House Republicans Fearmonger Over EPA Regulations That Don’t Yet Exist

Sep 01 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

In the 1st Amendment, the Constitution’s guarantee of freedom of speech is nearly always upheld regardless of the circumstances of a particular case. When the Westboro Baptist Church picketed a gay Marine’s funeral with signs that read, “god hates fags,” the High Court upheld Westboro’s right of free speech regardless of the emotional trauma the Marine’s family endured. There is though, a Supreme Court case from 1919 (Schenck v. United States) that restricted free speech because speech that serves no conceivable useful purpose and is extremely and imminently dangerous is not protected under the 1st Amendment. The oft-repeated metaphor for the case is “shouting fire in a crowded theatre” and it summarizes Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr’s opinion that there are permissible limitations of the 1st Amendment. Republicans are guilty of using speech that serves no conceivable purpose other than fear-mongering, and a recent example is extremely dangerous to the welfare of the citizens of the United States.

On Monday, Eric Cantor sent a memo to rank-and-file Republicans that enumerated regulations the Republicans will target for elimination in the coming months because, according to Cantor, they are prohibitive to business, hampering job creation, and destroying existing jobs. However, what Cantor and the media did not reveal is that the EPA regulations are not yet implemented, and there is a three year period for big business to comply. It is nothing new that Republicans, and especially Cantor, are liars of the first order, but fear-mongering over regulations does pose imminent danger to Americans’ health. Perhaps it is a stretch to claim Cantor’s lies are tantamount to shouting fire in a crowded theatre, but it is not an exaggeration that his remarks serve no useful purpose other than frightening Americans into supporting a dangerous round of deregulation.

The effects of eliminating regulations that are not yet enforceable serves three purposes; enriching corporations, creating environmental health hazards, and undoing the Obama Administration’s legislative accomplishments. From the minute Republicans began the 112th session of Congress up to this day, they have sought to repeal every single piece of legislation Democrats passed in Obama’s first two years in office. It has not mattered if it was the Affordable Health Act or the Frank-Dodd Act that protects Americans from abusive financial practices; Republicans have attempted to repeal the laws. Their goal has been to erase President Obama’s Administration from the record books. The deregulation frenzy is no different and now that the jobs picture is not improving, Republicans are using the EPA and NLRB as scapegoats for their lack of a plan to create jobs.

Some of the EPA regulations are not even written, so it is curious how they are hampering job creation, or worse, killing existing jobs. It brings up the point that corporations and big business did not create jobs during the past ten years when there were no regulations, and since it will be at least three years before they are enforced; why is Cantor claiming they are killing jobs? The answer is three-fold; first, Republicans are portraying Obama as a job-killer; second, they are frightening Americans into supporting deregulation efforts; and third, they are liars. Deregulation benefits corporations and allows them to continue pumping toxic chemicals and particulates into the air and water unimpeded and without consequences. Maybe Republicans aren’t shouting fire in a crowded theatre, but their fear-mongering will create hazards that affect every American.

The main-stream-media is culpable for spreading Cantor’s lies by using deceptive headlines and omitting important facts that would reveal the true purpose of Republicans’ deregulation efforts. In a McClatchy newspaper in California that serves over half-a-million residents, Tuesday’s headline read, “Creating jobs on House Republican agenda.” The story said, “House Republicans will focus on repealing environment and labor regulations that are driving up the cost of doing business and discouraging employers from hiring new workers.” It is despicable that a major media outlet publishes a story that omits prescient information that the regulations are not being enforced because many are not even written. There is a concerted effort by corporate-owned media and the Republican Party to frighten voters into supporting the Republican agenda; and if it means lying, then so be it.

Republicans and their corporate media shills are using any means necessary to promote their agenda and Americans should be outraged. However, it is nearly impossible for the public to know the truth behind Cantor and company’s agenda when news reports are slanted to portray President Obama and the EPA as job killers. Americans are desperate for jobs and Republicans know it, so they are using their best weapon, fear, to promote their agenda. The biggest outrage is that the effect will be more toxic chemicals in the air and water, and still no jobs. Remember, these EPA regulations have never been in effect and there have been no jobs created except for President Obama’s stimulus that created 1.1 million jobs in 2010. During Bush’s 8 year term, only 1 million jobs were created and Republicans deregulated every industry they could. The results were a financial disaster Americans will feel for decades.

All Americans are entitled to the 1st Amendment’s guarantee of free speech, but like the 1919 Supreme Court case, Republicans should face limitations on their 1st Amendment rights. They may not cause panic in a crowded theatre, but they are creating panic in the population desperate for jobs. Perhaps it is time for concerned Americans to file suit to stop Republicans from engendering fear in the population, but with the conservative Supreme Court, it would be like asking the liar Eric Cantor to judge the case. Speaking of Cantor, this author is still waiting for him to explain his penchant for lying and creating fear over non-existent regulations; because unless he answers for his lies, these articles will not stop. Republicans are guilty of a litany of sins, but lying for profit and frightening the population to enrich corporations are the most despicable. It doesn’t matter if lying is in their nature or not; their freedom of speech should be revoked until they stop lying.

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