The FCC is the latest in a long line of federal bureaucracies expanding the power of the federal government, as the Washington Times reports:
WASHINGTON (AP) — Declaring the Internet critical for the nation, a top U.S. regulator on Wednesday proposed an unprecedented expansion of federal power to ensure providers don’t block or slow web traffic for America’s countless users.
The proposal by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler was a victory for advocates of “net neutrality,” the idea that Internet providers must allow data to move across their networks without interference. The idea has been the subject of heavy lobbying and millions of dollars in advertising in the past year.
“Net neutrality” means that whether you’re trying to buy a necklace on Etsy, stream the season premiere of Netflix’s “House of Cards” or watch a music video on Google’s YouTube, your Internet service provider would have to load all of those websites equally quickly.
Major Internet providers insist they have no plans to create such fast or slow lanes, but they strongly oppose the regulation, arguing that it could stifle innovation and investment. Open Internet rules had been in place but were recently knocked down by a federal court.
Wheeler’s proposal attempts to erase any legal uncertainty by reclassifying the Internet as a telecommunications service and regulating it under the 1934 Communications Act. The plan would apply to both wired service provided by companies like Comcast and wireless service by companies like T-Mobile.
That would put all Internet service in the same regulatory camp as telephones and any other public utility, which Republicans and industry officials say would discourage investment and increase taxes.
If you ever wonder how the federal government has grown so large and powerful, look no further. Slowly, over the last century, federal agencies have come to regulate more and more of American life. With each decision like the one above, bureaucrats in Washington expand their authority a little more.
Will they ever stop? Probably not. They'll take as much power as the American people are willing to give them.
Fortunately, Article V provides a way for the people to take their power back. Using the Article V Convention of States process, the states can propose and ratify constitutional amendments that would significantly limit the size and power of the federal government.