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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Jason Smith's Capitol Report for Jan. 24

  • Fighting Government Over-reach and Over-regulation
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  • If you go to the store this year in search of a 75 watt incandescent light bulb, you will come home empty handed. And if you try to buy a large soda to quench your thirst while visiting New York City, you won’t find a restaurant that’s able to sell it to you. Thinking about making your own health care choices? Think again.
    What do all of these seemingly unrelated items have in common? Sadly, they’re all examples of government inserting itself into areas of our lives where it simply doesn’t belong.
    When government makes decisions for us, we end up with ridiculous policies banning inefficient light bulbs we could simply choose not to purchase; taking away our ability to choose whether or not to get a larger size of soda; and limiting our options on the kind and quality of health care we provide for our loved ones.
    The ugly truth is that by trying to solve these “problems” with new rules and regulations, government inevitably makes our lives more difficult rather than easier – a fact that flies in the face of everything our founding fathers wanted for our nation.
    It was the late, great President Ronald Reagan who once talked about the role of government prior to his administration by saying, “Back then, government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
    Reagan put us on a path away from an overly burdensome and intrusive government, but today we see his words have again become reality here in America. It’s too often that government is ready and willing to tax and regulate us until our freedoms and opportunities for prosperity are non-existent.
    It has been my honor and privilege while serving as your state representative to take a stand against the ever-growing, all-consuming government. It’s an ongoing battle and one in which I have seen my fair share of victories – but unchecked, the government will continue to grow and become more intrusive.
    I’m proud of the fact I was able to pass a bill last year that is meant to cut the government red tape that too often threatens to strangle both families and business owners. The law now requires a periodic review of the thousands of rules our state agencies have in place with the goal of ensuring that rules aren’t overly burdensome.
    The law also requires our agencies to eliminate or revise rules that are too restrictive or intrusive. With this, we put government on the sidelines and out of the way – where it belongs.
    Page 2 of 2 - I’m equally proud of legislation I passed in 2010 to remove several unnecessary sections of Missouri law. Many may think legislators spend all of their time working to increase the number of laws we have on the books, but a large number of my colleagues have joined me in an effort to scale back our laws when and where we can.
    In total, we removed 22 different sections of law with the bill we passed three years ago. The end result is a reduction in government bloat and a streamlined system that is less burdensome and less intrusive in the lives of all Missourians.
    The bottom line here in Missouri, and in every state, is that government’s role should not include telling us which light bulbs we can buy or dictating the size of the soda we can drink. It is not government’s role to rule over the people, but instead to be ruled by the people. It’s something we should never forget and a fact we must work to make the out-of-touch bureaucrats at all levels of government realize.
    As long as I have the honor of serving as your advocate in Jefferson City, I will continue to stand beside you as we fight against a government that needs to learn that it best serves the people by staying on the sideline and out of our lives.

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