When Congress began meddling in interstate commerce, using the most generous criteria to justify federal interference in private business and state powers, critics with common sense argued that the ultimate result would be absurdity.
If Congress wasn’t made to stick to the powers Constitutionally enumerated, then there would be nothing Congress wouldn’t do!
The proponents of big government said, in effect, “Don’t be ridiculous.”
Yet the ridiculous is now the normal business of Congress. Recently, the august members of the House have been deliberating the “Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite Act of 2008.” This legislation would direct the Commerce Department to provide grants to eligible states to assist in the inspection of hotel rooms.
Representative G.K. Butterfield, a North Carolina Democrat, says that bed bugs, 50 years after being nearly eliminated, are back.
Hmmm. Since hotels depend on their reputations to make money, they have every incentive to fix this problem, without taxpayer help. Hotels should be financially responsible for their own inspections. If there is a role for local and state governments, it would be to streamline the court system to make it easier for afflicted customers to get compensation.
But Congress authorizing $50 million to solve their bed bug crisis? Butterfield insists “it’s not a joke.”
But it is. On us. Congress now defines commerce as extending to the traffic of bed bugs.
Oh, it’s nice that Congress worries about us so. But let’s kill bed bugs locally.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.