Conservatives are known for arguing about the ill effects of over-regulation, reminding us how it stifles innovation, cramps entrepreneurship, and harms small businesses. Where we’re less effective is connecting this reality to the more fundamental abuses it wields on human dignity in general and the poor and vulnerable in particular.
In a 45-minute talk given at Heritage Action, Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska offers a detailed critique of over-regulation in America.
Pointing first to the proper scope of regulatory policies, Sasse proceeds to note the increasing overreach of the federal government and the range of reasons to oppose it. Watch an excerpt here:
Although arguments about over-regulation and taxation are bound to involve in depth discussions about numbers and econometrics, Sasse reminds us that our focus must remain on the preservation of freedom and human dignity.
Ultimately, opposing overregulation isn’t about numbers or lofty predictions about economic growth. It’s about treating people with the dignity they deserve, and offering the freedom to flourish, in turn:
Who does overregulation hurt? It hurts the poor. It hurts the least fortunate among us. As the regulatory sea rises and rises and rises, the rich and the well-connected, most of you in this room, you will be fine. It’ll put a little bit of sand in the gears, but most of you will be fine. The people who can afford to hire their lobbyists, they’ll be fine. But the poor, those who most need economic opportunity, they’re the ones who suffer. And we, conservatives, do a really poor job of telling this story effectively.
Because the reason that I’m a conservative, doesn’t have a whole heck of a lot to do with marginal tax rates. I care a lot about the effects of a growing economy, and marginal tax rates matter. But the reason I’m a conservative is because it comports with the dignity of people as they were created. And I believe that we need to understand America anew, and we need to be able to tell the story to the next generation of why this constitutional system, this first amendment creed of America, is such a glorious inheritance.