Cass Sunstein Regulatory Czar

Another day, another fringer added to the White House parade of fringers.

Nominated by President Barack Obama to administer and head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) within the White House Office of Management and Budget is Cass Sunstein.

- Currently serves as one of President Obama’s 39 “Czars.” Sunstein has been “appointed” the “Regulatory Czar.”
- Law Professor at the University of Chicago Law School.
- Served on the Council of Academic Advisors for the AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies.
- Helped Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) lead the efforts to stop the confirmation of Presisent George W. Bush’s judicial nominees.
- Has written 35 books since 1990, many of which advocate for causes such as radical animal rights, human euthanasia as a major component of health care reform legislation, federal laws advocating for ‘presumed consent’ rather than ‘explicit consent’ for organ donation to science, and censoring the freedom of speech, particularly on the internet.

Issue Areas of Concern: End-of-life/health care policies, animal rights vs. human rights, freedom of speech, organ donation.

1. End-of-Life Advocacy/Philosophy

- June 2003, authored and published a paper entitled, “Lives, Life Years, and Willingness to Pay.”

- Argues that human life varies in value.

- Advocates for government bureaucracy to rely on the “value of a statistical life year” when doing cost-benefit analysis as opposed to the “value of a statistical life.”

- He states that this would “likely result in significantly lower [health] benefits calculations for elderly people, and significantly higher benefits calculations for children.”

- He states: “I urge that the government should indeed focus on life-years rather than lives. A program that saves young people produces more welfare than one that saves old people.”

- Sunstein asserts that the current health care system that focuses on statistic lives, rather than life years, is “a form of illicit discrimination […] because the idea of statistical lives treats the years of older people as worth far more than the years of younger people.

- Sunstein’s views on cost-effectiveness analysis is worrisome at best, especially since as head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, he will play a major role in defining the government’s handling of health care.

- He will be just one major player in the massive bureaucracy needed to regulate the very loosely-defined H.R. 3200, Obama’s proposed health care plan.

- Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, brother of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, is one member who will serve on the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research, which has already been approved and signed into law via H.R. 1 (the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, a.k.a. the “stimulus” bill).

- Emanuel has written suspiciously similar statements to those of Sunstein about why health care should be rationed for the elderly:

- “Unlike allocation by sex or race, allocation by age is not invidious discrimination; every person lives through different life stages rather than being a single age. Even if 25-year-olds receive priority over 65-year olds, everyone who is 65 years now was previously 25 years.”

2. Animal Rights over Human Rights

- Has been a longtime advocate for restricting animal testing for cosmetics, banning hunting, and encouraging the general public to eat less meat.

- “We ought to ban hunting.” –from his 2007 speech at Harvard.

- “Almost all gun control legislation is constitutionally fine.” –from his 2005 book, Radicals in Robes: Why Extreme Right-Wing Courts are Wrong for America.

- Advocates granting the right to sue to animals (that is, people can bring lawsuits on behalf of their pets and other animals if they feel that their “animal rights” are being violated).

- “I will suggest that animals should be permitted to bring suit, with human beings as their representatives, to prevent violations of current law.” –from his 2004 book, Animal Rights: Current Debates and New Directions

Sunstein is also a disciple of Peter Singer, another utopian who doesn’t feel humans have more worth than a slug. See Peter Singer: Architect of the Culture of Death and his recent NY Times article Why We Must Ration Health Care.