Nanny State? Might not be so bad.

During an after-work workout rush at the gym on Friday, I was surprised to land a treadmill with a TV. It was super crowded, and only certain machines had TVs attached.

Lo and behold the TV had one channel, and so I watched C-Span in all it’s monotonous glory. But it gets better.

The House Appropriations Subcommittee was going through the proposed 2012 budget for the FDA, which President Obama requested to be increased by 30% from it’s current $4.3 Billion annually. The Subcommittee’s Chairman, Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) though that was more money than the FDA needed, and told the agency’s Commissioner who was testifying, Margaret Hamburg M.D., exactly why he thought so.

To summarize Kingston’s argument, one look no further than the goal of his party: bringing down the deficit by cutting this year’s budget by $400 million.

Now this by itself is not that interesting. What is interesting was how Kingston talked about cutting the budget for “FDA projects” that he believed shouldn’t be regulated by the government at all, using the phrase Nanny State over and over to make his point.

In a time when partisan lines are drawn with permanent marker, and loaded language reflects that division, I think I’ve found my favorite term: Nanny State.

I <3 *HEART* this term.

Wikipedia has heard of Nanny State and says it was probably coined by a Conservative British politician in a 1965 op-ed column. But, like most phrases, it has changed and continues to morph with each person who thinks on it.

I never had a Nanny, but I always imagined life with one. So, with that in mind, my idea of a “nanny” state could go a few different ways. One would be a full-figured, older woman who waits at the bus stop for you after school. Over a healthy snack back at your house, she asks you about your day and helps you with your homework ’til your parents get home. Like, Mrs. Doubtfire.

The other option, which is a of a stretch, is the “Nana” character in Disney’s Peter Pan. Though she isn’t a human, Mr. and Mrs. Darling fully entrust the care of their children to the watchful eye this collie, Nana. (The argument could be made that the eldest daughter Wendy Darling is watching the children, too, but the dialogue between Mrs. Darling and Nana proves that the primary care task goes to the Dog.)

In either fantasy example, the kids are better cared for and better adjusted because of a Nanny or Nana.

In terms of cutting each congressional budget by 5% in 2011, something Nydia Velazquez – who didn’t have a Nanny growing up either – and most of the other liberal congressman don’t agree with, Nanny’s make for large expenses. Just like a Nanny in a home, it dips into a family’s budget in a real way. And so logically it follows that when a family’s budget needs to be cut, it can help ends meet.

But maybe, as Ms Velazquez has shown herself to believe, the budget isn’t the bottom line. Raising a good child, she would argue is. And in a perfect world, parents can take care of their children by themselves. But in the absence of good parents, a good Nanny (such as the FDA) might not be so bad.

Sneak Peek: Tomorrow’s House Small Biz Budget Hearing

The House Small Business Committee will hold its annual budget hearing tomorrow at 1 pm in DC, and if the past is a good indicator of the future, predictions can be made as follows:

Both parties will emphasize the importance of small businesses in job creation. The Republicans will likely suggest cutting the annual budget, and the Democrats will try suggest the opposite; all while checking in with Karen Mills, Administrator of the US Small Business Association (SBA) to see how her organization if fairing with a freshly-halved budget.

That, in itself, is not that interesting. In fact, that’s how most House budget hearings are going these days. But, what will be interesting, is how each side will justify its position, while still asserting its firm stance that “small businesses drive job creation.”

Oh what a refrain.

When Chairman of the Committee, Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO) , ascended to the position on January 5th after the Republicans took the House, he brought more than a splashy picture for the website. He also carried the GOP pledge to America: to spend less, and to make jobs.

When Rep. Nydia Velazquez descended from that position to ranking minority member on January 5th, she vowed to also make jobs, but never mentioned cutting the budget to do so.

And now more than ever, Nydia is against the budget cuts at all levels, saying in a statement regarding the Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Appropriations Act 2 weeks ago that cutting funds doesn’t yield job creation.

My guess is that Nydia and the Dems will point to the success of programs that encourage entrepreneurship, especially for women and minorities, as proof that complete funding is needed. I also would go out on a limb to say that Sam Graves and the Republicans will speak about American ingenuity and handwork bringing keeping small businesses running in “these tough economic times.”

Meanwhile, Karen Mills will be asked to weigh in on weighs to cut spending, but not quality programs for entrepreneurs. Mills, a President Obama appointee, has a history in venture capitalism and a Harvard M.B.A. But just two weeks ago, the Small Business Administration, of which Mills is the head Administrator, felt its budget halved from 2010, which was unusually high because of stimulus money.

To be honest, these vague guesses are a lay-person’s take on complicated politics, but you can bet I’ll be watching the live stream come 1 pm.