Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Power of Veto

So it looks like today may be the day when President Bush breaks out that dusty veto stamp and slaps it on the embryonic stem cell spending bill. His first use of the veto since taking office 6 years ago. No matter what his ultimate reasoning, ethical, financial, roll of the die, etc.. I say it's a good call.

In general, the government of a democratic state should not be using tax payer money to fund voluntary activities which a significant percentage of it's people oppose. And in this case that's all they are (or aren't) doing. There is no law on the books limiting private funding of stem cell research, only Federal and as shown in California, every state is free to take it upon themselves to put public monies toward this line of research if their constituent should so choose.

In reality, if embryonic stem cell research truly offered the miracles it proponents put forward at every press conference then the private money should be flowing in from all over. The fact is the science behind this line of research is questionable at best and most of the promises being made are merely fantasies being pushed by special interests. As of today, embryonic stem cells have proven more problematic than beneficial whereas the research into adult stem cells has already been used as the basis for several advances. Is this really where the Federal government should be investing it's limited resources?

While most opponents of Bush are likely to deny it to their last breath, this is a text book example of what the framers of the Constitution meant the United States to be; a system in which the Federal government takes care of the big things that have international significance (such as border security and the military) while the States decide what to do for most other issues. The fact that the Feds like to get their fingers into everything they can find should be no excuse to let them.

Now, if only Bush could manage to find that stamp a little more often.

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