Ed Morrissey points out a curious facet of the House version of financial reform. The bill…
…contains provisions that would put the Federal Trade Commission in position to start issuing rules on Internet transactions that would not only slow down business growth but also have no relevance at all to the financial collapse that prompted the bill[.]
Familiar tactic? Maybe like using a crisis to establish control over part of the American economy? Investment regulation is being used to justify controlling internet commerce. For a discussion of the Obama administration’s efforts to work government control into America’s communications technology, refer to my August 19, 2009 article, “Wicked sawbones cuts off feet while czar enters belly of FCC.”
More on the House financial regulation bill from the Washington Post:
The Federal Trade Commission could become a more powerful watchdog for Internet users under a little-known provision in financial overhaul legislation that would expand the agency’s ability to create rules.
The version of regulatory overhaul legislation passed by the House would allow the FTC to issue rules on a fast track and permit the agency to impose civil penalties on companies that hurt consumers.
We wonder who would judge whether or not consumers are “hurt” by certain transactions.
Is it possible that the free market might be hurt by new FCC control over the internet? From the Post:
The proposal to expand the FTC’s authority has sparked a flurry of lobbying by advertisers, industry groups and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which are seeking to block it citing concerns about possible overreach by the agency.
But killing evil corporate profits hasn’t stopped the Obama administration from other efforts to restrict the free market. Why should Obama balk now?
Obama will not balk. The President may change tactics, like pulling off some kind of populist nonsense with the right hand as the left hand does dirty work. But be assured. Obama will do dirty work–which means ramming through scads of fundamentally transformative legislation, executive ordering, and regulation before November 2010, which is when Dems are likely to lose Congress.
Morrissey observes that even with huge congressional majorities, Dems have not taken the legislative path to Obama’s transformation. Why?
…mainly because the regulations they want are too radical to pass. Instead, they shift the creation of regulation to agencies like the EPA and its “endangerment” finding for CO2, which would then require Congress and the President to undo rather than vote to impose in the first place.
Morrissey has described the developing pattern: Slam as much through as possible–legislatively, by executive order, or regulatory-wise. When Dems lose Congress, reversing what’s already in place will be tough.
Morrissey delivers the payoff, asking:
If this financial-regulation bill is so desperately needed, why did House Democrats lard it up with this power grab at the FTC? Why does the FTC need any further authority over the Internet, where fraud and abuse regulations apply already? The Internet economy has been one of the bright spots throughout a dismal period of recent history. Do we need to attack the one area that shows growth and promise?
The progressive dream: establish irreversible control over the people; make everyone follow progressive wisdom. Why can’t we all admit that government knows better? We’re supposed to let wise bureaucrats run our lives–which evidently includes controlling the internet. How fortunate we will be when Nanny has implemented yet one more way for the office-dwellers to protect us from the evil profit seekers.