In The Long Run, This Would Not Have Mattered, But It Was Still Irresponsible

Yesterday The Daily Signal posted an article about the shortage of N95 protective respirator masks. Some of the media have stated that President Obama chose not to replenish the stockpile of these masks after the 2009 H1N1 virus epidemic. That is true, but there is more to the story. At this point I would like to note that the masks have a shelf life of five years–even if President Obama had replenished the stockpile, in order for the stockpile to be any good it would have had to have been replenished again in 2014 and 2019. The responsibility for the shortage of these masks rests of both the Obama and Trump administrations. However, I think that the blame actually rests on the bureaucrats running the CDC and other health agencies inside the government.

The article notes:

H1N1, also known as the swine flu, drew down about 100 million N95 protective respirator masks.

Afterward, an H1N1 task force recommended that the Obama administration replace the masks in the national stockpile, according to reporting by the Los Angeles Times and Bloomberg News.

“If the Obama administration didn’t respond to a request for additional masks, and if they did not communicate that need to the incoming [Trump] administration, that would certainly make the present situation more difficult,” Amy Anderson, a registered nurse and co-founder of the Global Nurse Consultants Alliance, told The Daily Signal in a phone interview.

…The Los Angeles Times reported March 20 that the U.S. government ignored warnings in 2009, making no reference to Obama’s being president at the time. 

The CDC, under the George W. Bush administration, published a “National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza” in 2005. In that case, the government heeded the agency’s advice to stockpile medical supplies. 

…The International Safety Equipment Association and the federal H1N1 task force recommended replacing the N95 masks after the response to the swine flu drew down 100 million masks from the federal stockpile, the paper reported.

However, association President Charles Johnson told the Times: “Our association is unaware of any major effort to restore the stockpile to cover that drawdown.”

The problem with a medical emergency is that you generally don’t see it coming. Blaming any administration for current supply problems is not helpful. Finding a solution to those problems is helpful. It would be nice if the mainstream media would attempt to unite us rather than divide us. The reporting during the Wuhan Flu epidemic has been horrendous and very unhelpful.

Who Is Making Our Laws?

We have reached the point in our representative republic where the people making the laws are not the people the voters elect and not the people the voters can hold accountable. A very large percentage of our laws are in the form of regulations that come from un-elected bureaucrats who cannot be held accountable by the voters. Yesterday the Conservative Tribune posted an article about the cost of these regulations.

The article includes the following graphs:

Hidden Government TaxHiddenGovernmentTax2The article reports:

Most troubling is the the nature of our regulatory system. They are designed by rogue and unelected bureaucrats. Regulations effectively become laws with little oversight or accountability. 

This isn’t a small problem. Take for example your elected representatives in Congress. In 2015, CEI finds that Congress enacted 114 laws (that’s probably too many). However, unelected bureaucrats issued 3,410 rules in that same year. In other words, the “fourth” branch of government that is unaccountable issued 30 regulatory decrees for every one law passed by Congress. That’s simply insane. 

In total, there are 178,277 pages in the Code of Federal Regulations which outline the 94,000 rules currently on the books. The cost to enforce all these regulations comes at a massive price. CEI finds that federal agencies spent $63 billion in taxpayer dollars to administer and police this regulatory enterprise.

As bad as this seems, it’s about to get worse. There are currently 3,297 new regulations in the implementation phase. Of this total, CEI finds that 218 are considered “economically significant,” a definition the government uses when a regulation will have an economic impact of $100 million or more. 

The hidden regulatory tax is becoming dangerous to American democracy. The regulatory apparatus is out of control. Over the past 23 years, the number of regulations has increased by 2,060 percent. Individuals that are not elected, or confirmed by elected representatives, should not have such great authority and power over our lives. 

Please follow the link to read the entire article. It is eye-opening.