Ben Adler, over at The Nation, forgives Perry for not being able to remember which three government agencies he would eliminate, but cannot ignore Perry’s deeper ignorance:
“The real issue facing America are regulations,” said Perry, struggling as he often does with verb agreement. “It doesn’t make any difference whether it’s the EPA or whether it’s the federal banking—the Dodd-Frank or Obamacare. That’s what’s killing America. And the next president of the United States has to have the courage to go forward, pull back every regulation, since 2008, audit them for one thing: Is it creating jobs, or is it killing jobs? And if that regulation is killing jobs, do away with it.”
So Perry believes that the only basis on which a regulation should be measured is whether it has a net positive or negative effect on job creation. This is absurd, since the purpose of most regulations is not to create jobs. Regulations serve any number of purposes: to insure that corporations treat customers, workers or each other fairly, to preserve the health and safety of humans, animals, their air, water and habitats. That’s what the EPA does, and what Dodd-Frank and the Affordable Care Act are meant to do. If any such regulation diminishes job growth, reasonable people can argue over the tradeoff. But the fact that Perry either doesn’t understand what regulations are for, or doesn’t believe the government has any role except to promote job growth, reveals far more about why he is unqualified to be president than a momentary memory lapse.