

Which brings up a question:

How can President Obama claim such broad power?

Almost daily another big batch of regulations are issued. Dictates that will send your electric bills soaring; that restrict how you can use your own property; and that require you to get government permission.

President Obama has aggressive big-government views, and he pushes to transform America while he can—and to make those changes permanent. 

He counts on the timid nature of Congress. They are skittish about scaling back government programs because somebody will be upset.

There’s another factor: As a Heritage Foundation study describes, Congress gave away a lot of power, extending Presidents’ authority beyond what they are granted in our Constitution. 

Congress makes it worse by passing thick bills that are complicated and vaguely-worded.

So regulations are issued, and every time red tape hits businesses, they simply pass the costs on to consumers. 

Those higher costs are crippling household budgets.

Finally, be careful. If you spit, you could get in trouble with the EPA.

The Environmental Protection Agency has new regulations along with the Army Corps of Engineers. 

No longer will they issue rules just for permanent bodies of water. 

Now they claim they also can govern temporary and seasonal water flows. 

That’s an extra 60% of our waterways, the ones that flow only after a rainstorm, or during wet seasons, or maybe because a farmer just spit. 

They are making mud puddles a federal issue.

EPA says just because they could regulate something does not mean that they will regulate it. 

Not yet, anyway. Give them time to get around to it.

Big lawsuits will challenge the EPA’s claim. But they’ve got an $8 Billion budget of taxpayer money, and 16,000 employees.

This is erosion. Just like running water wears down soil, big bureaucracies believe they can wear you down, too.