Submitted by Jim Campbell
The Palm Beach Poast
by Opinion Staff
U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Palm Beach Gardens, was all set to back a measure that would have prevented egg producers from cramming hens too tightly into cages. But after promising to support it he backed out earlier this month.
This came as a surprise because the egg industry supported the tighter regulations. But Rep. West explained his decision in a letter to the egg industry thusly: “It is my firm belief that the federal government should not be in the business of telling citizens how to operate their private businesses.”
That sounded like hyperbole, given that most people agree the government should play at least some role in regulating businesses (imposing child-labor laws, inspecting nuclear reactors, etc.). But Rep. West was not speaking off the cuff. This statement came in a letter.
Was he right that the federal government shouldn’t regulate private business?