If there is anything that is clear from the outcome of the elections, it is that we have barely changed the Senate. Yes, we have gained some seats and moved some Republican open seats to the right for the 112th congress. However, there are still many Republicans that remain in the Senate who have shown no signs of changing their big government tendencies. Today, 16 Republicans joined every Democrat (except Ben Nelson, who is obviously pandering to keep his seat) to invoke cloture on the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (S. 510). Aside for the fact that this bill will add more layers of bureaucracy and expenses to the FDA and DOA, it will also burden food producers with more onerous regulations and kill jobs. There is no evidence that this will improve the safety of our food, which is already the safest in the world. As Tom Coburn so aptly explained:
"Fixing the real problems is about making the bureaucracy work right, not adding more layers and rules and bureaucracy," Coburn said. "I want us to have food safety, but for every dollar additionally spent, how much can you really improve? We have the safest food in the world, but you can't get to 100 percent. So at what point do you stop spending additional dollars? It's like homeland security. Can we ever spend enough money to be absolutely sure nothing happens? No, we can't."
Here is the list of Obama's Republicans:
I know that some of them will say that this bill is good policy. After all, who wouldn't want to throw money into food safety? But herein lies the problem. Almost every egregious power grab that passes congress has some real or perceived minuscule ancillary benefit contained in the bill. Maybe on some small scale the Sarbanes-Oxley bill encouraged financial transparency in corporations, but it turned out to be a job killing boot on the neck of small and mid-sized businesses. The same thing is true for the food police bill. Even Montana Democrat Jon Tester said, "It's going to put a nail in the coffin of our family food producers." Incidentally, like a good Reid puppy, he voted for cloture on the bill.
The bottom line is that if Republicans don't have the courage to oppose this sort of legislation, do you really think that they will reform the entitlement state?
Cross-posted to Red Meat Conservative