Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

With congressional approval ratings at the lowest ever, it’s evident: the sclerotic old institution needs new blood.

But note what I’m not saying — that “Congress doesn’t do enough.”

As A. Barton Hinkle points out in a column, yesterday, complaints about the 113th Congress hail from “CNN to McClatchy to NPR to the L.A. Times,” one lamentation dominating: “the 113th makes ‘the infamous “do-nothing Congress” of the late 1940s look downright prolific.’”

But, as he makes clear, the complaint is witless.

Producing more bad legislation is certainly no improvement. And, as Hinkle observed, the most talked-about recent congressional responses to apparently real problems have been widely judged worse than the problems themselves. Almost everybody was glad that SOPA — the “Stop Online Piracy Act” — didn’t pass; vast majorities opposed and now regret Obamacare.

So, why is most new legislation bad? The reasons are legion, but one stands out: Congress doesn’t even have time to read the laws it debates and passes. 

A British economist explained it like this:

[E]ven Members of Parliament find the burthen of reading through the multitudinous and mazy provisions of the Bills issued day by day . . . too heavy to be borne by mortal man.

That was over a hundred years ago. It’s worse in this new year of 2014, both in Britain and America. Today’s laws are cooked up in back rooms by legislative assistants and lobbyists. When such is “more,” less is better.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor

4 Comments

  1. Julius Robbins says:

    Paul, Trying to respond to the 1/1/2014 (re: IRS). Problem with the “respond” button. Question. If the amount was under the 10k min for the report, how did the IRS get this info?

  2. Jay says:

    I agree; even worse–legislation passed (probably to “honor” members leaving-)so never read).

    A case in point DODD-FRANK. Now, (as of Jan. 1, 2014) IT IS VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE FOR SOMEONE TO FINANCE A PURCHASER OF THEIR OWN PROPERTY ( SOME MINOR EXCEPTIONS); ALSO, A (SMALL) BUILDER CANNOT FINANCE THE SALE OF A PROPERTY THAT HE (OR SHE) BUILT AS A SPEC. HOME. NOR, IF HE HAS A FAMILY MEMBER OR FRIEND, WHO WISHES A HIGHER RETURN THEN THE BANK, BUY AND RESELL AND FINANCE.

    REASON, I GUESS- TO PROTECT THE BANKS.

    THE BILL IS AN UNMITIGATED DISASTER.

    BUT DODD WAS A FRIEND OF ANGELO, OF COUNTRYWIDE FAME, SO HAVE TO PROTECT THOSE WHO GAVE HIM BRIBES, I MEAN CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS.

    THAT IS MY VIEW, OF THE BILL AND CONGRESS.

    TYPED IN CAPS FOR EASE IN READING, NOT YELLING

  3. MingoV says:

    I want a Constitutional amendment: No new law can be passed until all existing related laws are annulled. There are so many active laws that this requirement would keep Congress from wreaking havoc on us. Huge bills such as PPACA would be impossible to pass because there are so many existing laws related to parts of the huge new law.

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