The government’s reach into our lives is growing

Derek Hunter Contributor
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The government reaches into your pocket every day, whether you realize it or not. Everything is taxed, most things more than once, between its manufacture and the store. You, as the customer, pay a price that factors in all the taxes everyone involved in the manufacture, delivery and sale of that product incurred. You can’t escape giving the government its cut. While you may be aware of that, the government is in your life in ways you may not be aware of, and it’s only getting worse.

The government now controls the student loan business exclusively. That means the government is the only gatekeeper to the means by which millions of students can get a higher education. That may not seem like much, but if the government decides that you, your child or your parents make too much money to qualify for student loans, you’re pretty much out of luck.

Now that Obamacare is the law of the land, government officials are making moves to limit access to important and effective cancer drugs because they’ve deemed them too costly. People are losing their health insurance because new government mandates have made their plans too expensive to offer. This is just the tip of the iceberg; the real government control of health care contained in Obamacare doesn’t kick in until 2014. Just imagine the life-saving and life-extending procedures and drugs that will be considered “too expensive” at that point.

Now the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has not only been empowered to regulate carbon dioxide, what you’re exhaling right now, but is moving into controlling other areas of our lives and our economy, all in the name of “protecting us.”

The EPA is also going after siloxane, a silicone that is involved in everything from cosmetics and deodorants to food additives and soap. The EPA is maneuvering outside the scope of the Toxic Substances Control Act to launch what is called a “Chemical Action Plan” to investigate the “risks” posed by siloxane. There are many types of siloxanes in use in hundreds of industries and they have been for years, but the EPA hasn’t said which one it’s looking into. So while the EPA will open the Chemical Action Plan up to public comments, without knowing which one it’s going after, there’s really no way for anyone to comment. It’s all very Kafkaesque.

Should the EPA decide to ban any type of siloxane from use, without any studies suggesting any adverse risk to humans or the environment, jobs will be lost.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is considering making over-the-counter cough syrup require a prescription. If it does, that would mean you would have to go to your doctor, take the time off of work, pay for an office visit, then go to the pharmacy in order to buy something as simple as Robitussin.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is teetering on the edge of regulating the Internet by declaring the providing of it the equivalent of providing telephone service, regardless of whether you get it through cable, wireless or over your phone line. This so-called “net neutrality” regulation would be imposed without any act of Congress, which has had bills proposing these regulations for years but has not been able to gather enough support to pass. This would essentially allow the federal government to seize the means by which everyone accesses the Internet, which would stifle future investment by the companies that have poured billions into the Internet’s development. Would you trust the government to be the gatekeeper to the information superhighway?

The government is in your life in ways you may not even realize, and it’s only getting more involved. There are three-letter federal regulatory bodies on the verge of controlling more aspects of our lives in ways the authors of the legislation that created them never envisioned, and in ways that Congress never authorized. Whether the cost of these intrusions is our health, access to information or jobs, there will be a price to pay, and we will all be forced to pay it.

Derek Hunter is a Washington based writer and consultant. He can be stalked on Twitter @derekahunter