How One Alabama Man Is Fighting Federal Government Overreach
Shelby County’s Paul Reynolds is one of two National Republican Committee members from Alabama. He’s also spent a career in the radio and TV industries, so he knows a thing or two about federal government regulations—especially those of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Reynolds says the FCC has a long history of squeezing independent business owners, and the smaller companies are the ones that have struggled most to thrive under their rules. As Reynolds told Yellowhammer,
All of my adult life has been spent in a business that is very closely regulated by the federal government; broadcast consulting engineering. Every year new rules and regulations are added while very few are ever removed. Ninety percent of regulation modifications did not lighten the regulatory burden, but only strengthened them. Current FCC rules take almost 1000 printed pages. Since I have practiced before the FCC for over 40 years, I’ver witnessed the devastation of these regulations firsthand and how they strangle the American creative spirit.
Reynolds also points to history as an example of government overreach, stating that federal agencies like the FCC have exceeded their intended purpose and scope. With the advent of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, the expansion of the federal government took a quantum leap. When Congress passed the Administrative Procedures Act in 1936, the foundation was laid for government intervention into the lives of everyday Americans.
“With this one act,” Reynolds said, “The U.S. Congress transported its workload to the executive branch, abdicating its responsibility. The result was an unprecedented and unconstitutional expansion of the executive branch.” For example, when the measure was passed in 1936 there were only 15 federal agencies in existence. Today, there are at least 430, and far more when sub-agencies are added. Because regulatory commissions are “watchdogs” they were intended to regulate, but they were not intended to paralyze businesses, yet that’s what they’ve done, Reynolds explained.
As I researched the various studies of the effects of these regulations I realized that our entire economic system was groaning under this load; that that the average American household has a “hidden” tax of approximately $15,000 per year in extra living expenses brought about by federal regulations. My first realization of the enormity of our problem was when my fellow Resolution Committee Members acknowledged that they had no idea of the impact of the excessive and burgeoning regulatory state. Neither did they realize its drain on American life with over a million federal regulations on the books.
Americans were given hope for breathing room with the election of Donald J. Trump. President Trump declared that he wanted to shrink these agencies by 70% and nowhere has that directive been set in motion more than at Trump’s FCC. The Commission’s new chairman, Ajit Pai, is a staunch, pro-business conservative who’s issued a new directive of his own: he’s soliciting comments for anyone in broadcasting who wants to tell the FCC what’s wrong with their burdensome rules and regulations. He also wants to know which rules are superfluous, outdated, and which are simply punitive. Those rules, he’s made clear, are on the chopping block. For example, In the context of Obama’s so-called “net neutrality” initiative, Pai told broadcasters and business leaders in Wisconsin last month, “We’re trying to make it easier for you to do what you do best—connect rural America.”
This commitment to easing excessive regulation is great news to Paul Reynolds, and all broadcasting business owners like him. As a response to Ajit Pai’s request, Reynolds is using his position as an RNC national committee member to submit a series of resolutions that make a case for these regulatory rollbacks. As he told Yellowhammer,
I have submitted 8 resolutions proclaiming the disastrous affects the regulatory encroachment has on our civil liberties. Each resolution I submitted was passed unanimously by the 168 people that make up the Republican National Committee.
His latest resolution, attached below, goes a step further, suggesting how the FCC rollbacks Pai is poised to implement can be used in other agencies across the federal government.
As Reynolds concluded,
It excited me so much to see this beginning to happen, and I am enjoying watching the big central government proponents screaming in agony as they see the federal regulations fall that I felt compelled to do an RNC resolution praising this out front and aggressive effort by the FCC.