Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Sometimes, before you can progress, you must first take out the garbage.

This is certainly true of America’s vast library of laws and regulations.

The solution? Repeal.

Congress needs to go into a session devoted to repealing existing laws and regulations.

The reasons for such a grand garbage disposal were handily supplied, yesterday, by John Stossel, who argues in “Complex Societies Need Simple Laws,” that we must “end the orgy of rule-making at once and embrace the simple rules that true liberals like America’s founders envisioned.”

Stossel isn’t saying anything new or shocking. The great legal scholar Richard Epstein wrote a book devoted to just this argument, and the classical liberal thinker Herbert Spencer defined the point of view in 1850 — his classic Social Statics derived law from a principle that should remain static, allowing the rest of complex society to develop dynamically from that simple standpoint.

Free societies need understandable, universal laws. As Stossel puts it, “[n]o legislature can possibly prescribe rules for the complex network of uncountable transactions and acts of cooperation that take place every day.”

Oddly, Stossel doesn’t mention the word repeal.

It’s certainly not a word you hear much in the current Republican primary campaigns. Only one current contender for the GOP nomination seems committed to exercising veto power — the illustrious “Dr. No” — and he is not leading in the delegate count. A Dr. Veto as president could cajole Congress into mass repeals.

Which I bet could have mass appeal.

Unfortunately, we’re not going to get this from our current president, or contenders Romney, Santorum and Gingrich, or the leaders of either party in Congress. These politicians know, really, only one thing: Adding to the mess.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. Murray Bass says:

    Politics, like academics is essentially a do nothing positive venue.Most things that need to be done have ben done.
    In academics, it’s publish or perish. consequently the literature is filled with worthless rehashing of meningless facts. It has crippled education. Things myst now be research based” Studies are studies of studies of studies . No one loks at what sorks.
    In politics and the brueaucracy, the measure of success is what new laws have you written or new regulatins have you put in place . It’s “What can I do now”
    In order to get the garbage out, yu will first have to change the things that folks consider the mesure of success. Lots of luck.

  2. P. Long says:

    Thank God someone sees the light. Congress has to justify its’ existence. They need to be seen ‘doing something’. Hence the Obama slur of ‘do nothing’. I’m with you and Stossel. Repeal most of what they’ve managed to mess up and then send them home. They don’t need to live in Washington and they don’t need to be professional politicians. We shouldn’t be required to pay them for the rest of their life. Ron Paul is the only rational human connected to Washington I’ve heard about lately. And most folks that have a voice literally detest him. Go figure.

  3. Drik says:

    The idea that the government would be able to adequately manage every detail of everyday life is as absurd as the one that they will be able to adequateley and dependably manage the economy, when history shows that every time they do something, it screws it up.

    Not to worry. I heard that the President will soon be awarded a Nobel Prize in economics, so he will then be adequately qualified.

  4. Brian Wright says:

    Great notion, Paul, to bring up Spencer and the impossibility for government to practically control economics. The Austrian economists make ‘the impossibility of economic calculation by the state’ a big part of their theories. If the state can’t control economics, what makes anyone think it can control sex? His High Holiness the Rickster believes the feds need to shut down Internet ‘porn.’ ( When sex is outlawed only outlaws will have sex.

  5. gadfly32 says:

    Couldn’t all laws be passed with a time limit? that is: a law will bein effect for 5,10,20 years then it will have to be revoted on or be removed from the law. The limit would be put on by the sponsor.

  6. Pat says:

    Even “Dr. No” has a vested interest in government. It pays his bills. He’s run several times for president but when did he ever give up his seat in the House to seek higher office?
    Congress renews most laws as a matter of course, so how effective would a time limit be?
    Only one thing might have any effect: vote against incumbents every time you have the chance. Granted, there are many able and effective legislators, but no one is indispensable and there are many others able and willing to take their place. If the argument is that it takes too long to learn the ropes, that is a reason to dismember the bureaucracy and decimate the federal register.

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