Is Big Government Holding Us Back...From the Future?

In the 1989 “Back to the Future” sequel, Marty McFly and “Doc” Emmett L. Brown travel to October 21, 2015 -- and the world is unrecognizable. “Where we’re going, we don’t need roads,” Doc Brown declares, as the DeLorean soars into the air.

Contrary to the film’s prophetic vision, our cars don’t fly, or run on nuclear energy, converting trash into fuel. Our teenagers do not fly around on hover boards, and our shoes don’t automatically lace themselves up. What happened?

Big government happened -- the explosion of regulation and administration has held America back from all sorts of innovations, from sunscreen to nuclear power. Last year, the government added 77,687 pages of federal regulations, costing American consumers and businesses nearly $1.9 trillion, according to the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

The Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” has created 13,000 pages of new regulations, caused a mass consolidation of the healthcare industry, and has increased prices across the board. No less than eight CO-OPs -- nonprofit insurers created by Obamacare -- have folded this year.

On October 1, the Environmental Protection Agency finalized what may become the most expensive regulation in history, using false science to argue that making ozone rules even stricter will improve public health. Some are even claiming that, with self-driving cars, we need to make the switch to automated drivers, and outlaw human drivers. Talk about the furthest thing from flying cars.

If you’re waiting for the nuclear-power generator where you turn your trash into energy, don’t hold your breath. Nuclear energy may be the safest, most effective, and least-polluting form of energy, but that doesn’t mean Obama will start issuing grants like the ones set up for solar and wind.

If technology has been held back in recent years, why did “Back to the Future” predict that America would have flying cars, hoverboards, and widespread nuclear energy by 2015?