Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Crush them in red tape

By Donald Sensing

It is hard to believe even our hyper-regulatory government would try to do this, but it is: feds want to require all farm tractor drivers to possess a commercial driver's license.

Concerned with the amount of farm equipment making short hops between fields and down public roadways, U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is considering whether or not to classify agricultural machines like tractors as "commercial vehicles," requiring a CDL to operate.

The requirements would subject farmers to the same rules governing truck drivers, requiring them to keep logs and limit their hours.

Farmers also fear the prospect of replacing family help with expensive professional drivers, something that could end up costing everyone -- if it doesn't break the bank.
"Concerned" gives the game away. Exactly what is there to be "concerned" about? The concern is purely bureaucratic. Remember den Bestes's Law: "The job of bureaucrats is to regulate, and left to themselves, they will regulate everything they can."

But of course, the strangling restriction is for our own good (they always are):
“It’s just a dumb idea,” says Jake Cummins, executive vice president of the Montana Farm Bureau Federation.

He says in addition, the proposal would require farmers and ranchers to get a medical card and fill out a log book as if they’re a long-haul semi driver.

Cummins says he was told by federal officials this change is being considered in the name of safety. He says that argument is a way to quiet down any criticism.
Of course! "It's for the children." Now shut up, he explained.

There is no issue here other than increasing the tentacles of Statist reach and control. As Shikha Dalmia wrote, "The president stretches executive power to expand the warfare state and the regulatory state." And as Steven den Beste pointed out last month:
Q: What does Obama want?

A: He wants a huge, and permanent, increase in the size of government. This is the “change” he campaigned on, but never really described. The goal was to make the US into a European-style “Social Democracy”.
You may recall that last month, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu explained the coming requirement that Americans use non-incandescent light bulbs this way:
“We are taking away a choice that continues to let people waste their own money,” he said.
Always remember the Denver Post's David Harsanyi's trenchant observation, "Progressivism is the belief that we have too much freedom with which to make too many stupid choices." Consider this summary of "progressive" politics: The state,
... organizes the nation, but leaves a sufficient margin of liberty to the individual; the latter is deprived of all useless and possibly harmful freedom, but retains what is essential; the deciding power in this question cannot be the individual, but the State alone.
Who explained that? Benito Mussolini. Now you understand why we are all to be required to use CFLs next year and why an 11-year-old girl was threatened with arrest and cited with a $535 fine by the Fish and Wildlife Service for saving a baby woodpecker.

"Nothing outside the State." That's where we are, people.

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