Reposted in its entirety from DailyKos here.
The Senate Finance Committee Regulates Lead Paint
Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 08:00:04 AM PDT
The time: somewhere in the past. The place: a stuffy office inside the Hill. The lead paint industry is in hot water because of all the problems associated with lead paint; there has been a huge public uproar. There's going to be legislation. Luckily, the lead paint industry has great lobbyists.
Senator: "Golly, Mr. Lobbyist, people are really pissed off with your lead-based paint. We're thinking we're going to have to regulate it to remove the lead, or at least reduce the amount of lead in it or something."
Lobbyist: "Well, you could do that... but that would interfere with the free market."
Senator: "Good point. Well, we're all about being fair to the marketplace here. What do you propose we do instead?"
Lobbyist: "Well, hmm. For starters, I think it should be a law that everyone must buy lead paint every year."
Senator: "Why, that's brilliant! Let's f---ing do it! Problem f---ing solved!"
Lobbyist: "And there's rumor that the government is going to start making paint without lead so people won't get poisoned so often. We don't think we could compete against that without it cutting into our profits, since everyone would want non-leaded paint instead, so you should ban it."
Lobbyist: "Oh, and my friends in the paintbrush industry are alarmed that people might be getting their paintbrushes for half the usual price in other countries, so you should ban importing paintbrushes so that Americans have to pay the American price."
Senator: "Of course, consider it done! What a spectacular reform effort this will be, the public will love it! Anything else?"
Lobbyist: "Oh, I guess that does it for now. At least this way if we're going to have lead paint reform, it'll be done in a bipartisan way. If you need me, I'll be out back killing a hooker."