If Barack Obama wants to know something related to a government agency, he simply has one of his many assistants call and ask the question. There would be an immediate answer, because it’s the president who’s asking. For a real taxpayer asking, well, not so much.

In the best piece of simple, basic reporting I’ve seen this year, Politico covered the aftermath of Obama’s answer to a farmer’s question in Illinois Wednesday. The farmer had heard rumors about some new regulations related to dust, noise and water runoff, and he was afraid the rumored regulations were going to hurt his business, so he asked Obama about them.

Obama advised the farmer to contact the U.S. Department of Agriculture directly and ask about the rumored regulations. He was quite insistent on this point — that the farmer should be able to get an answer to his question. During part of the answer, there was some soft laughter in the room at Obama’s naiveté. So the Politico reporter got the question from the farmer and called the USDA.

Nine phone calls later — and a lot of buck-passing later — he still had no answer to give the farmer.

The people who make up the rules and regulations the rest of us live by have no idea what it’s like to live with the world they create. They don’t have to care. They’re a special class of people. They honestly don’t know what life underneath the bureaucracy is like.

Read the entire story. It’s worth it.

Note: This comes from a link at the Agitator, which I continue to recommend as an excellent source for interesting reporting and links.