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Have Republicans Finally Seen the Light?

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How many Republicans does it take to screw up a light bulb? If you said ninety-five then you must be familiar with the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 that mandates the phase-out of incandescent light bulbs.

Although it is true that Republicans never reverse the legislative damage done by Democrats, sometimes they do make a lame, half-hearted attempt to do so. House Republicans have pledged to repeal Obamacare if they are given control of the House in the upcoming mid-term elections. The nature of Republican promises, however, says otherwise. Yet, when it comes to the phase-out of light bulbs, some Republicans are actually trying to do something against their nature: repeal legislation from previous Congresses. Though I applaud their efforts, I must point out some embarrassing problems with this newfound Republican urge to repeal legislation.

On September 16, 2010, Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) introduced the Better Use of Light Bulbs Act (H.R. 6144). This is designed to repeal title III, subtitle B of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (H.R. 6), which became Public Law 110-140 on December 19, 2007. Title III, subtitle B, of the Energy Independence and Security Act is the section of legislation that mandates the phase out of incandescent light bulbs beginning with the 100-watt bulb in 2012 and ending with the 40-watt bulb in 2014. This is the ultimate in nanny-state legislation. Says Barton:

This is indicative of the overreach that the Obama administration, Mrs. Pelosi, and Majority Leader Reid have put on the American people. They’re mandating our behavior in healthcare, they’re mandating, in this case, in energy, they don’t want the American people to have choice, and they don’t — they basically don’t trust the public. They want to tell the country what’s best for them to do and people like myself and Marsha Blackburn, Michael Burgess, the House Republican leadership, we think it’s wrong.

Barton is right, of course, but he has the wrong administration. The Energy Independence and Security Act was signed into law by a Republican president and passed with the votes of ninety-five Republicans.

But that’s not the only embarrassing thing about this pathetic Republican attempt at repeal. The subtitle that Barton wants to repeal is a very small part (about 9,500 words) of the Energy Independence and Security Act (about 136,000 words). The rest of the Act contains hundreds of nanny-state directives that are equally as bad as subtitle B. When will Republicans introduce legislation to repeal them?

Barton’s comments about the government not wanting Americans to have choice, not trusting the public, and telling the country what’s best are more refried Republican rubbish. Do Republicans in Congress want Americans to have choice? Do they trust the public? Do they believe in not telling the country what’s best?

Of course they don’t.

Do Republicans in Congress want Americans to have choice to smoke or not to smoke marijuana? Of course not; they support more arrests, higher fines, and longer prison terms. Do Republicans in Congress trust the public to save for their own retirement with the help of family, friends, employers, and/or charity? Of course not; they believe in forcing people to pay Social Security taxes. Do Republicans in Congress believe in not telling the country what’s best when it comes to guns and ammo? Of course not; they support numerous federal gun and ammo regulations.

Will Republicans ever see the light? I’m not the least bit optimistic. The Republican Party is utterly and hopelessly statist and interventionist — just like the Democratic Party. Republicans are not the party of small government; they are the party of Republican government.

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