Gouged by the Government

Here’s what (state) regulators can do for you: fine a gas station owner for giving a two-cent a gallon discount to senior citizens. That’s the story – grandma and grandpa are getting slightly cheaper gasoline, and officials from the Wisconsin state government are there to put an end to it. The agency in charge of confiscating candy from small children must have the week off. Here are the details, from the Associated Press’ Ryan J. Foley:

[Raj] Bhandari, who owns Center City BP in Merrill, Wis., about 150 miles north of Madison, stopped offering discounts of 2 cents per gallon to senior citizens and 3 cents per gallon for donors to a youth hockey league after being warned by state regulators in April the programs may violate the law. Gasoline sales dropped by about 20 percent as a result, he said.

His lawyers vowed to pursue the case to the state Supreme Court, arguing the constitution protects business owners’ right to earn a living free from unnecessary government regulation.

A business owners has a right to earn a living free from unnecessary government regulation? Why, that’s crazy talk. Doesn’t he know that old people need to be protected from the dangerous threat of discount gasoline?