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Monday, January 07, 2008

From the "Misuse of Muggle Artifacts" division

Here is an excerpt from an amusing, but highly accurate, piece on congress and their obsession with controlling america. As an aside, I am already replacing my bulbs as they go with the new models. When my six year old washer/dryer set keels over, well I'm already looking at these sleek new front-loading, stackable sets. I don't need congress to tell me any of this, and I suspect neither does the rest of the country. Personally, I just think Congress is worried we'll do it on our own too soon and they won't be able to claim they forced us to. The entire article can be read by clicking on the title.

Federal Department of Toilets & Light Bulbs

Posted by Chuck Muth on The Loft, January 3, 2008 at 10:12 am

How many congressmen does it take to change a light bulb? 400.
That’s how many members of Congress recently voted for a bill to force Americans to change the 50-cent incandescent light bulbs they’re currently using and replace them with expensive new, $3 “energy-efficient” light bulbs. {snip} The ban, which takes effect in 2014, was included in the 2007 energy bill which 314 members of the United States House of Representatives and 86 members of the United States Senate voted for. {snip}

The light bulb ban is simply the latest example of an increasingly intrusive federal government butting into the day-to-day affairs of the average citizen. Remember the 1992 energy bill, in which Congress banned the 3.5 gallon toilet? It mandated that that Americans no longer use more than 1.6 gallons per flush. Of course, per the immutable Law of Unintended Consequences, the new 1.6 gallon toilets turned out not to be enough to, er, get the job done. So folks found themselves flushing two and three times per visit, thus using the same amount of water, if not more, than they did before Congress stuck its nose into our bathrooms.

Excuse me, but would someone please show me where the federal Department of Toilets and Light Bulbs is authorized by the United States Constitution.

And make no mistake. Congress has no intention of stopping here. Still under active consideration is a new federal ban on top-loading washing machines, as well as a federal ban on disposable diapers. {snip}

The late, great Sen. Barry Goldwater famously declared in the early 1960s that he would “not attempt to discover whether legislation is ‘needed’ before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible.” That sentiment has all but disappeared in the halls of Congress today. One notable exception is Arizona Rep. John Shadegg, a co-founder of the Goldwater Institute, whose proposed “Enumerated Powers Act” would require that “Each act of Congress…contain a concise and definite statement of the Constitutional authority relied upon for the enactment of each portion of that act.”

What a “revolutionary” notion.

Rep. Shadegg has introduced this bill in every Congress since 1995. And to give you an idea of how far Congress has drifted from the limited-government ideal of our Founders just over the last dozen years, the original bill had 103 co-sponsors. The same bill this year? Just 38. Goodnight, Constitution. I’ll leave a non-incandescent light bulb on for you.

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