One of the great unwritten stories of the damage to the economy from team Obama is the relentless attempt to regulate areas that have not previously been regulated.

The health care mandate received a lot of attention and breaks new ground, but there are countless other areas that mostly fly under the popular radar.

Thanks to reader Danelle from Texas for forwarding this article to me about the Obama administration’s attempt to force local farmers and ranchers to obtain commercial long-haul licenses:

Tractors lumbering down country roads are as common as deer in rural Montana, but the federal government wants to place new driving regulations on farmers and ranchers.

“It’s a huge deal for us,” said John Youngberg of the Montana Farm Bureau. After years of allowing state governments to waive commercial driver’s license requirements for farmers hauling crops or driving farm equipment on public roads, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is poised to do away with the exceptions.

Regulators are suggesting that all wheat shipments be considered interstate, even when farmers making short hauls to local grain elevators aren’t crossing state lines. The change would make commercial driver’s licenses — and all the log books and medical requirements that go with them — a necessity for farmers. Some might not qualify.

The licenses would also be required of farmers driving farm equipment down public roads. Farmers hauling grain for a neighbor or landlord would be considered commercial drivers hauling for someone else.

Ranchers hauling livestock in trailers as small as 16 feet would also be subject to the new rules…

Traditionally, farmers driving farm machinery have been exempt from commercial driver’s licenses, as have farmers hauling wheat, provided they didn’t cross state lines and traveled no farther than 150 air miles to the elevator.

It just never ends. And the rationale sounds very familiar:

FMCSA argues that because grain will ultimately be shipped out of state, it  should be regulated as an interstate product at every transportation step.  Treated as a product destined to cross state lines, grain becomes federally  regulated under the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Update:  I really should have focused on the destruction of a way of life, not just economic destruction.  Danelle futher e-mails:

This is regulation on a very personal level to those of us living anywhere in the west.  While the bigger impact will be on full time farmers and ranchers, even more of us use the same equipment to transport our horses to rodeos, playdays, or safely down the road to the next pasture.  We help our kids haul their livestock projects to County Fairs and Major Livestock Shows.  Trailers are used to haul not only farm equipment but a they get things like welding rigs and generators to rural job sites (think oil rigs here).  They’re also used in recreation for transporting bikes, quads, dune buggies and dirt track race cars safely to their destinations.

As an aside, last week, the boys and I were driving back to El Paso County from
San Antonio (600 miles of mostly unpopulated desert).  I wondered how someone
like Obama would handle being dropped in the middle of that territory in a Chevy
Volt on one of our 110 degree afternoons.  Just one section of I-10 is 105 miles
between towns with some very tough hills to get up.  And in case you’re worried
about whether today’s youth will be standing up for the 2nd Amendment, we were
on our way home from 8 days at the Texas 4-H Shooting Sports games where over
2300 youths ages 8-18 competed in 43 disciplines including pistol, rifle, bows
and shotgun.

Wow, things really are bigger in Texas.