'Glenn Beck': What's More American Than Government Regulation?

This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," April 23, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GLENN BECK, HOST: Freedom of speech and regulations on what you can say and what you can do. Nothing — nothing — says American quite like good old fashioned federal regulation.

Yesterday, I showed you, thanks to the Environmental Protection Agency, we get a chance to express our love for the government intrusion in our lives with their "Rulemaking Matters" video contest. It is billed — I think it's propaganda — but it's billed as a chance to let Americans know how wonderful it is that, quote, "Almost every aspect of our lives is touched by federal regulations."

How wonderful that is? Here is the EPA's exciting call to action:


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We invite you to capture the public imagination and use creativity, artistic expression and innovation to explain why regulations are important to everyone and motivate others to participate in the rulemaking process.


BECK: So we can all — don't you all just want to get together and create new regulations? Wouldn't it be fun? Let's do it this weekend. We could make S'mores.

Before you grab your camera and get started, may I just play devil's advocate here and for fairness, explain why government regulations may not be the best idea?

It's simple, really: When the government tries to get in the way of the free market, it makes things worse.

For example, let's go with the government deciding a way to improve our lives was in housing, with the Community Reinvestment Act. Look this up, please; write it down: Community Reinvestment Act. Look it up.

It was updated in 1995 to put pressure on the banks — see if this sounds familiar — the government putting pressure on the banks to issue more risky loans so more people could own homes. I don't think any trouble came from that.

The federal government now controls — controls — 90 percent of housing finance. Last I checked, the housing situation, I think it — aren't some people saying it's in shambles?

How about CAFE standards? Businesses were left creating the cars the government wanted, not what the people wanted. Remember, they were against SUVs and trucks. What were we all driving?

Not only did the automakers lose money, more people died in car accidents because of the smaller, unsafe cars that they now had to drive because we can't put all safety standards in, because it makes them too heavy.

It's been the same throughout history. FDR had the most spectacular failed attempt at government regulations when he created the National Recovery Administration in 1933.

Let me show you this: This is the NRA — this is not the gun people. These are the crazy people. "NRA — We Do Our Part." The NRA actually forced companies to comply with price controls and codes. It was the small businesses — we're going to help the small businesses. Really?

The small businesses — and this happens every time with government, because they're in bed with the big business — small business was hurt the most because it was the large companies that the government got together with and set the price.

See the government — see if this sounds familiar: Have you been invited, your small business to the White House to sit down and have the power broker meetings that all of the big businesses have?

See, with FDR, just like with Obama, he would bring in all of the big businesses and they would set the price at such a level that worked for them, but not for the small businesses. One example of this was in the tire industry, the Pharis Tire and Rubber Company of Newark, Ohio.

Now, you, of course, remember Pharis and you may have some of the Ferris — no, you don't have any Pharis tires? That's weird because they were a very successful small tire company with about 1,000 employees run by Carl Pharis. He was a well-respected man in the community.

At the time, FDR brought in — well, not Pharis, but three other groups — brought in Goodyear, Goodrich and Firestone, but not Pharis. It's weird that you've not heard about him but you have heard about these guys.

Pharis provided tough competition for these other three, because he could mark his tires down. So when the big three wrote the new price codes, Pharis was in a jam, because the price codes were higher than the discount prices he was charging.

So it not only screwed the little businessman but also people buying tires because it meant that you had to go to the big three and get those tires that were more expensive. Pharis would lose money. He would eventually have to lay off each and every employee. Pharis was an honest man, so he followed the new rules and he lost money. He fired everybody in the end.

There were others that didn't follow the code. There was a tailor in New Jersey who is probably the most famous case. This guy got 30 days in jail — 30 days — because he charged 35 cents for pressing a suit inside of the required 40 cents, because he was losing business because everybody was going to the more convenient dry cleaner. And he said, I'll charge five cents less.

It was a father of four who said, I'm just going to charge less to press a suit. The father of four went to jail for 30 days. He had really believed FDR when FDR said, I'm going to help the little man.

He actually stood in the courtroom in stunned silence when his sentence was announced. He stood there and he looked at the judge and then, he looked at his attorney. He said later, he was hoping that it was a joke.

FDR and the New Deal changed the country; agree or not with what happened or what direction we went to, it did change our direction. These agencies didn't exist before. These are the agencies that FDR created during the new deal, OK?

Big government — we've never done this before. Big government. These are all of the agencies that he created under the new deal - two pages. It's a lot. It transformed America. And each of these creates more regulations for every law that is passed — 10 regulations. How many are these actually making —

Now, I want to show you something else. This is the list of the agencies that Barack Obama has created in just the first year, in just the health care bill.

Sorry, it's taking so long. I just want to show them to you. This is just in one bill. I can see now why they're trying to get you make videos on the benefits of regulations because I have news for you — there is a whole lot more regulation headed your way.

And as history tells us, that's not a good thing for the little guy. Progressive reforms have failed over and over and over again.

Content and Programming Copyright 2010 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2010 Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.