09/21/2012 01:10 pm ET Updated Sep 21, 2012

Steve King: 'Nanny State' Speed Limits Waste 'Lifetimes'

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) has long railed against energy-efficient lightbulbs and showerheads as an example of oppressive government under Democrats. Now he has a new line: Nanny state-imposed speed limits waste significant time -- "lifetimes," even -- for Americans.

King took to the House floor Thursday to complain about 55-mile-per-hour speed limits near his home in Iowa.

"There I am driving down the road looking at cornfields, which I love to look at, at 55 miles an hour. I thought, 'Why am I doing this?'" he said. "Well, it must be the nanny state that has imposed this on me."

King pointed out he could have gotten to his destination faster if he drove 65 miles per hour, instead of wasting time on the road.

"You calculate that each one of us on the day we were born was granted the actuarial number -- at that time I figured it at 76 years -- when you figure those hours that you have in your lifetime at 76 years and then you figure out how many hours you spend unnecessarily looking out the windshield at 55 miles an hour, and you calculate the lifespan, and you divide it into the time saved and the miles that are traveled on rural roads in Iowa each year," he said.

"And it came down to this: that if we drive 65 instead of 55, we will have saved 79.64 lifetimes of living, in other words, getting to our destination, doing something productive. That has value too," he said.

King, like a number of other Republicans, is strongly opposed to government regulations on energy. Energy-efficient lightbulbs, especially, are a pet peeve of his. King told a crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference in February he once made interns cry because he sent them on an unsuccessful search for "Edison lightbulbs."

He said on Thursday he does own "a good number" of energy-efficient lightbulbs, but puts in "patriotic Edison bulbs" if he needs them to turn on more quickly.

King also talked about showerheads, saying the nanny state disallows ones that put out too much water. He said at the Conservative Political Action Conference that he drilled holes in his water-saving showerhead to cut his time in the shower by three minutes, giving him "more time to beat up on the liberals."



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