Power to the state

As with motherhood and apple pie, both major parties in Washington pay lip service to America’s proud tradition of independent small business, historically the creator of the majority of American jobs.

But our rulers seem honestly puzzled that their actions continue to destroy the very thing they seek to “stimulate.”

Too much regulation? What ever can you mean?

Ask little Julie Murphy, age 7, who departed in tears when county health inspectors shut down her lemonade stand at a local monthly arts fair in Oregon this month, threatening her with a $500 fine for operating without a restaurant license. (What? No demand for a federal taxpayer ID number?)

Small businesses refuse to expand or hire for fear of looming tax hikes. Legislative leaders, including Nevada’s Steven Horsford, respond that hundreds of millions in new taxes will be needed to “plug budget deficits.” After all, they can’t cut spending. Why, the fact that Clark County schools will shift back from year-round schools to a nine-month schedule this year means 20,000 low-income children will no longer have free or reduced-price summer breakfasts and lunches subsidized by the taxpayers, Mr. Horsford sobs.

“What’s going to happen for three months for students who are living in poverty and going hungry?” asks Tim Adams, principal of the year-round Bell Elementary School near Sahara Avenue and Interstate 15. Um, just guessing here, but maybe they should be fed by … their parents?

Isn’t first lady Michelle Obama now on a crusade to fight childhood obesity? Are we under the impression that’s caused by the total absence of food in American cupboards and refrigerators? In a nation full of cell phones, home entertainment centers and shiny new SUVs?

But never fear! The U.S. Department of Agriculture already provides $1.3 million in tax money for free summer kiddie meals in Nevada, including $669,432 for Clark County. And more “feeding sites” are planned!

Now, there are always a few emergency cases that should be referred to traditional private charities. But at the risk of stating the obvious, the Founders promised us a small central government of limited powers. Our public schools were never intended to be one-stop soup kitchens — let alone at a time when the federal government borrows 41 cents of every dollar it spends.

How many of these free meals go to the children of illegal aliens? And as bureaucrats at all levels unanimously moan that they’re understaffed and overworked, where did they find two — two! — health inspectors to send little Julie Murphy home in tears for running a private lemonade stand?

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