ISHN Guest BlogOne of the more interesting things about being involved in government affairs on a daily basis is listening to the rhetoric that comes from the politicians and the political parties.

I say “interesting” because one must listen close to really determine if any of this rhetoric has any bearing on our daily lives. Of course, much of it does, but most of it is simply their way of promoting their own agenda.

A good example is the continuing attack on or support of (depending on which way you lean) OSHA.

Take the issue of regulatory activity. During the Bush Administration we heard from the Democrats that the administration was doing absolutely nothing on the regulatory front and that enforcement was lacking. The Republicans claimed that enforcement needed to be scaled back and the country had enough regulations.

During the Obama Administration we hear from the Democrats that the increased enforcement has been necessary and the regulatory activity is needed. The Republicans claim we are seeing too many regulations and more enforcement is not the answer.

The fact is that both sides are wrong in nearly every area.

During the last two administrations we have seen but a handful of regulations coming from OSHA. In the last five years the only two I recall are the GHS and the cranes and derricks standard.

I have no idea where the argument comes from that we are seeing too many regulations in safety and health.

As for enforcement, both sides are also wrong here. Seems to me the efforts are about right when it comes to enforcement and probably about right when it comes to consultation assistance.

When both sides disagree on these issues we are probably somewhere in the middle.

Neither side has the advantage but it doesn’t stop them from the rhetoric. And rhetoric is fine – to a limit. The problem in Washington isn’t the fact that we have too much rhetoric. The problem is Washington is that once the rhetoric stops too few of our elected officials sit down and work out a solution.

Will this change? I sure hope so and more than that – it must change!