Saturday, December 12, 2009

College Bowls, Toilet Bowls, and Congress

In the wake of government takeovers of domestic automobile companies and financial institutions -- and the feared takeover of the healthcare industry -- many Americans scratch their heads and wonder how it could happen. Some blame Barack Obama.

I blame Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX). He's the Texas congressman pushing legislation that would regulate the way the NCAA determines its college football championship.

Well, he's not really ultimately to blame. However, the spirit that animates Rep. Barton is emblematic of the overreaching that characterizes our federal government.

Rep. Barton, who is a member of the party that claims to believe in limited government, evidently doesn't think that it should be so limited as to excuse itself from intervening in debates over how college determines its national champion. The congressman may be right in his view that the current process is senseless, arbitrary and unfair; however, it never seems to have occurred to him that it is none of Congress' business. For many in Washington, the view prevails that anything that a congressman or constituent has an opinion on is a matter worthy of government attention.

Of course, a Congress that deems it necessary to legislate how much water is required to flush toilets across the nation may consider the Bowl Championship Series to be a really big deal. Those who do can't claim to really believe in limited government in any meaningful sense.


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