Monday, March 26, 2018

Quote of the day

From Dustbury, concerning the unhappily gargantuan omnibus spending bill signed into law last week:

Proposed fix, preferably as the 28th Amendment:  "Congress shall make no law which exceeds in length the original Constitution."  Four thousand five hundred forty-three words.

Best political idea I've heard in years!



Phssthpok said...

How about a ‘Read it or weep’ bill?

Requires ANY proposed legislation to be read on the floor:
In it’s entirety
In person
By the AUTHOR (no more ghost written bills for you!)
In no more than 15 minutes time (no more ‘we need to pass it to find out what’s in it’ sized bills)

Further, if said proposed legislation is an alteration to an existing law, then said current law SHALL be read IN IT’S ENTIRETY with said proposed changes noted.

Borepatch said...

Well, it's playing whack-a-mole. They'll just do something sneaky to get around it.

Instead, how about term limits for 28th Amendment? Cut the Gordian Knot.

Jay Dee said...

I’ve often thought about a 28th Amendment and have this as a suggestion.

The powers of initiative and referendum have often been problematic in the states. The power of recall has been enormously useful. Here is my suggestion for a 28th Amendment.

On approval by three quarters of the states, the people may recall any federal legislation, any regulation, any elected official, any employee of the federal government, any judge, or any court decision.

Recalled officials, employees and judges shall not eligible for any federal pension due from their employment by the people.

Javahead said...

Jay Dee, you have a winner. I'd get behind that.

Though I'd suggest a lower threshold for recall - 60%, or maybe 67% at most. Couple that with term limits for all federal elected positions, and Glen Reynold's proposed 5-10 year massive income tax surtax on people leaving Federal office to become lobbyists (also applied to their husband/wife/child/child's spouse) and we might be able to get things under control.

Eliminating civil service protections for any federal employee represented by a union would be a good step, too. Or just eliminating them both. The bad thing about the spoils system was that elected officials appointed their cronies. The good thing was that they were also (often) responsive to complaints, since people knew who'd appointed them. And if people got unhappy enough, the officeholder responsible might not win re-election.

None of these, or even all of them together, will solve all the problems of governance. But making both elected officials and government employees more cautious about offending the citizens who they are supposed to serve should limit the worst abuses of power.

Rick T said...

Term limits made the problem WORSE in California from what I've seen. Now the power is in the lobbyist groups and member's staff.

We need the courts to start enforcing the limits to the Constitution. The first statement in any bill is the Article and Clause that authorizes the proposed legislation.

takirks said...

Solutions? I got your solutions...

1.) No person who makes a living before the bar shall be eligible for election to either a legislative or executive branch position. You don't set foxes to watch chickens.

2.) Any law must be written at a maximum of a sixth-grade reading level, and fit on a single 8 1/2"X11" page, double-spaced.

3.) Establish a maximum limit of Federal law and regulation such that it all fits into a single work capable of being read and understood by a sixth-grader in no more than a week's diligent reading and study. Doesn't fit? Ain't enforceable.

We've been allowing the tyranny of the lawyers for too damn long--When you have to consult a damn lawyer to determine if a given course of action is legal or not, and it takes them a month to go dig through law and regulation to tell you it is or isn't... That's the moment you need to start taking them out of legislatures.

Aesop said...

You had me at "Congress shall make no law."

Everything beyond that point is superfluous.

Leonard Jones said...

Outstanding idea! About 5 years ago, I came up with a similar
idea regarding illegal immigration. Some years before that, I
had to give my SSN during a financial matter. The woman was
confused because it looked like she had to scroll down a few
pages to find my name on her computer. It was then that I
realized there were a number of Juan's and Maria's using
my SSN. This was a routine financial transaction.

This told me that E-Verify would work if it was enforced. My
idea was a two or three-page law written in plain English would
do the trick.

1. Demand E-Verify checks on all prospective employees.

2. All aliens using a falsified SSN will be subject to
immediate revocation of any and all welfare benefits.

3. Any cases controversy the welfare recipient will be
required to prove citizenship status.

4. Triple or quadruple fines against employers who violate
existing laws.

Lacking the ability to find jobs or suck on the government teet,
90 percent of illegal aliens would begin the long march home.
Every illegal alien (working or on welfare) have already committed
multiple federal offenses and can be prosecuted under federal laws.

Building a wall would not be necessary to deal with illegal
immigration. Stopping the flow of drugs and gangs would require
a wall. Cutting off the jobs and benefits would leave the Border
Patrol to deal with the underground workers and the criminal element.
10 percent is easier to deal with than 100 percent!

Phssthpok said...

I had another idea while slaving away at work today:

Any law that is NOT Malum En Se in nature SHALL become null and void at the moment of death of the last congress-critter who voted in favor of it's enactment. Non- Malum En Se laws MAY NOT be renewed; they may only be replaced by going through the same procedure as enacting new legislation: new text must be written, submitted, debated and voted upon.

How can we claim to be a 'representative republic' if we are bound to laws passed when no one alive today was around to be represented by the enactors? Think: 'Sins of the Father'....

Stanley said...

Borepatch sez:Instead, how about term limits for 28th Amendment? Cut the Gordian Knot.


"No one shall serve more than five terms, or portions thereof, in an elected office in the United States, no more than two of which shall be in the same office and which shall not be consecutive. Service in an elected office establishes lifetime prohibition for receiving remuneration of any kind from a government in the United States beyond salary in the elected office, which shall remain fixed for the duration of services.

No one shall receive remuneration for employment by a government in the United States for a period greater than 14 years, with the exception of salary, benefits and retirement commensurate with rank in the armed forces of the United States.

With the exception of sworn service in the armed forces of the United States, during employment by government no benefit of any kind shall ensue which is not entirely paid for by the employee."

Until we break the back of lifetime political pursuit - dogcatcher to county commission, to state representive, to state senator, to congress, to Senate, with interim stops at various state and federal government agencies - we're never going to get control of the political class and the huge governments they have built for themselves.

urbane legend said...

We have term limits. It's called the vote. Apparently most voters don't care to use it properly.

Do we actually expect Congress to vote limits on its members? Congress did nothing about Ted Kennedy, and we know he was a murderer. Robert Byrd was a member of the KKK. If the Congress having these two as members didn't have the moral sense to impeach or refuse to seat them, no Congress will care about an insignificant thing like term limits

As Rick T pointed out, term limits may make the problem worse. Members will know they have a limited time to make deals with special interests so they can line their own pockets. They will also spend what time they have lining up the most rewarding job available after their term.

Anonymous said...

The original post that began this to me makes sense. Why write a law that no one has time to read, research and understand what the law does and doesn't do. Hidden items concealed within is dishonest.

Chris. said...

One Amendment I've always thought Each law should have an automatic sunset(excepting the Constitution of Course), and should have a statement of Intent.

So at the sunset the Law would automatically expire, unless voted on to keep it. The intent of the law stated clearly, so we could examine whether laws actually provide us the benefits they were expected to.