by John Hawkins | March 11, 2011 5:16 am
Rand Paul used the pro-choice analogy to hit the Obama Administration about controlling what kind of toilets Americans can use, but I like the bedroom analogy better. If we want the government out of our bedrooms, then we should get them out of our bathrooms first.
The Kentucky Republican began making the link between the personal, the political and the plumbing-related when he asked Kathleen Hogan, the DOE deputy assistant secretary on energy efficiency, “I was wondering if you’re pro-choice?”
“I’m pro-choice of bulbs,” Hogan responded.
“Actually, that’s the point,” Paul said, during an appliance efficiency hearing at the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
“The point is that most members of your administration probably would be frank and characterize themselves – and upfront – as being pro-choice for abortion,” he said, “but you’re really anti-choice on every other consumer item.”
Paul continued on a string of attacks against federal regulations and labeled the lighting efficiency standards set by a 2007 energy law as just another government overreach.
“Light bulbs, refrigerators, toilets, you name it. You can’t go around your house without being told what to buy,” Paul said. “You restrict my purchases. You don’t care about my choices. You don’t care about the consumer.
“Frankly, my toilets don’t work in my house, and I blame you and people like you who want to tell me what I can install in my house,” Paul said. He added, “I find it insulting.
The low flow toilet issue actually goes all the way back to 1994. Toilets used to use 3.5 to 5 gallons of water, but the law required them to be limited to 1.6 gallons per flush.
On the upside, the law saved a lot of water. On the other hand, toilets don’t work nearly as well today as they did 20 years ago. Personally? I’d rather have the marginally higher water bill along with a toilet that I don’t have to unclog twice a week.
Unfortunately, this is how it works with lightbulbs, toilets, and everything else that the government sticks its nose into. The priorities of a congressman in D.C. may not match up to the priorities of the people who have to actually live with their decisions. The more powerful the government becomes, the more centralized the decision-making gets — and the less people who are governed actually benefit from what their representatives in D.C. are doing. Rand Paul gets this and the fact that he’s willing to make an issue of something like this is exactly why I wanted him in the Senate instead of Trey Greyson, who’d probably be too “dignified” to complain about D.C. butting into everyone’s business, including where they “do their business.”
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