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While headlines focus on big names and politics, just beneath the surface, plans are under way to make it more expensive to own property and run a business, to increase government intrusion into our lives and to enlarge the bureaucracy – all in the name of protecting children.

Ah, yes, the children.

The diversion comes from the man who is president – but thinks he’s king – who got lots of flak for another of his imperious actions. Barack Obama wanted Richard Cordray to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

He knew he’d have trouble getting Congress approval, so he arbitrarily made the appointment under the guise of a presidential “recess appointment.”

But Congress wasn’t in recess, and what he did is considered by many to be a violation of congressional rules, unconstitutional and an impeachable offense. The GOP is fuming.

No matter.

Obama isn’t fazed. He knows what he wants and has said openly that if Congress doesn’t go along with him, he’ll do what he wants, without them.

But while the accusations, finger pointing and veiled threats go on concerning Obama’s actions, there’s another kind of takeover going on, under the guise of government protecting us.

Not just “us,” but the children.

Ah, the children.

If you saw anything about it in the news, it was simply that the Advisory Committee on Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention recommended to the Centers For Disease Control that the feds lower the threshold for lead poisoning in children.

Sounds innocuous enough.

Lead can be harmful to children; that was behind the guidelines set more than 30 years ago. It was behind the efforts to remove lead from paint and gasoline in 1978.

The biggest push was to reach people in poor neighborhoods in decaying housing where peeling and chipped paint would be a danger to children.

The original level of lead in the blood to be considered poisoning was 10 micrograms per deciliter of blood.

The goal to keep children safe from that poisoning seemed to be working but behind the scenes, the iron fist of the bureaucracy came down hard on businesses.

While such rules vary by state, in most cases, any contractor who deals in any construction, renovation or remodeling job that involves painted surfaces must be specially trained and licensed. The classes often are eight hours or more and expensive, and such certification must be renewed on a regular basis.

Hiring a painter isn’t quite so simple anymore. Doing repairs isn’t, either. If it’s a major remodel on a structure built before 1978, you’re in for a real, bureaucratic treat.

You need to hire a lead certified contractor who must provide you with printed material from the state explaining the possible lead problems. He must follow EPA rules and guidelines and perform specific tests of old painted surfaces to determine if lead is present. If so, removal turns into a hazardous material situation and costs for the homeowner escalate.

If the contractor doesn’t comply, the fines are astronomical and apply to the homeowner as well, depending on circumstances.

Did you know that the CDC has recommended that pediatricians ask parents during well-baby examinations if their home was built before 1978 and/or remodeled?

Depending on the answer, blood tests might be ordered for the child. If they’re positive, the home becomes a hazard.

Overall, the lead guidelines worked, and recently the number of children diagnosed had declined dramatically to about 250,000.

Successful program, right?

Well gee, that might mean there wouldn’t be anything left to do.

So like any good bureaucracy that never dies, officials began being concerned about post 1978 homes in better neighborhoods, where proper remodeling and repainting had been done over years.

Why? Because the “danger” would be in the new paint wearing off and exposing the old paint to friction leading to possible lead dust in the house.

Oh.

Then, combine that with lowering the lead “danger level” in blood by half, from 10 to 5 micrograms per deciliter of blood, and – you’ve got a winner!

The CDC thinks this will increase the number of children with some blood lead to 450,000.

Is it possible to have “no” lead in the blood? Is there a “safe” level of lead in blood? Is it possible to remove “all” lead from our surroundings?

No. No. And No.

But the bureaucracy and the EPA never quit.

The guidelines present expensive challenges for the construction industry, for housing, for real estate, the paint and solvent industry and for furniture building and refinishing; in fact, they present challenged for any business using such chemicals.

They’ve created another government monster.

More and more cities and states are passing regulations that apply to all property owners. In some, sellers of homes built before 1976 must present the buyer with verification that all lead has been remediated. In others, laws would make it impossible to buy a structure that has not been remediated.

No more “as is” sales.

That also means the owner cannot sell the property. Essentially, the state has made the property worthless.

So whether there’s an out-of-control president acting alone or states and bureaucracies doing what they want, the bottom line is American citizens are losing their rights and freedoms.

And that includes the children.

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