The explosion of a fertilizer factory in West, Texas has re-ignited an ideological debate: does the U.S. have too much regulation or not enough?
Texas Governor Rick Perry responded harshly to a cartoon in the Sacramento Bee that showed the governor saying that “business is booming in Texas” with “low tax” and “low regs” banners behind him. In the next frame is a giant explosion, seemingly intended to refer to the West explosion that killed and injured so many Texans.
The governor said, “While I will always welcome healthy policy debate, I won’t stand for someone mocking the tragic deaths of my fellow Texans and our fellow Americans. Additionally, publishing this on the very day our state and nation paused to honor and mourn those who died only compounds the pain and suffering of the many Texans who lost family and friends in this disaster.”
The Bee’s editor, Stuart Leavensworth defended the artist Jack Ohman’s tasteless work saying that Mr. Ohman “made a strong statement about Gov. Rick Perry’s disregard for worker safety, and his attempts to market Texas a place where industries can thrive with few regulations.”
What the cartoonist and editor both fail to mention, probably due to their decidedly progressive ideological alignment, is that the regulations that would have prevented the West explosion, were already in-place, were of a federal nature and the federal government, not Texas’ had failed to keep the plant in check.
California has lived under decades of over-regulation and still gas lines explode killing residents, power plants brown out causing the elderly to heat stroke and die. The idea that the government is the answer is very Californian.
When Texas’ governor starts taking their most profitable businesses, California’s only response looks a lot like the President’s: attack, attack, lie and attack.