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Compassionate Conservatism in Action

leadchild.jpgGeorge Bush has decided to take a stand and show the world where he draws the line — at children having healthcare. But as Steve Benen notes today, he’s working the other side too, weakening Federal regulatory efforts to protect them from harmful substances like lead in children’s toys:

“The overall philosophy is regulations are bad and they are too large a cost for industry, and the market will take care of it,” said Rick Melberth, director of regulatory policy at OMBWatch, a government watchdog group formed in 1983. “That’s been the philosophy of the Bush administration.”

Except, whadaya know, the market hasn’t been taking care of it.

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Alexa Engelman, a researcher at the Center for Environmental Health, said, “They knew this all along and they didn’t take action on it. It’s upsetting to me. Why are we, as a country, protecting the companies? We should be protecting the kids.”

Well, we should be, but the administration has a philosophical problem with government regulations. If that means more kids are exposed to more lead, well, it’s the market’s problem.

That is the Bush Administration ethos in a nutshell, a relentlessly unpragmatic vision that prizes short term business profit over all else. The cost of regulating lead in children’s products is absolutely minuscule compared with the long-term costs to society of dealing with the fallout (lead poisoning is the number one environmental illness in children). But just like the war in Iraq, it’s a problem that C+ Augustus plans to dump in the lap of future Presidents.

It’s nice to think that we might one day see a President who isn’t dedicated to the self-fulfilling principle that all government is bad. Totally aside from the complete amorality of the present situation, the cost of this reckless and irresponsible Republican spending is just too much for a country with a crumbling infrastructure to bear.

Carpe dium, Dems.

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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