The Swarm

Mix it up with The Bee's editorial board.

January 26, 2009
McClintock now big fed's big defender

We always thought Tom McClintock was a local-control guy, favoring muni and state government over the big bad bureaucracy in Washington. But now that McClintock has moved from the Legislature to Congress, he wants the feds to keep stomping on California's right to regulate how much smog cars spew into the air here. When word started leaking out that Obama's EPA would likely withdraw federal opposition to California setting more stringent clean-air standards, McClintock claimed that a strong, vigorous federal government is needed to protect consumers (not to mention automakers) from the wrath of California regulators.

McClintock said Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was "asking the president to waive a federal law that currently protects California consumers from the governor's crusade to save the planet by destroying California's economy." McClintock added:

"The net effect of his request would add between $1,000 and $5,000 to the price of every car sold in California. Automobile sales normally account for one-fifth of sales taxes paid in the once-Golden State and total sales tax receipts are already down $1.5 billion over the last 12 months."

But shouldn't California consumers have the sovereign right to raise the price of their cars in the cause of cleaner air, if that's really what would happen?

Here is a McClatchy story on the issue.

UPDATE: Here is a reaction from McClintock: "Dan Weintraub suggests that advocates of limited government like myself should welcome the federal government allowing states like California's to impose radical new restrictions on vehicle emissions that will raise the price of a new car by as much as $5,000. The reason our Constitution empowers Congress to regulate interstate commerce is precisely to prevent one state from running amok, impeding the free flow of commerce across state lines and negatively impacting the economies of other states and of the nation." 

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About The Swarm

The Swarm is written by members of The Sacramento Bee's editorial board. They meet daily and are separate from the newsroom. Views included here are those of individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect those of a majority of the board or the positions expressed in The Bee's editorials.

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