Carney has a light-bulb moment

Recent John Locke Foundation Headliner Timothy P. Carney wonders why liberal defenders of federal light-bulb restrictions refuse to engage in honest debate. He tackles the topic in a Washington Examiner “Beltway Confidential” blog entry:

Why can’t liberal defenders of the light-bulb law admit what they want to do? Why can’t they admit that their favored light bulbs are (1) more expensive and (2) perfectly legal?

The debate is about whether it should be illegal or not to sell and buy bulbs, such as the traditional incandescent, that don’t meet an arbitrary efficiency standard determined by industry lobbyists and lawmakers. Yet liberal bloggers repeatedly pretend that Republicans are trying to block the expensive high-efficiency bulbs.

The latest offender is David Wogan blogging at Scientific American.

Wogan downplays the severity of the law in question. He describes the 2007 law as empowering DOE to “enforce a more efficient standard for light bulbs.” That really means “ban the manufacture or importation of light bulbs that don’t meet the standard.”

Then Wogan, just like other liberal bloggers, has a gratuitous swipe at GOP-Big Oil ties, which can best be understood as a reflex reaction for liberal bloggers put in an awkward situation by the fact that they are firmly on the side of GE and the rest of the industry, and firmly against consumer choice.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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