One of the biggest problems in America today appears to be the preponderance of baggage that our legal and social systems are forced to support.
What if every law, social agency, tax and other imposition by our government(s) from the Feds right on down to your local city council, had a mandatory sunset of no more than 10 years? Sure, you can sunset things sooner, but never longer.
When the sunset arrived, either the affected agency, law, tax, whatever would either be allowed to slip away – which would be good in most cases, or it would need to be re-evaluated as if it were a new bill. NO RUBBER STAMPING ALLOWED. By the way – all representative voting needs to be available on the internet in a searchable and collatable format so we can take them to task if they don’t take good care to preserve our interests.
“This would waste a lot of time that could otherwise be spent on fruitful endeavors” might be an argument one could make against this, but looking at the legislation and issues that our representatives, at all levels, devote their time to, I somehow think that the less time they have to come up with new ideas, the better off most of us will be.
Winston Churchill once said “If you have ten thousand regulations you destroy all respect for the law.” and he was quite right. When there are so many laws, rules and regulations that nobody, not even those in the legal profession can sort through them, then we need to make do with less of them.
Truly important laws will not take much assessment to reinstate for another 10 year term. Useless, obsolete or otherwise non representative laws will naturally fall by the wayside as legislators realize that there are more important issues to address vying for their valuable time.
It seems very few, if any, government programs are created with a defined end date. There are no criteria by which to judge the efficacy or success of these programs and no means of assessing when they have served their purpose (if they ever did) and are now obsolete. Further there is seldom a mechanism for objectively assessing them mid-course against current realities and ensuring that they continue to be effective as times and circumstances change.
You can call me naÃ¯ve, but if something is so darned important, then it needs to be maintained at the forefront of our political consciousness and adjusted and amended as time goes by. If it is not that important, why are be burdening ourselves with it?
Yes, this can cause a problem as different camps are in power when reevaluation time arrives, but how different is this than having an entrenched law that was established by whatever camp was in power 20, 30 or 50 years ago?
As for abuses due to the democratic process (also, ungraciously, referred to as “Mob Rule”) well, that’s what the various constitutions are there for. If someone tries to pervert the law or extend the reach of a social program in a way damaging to society or to individuals, it needs to be struck down by our newly unburdened legal system.
Imagine having a tax system that you could understand rather than one that grows year after year with arcane and incomprehensible exceptions, inclusions and calculations? Imagine social programs that are relevant and effective or they are actually removed. Imagine laws that are possible to remember, are applicable to today’s day and age and are thoughtfully revisited on a regular basis.
We know that one of the best governments for our economy is one where one party rules the house of representatives while the other rules the senate. Deadlocked as they are in this situation, the reduction of outflow of new legislation frees up the rest of the country to actually get on with growing and becoming more productive. Imagine your representatives actually performing the service of ensuring that your country’s services, strictures and goals actually were knowable and relevant to you and the rest of the populace.
Posted under Opinions
This post was written by Marc
on June 3, 2008 at 8:05 pm