Saturday, February 28, 2015

Is Reading a Bill Is Too Much To Ask of Congress?

It's clear now that no one one on Capitol Hill knows the content of any big, pivotal bills put before Congress.  The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, aka Obama's stimulus?  The vast majority on the Hill couldn't have read it.  It was $787 billion in taxpayer money, passed in Obama's first year in office without any specificity about where each million or billion was going.  We later found that $90 billion went to green energy, subsidizing, among other bad investments, windfarms that hack thousands upon thousands of birds to death each year.  "Awesome, save the planet!" said the Eco-sensitive greenies.  The Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act, aka Obamacare?  Another $900 billion (by the very conservative projections) in federal spending. But everyone gets healthcare even if they don't wanna pay for it?  "Sweet!" said the single-payer morons.  "I want my mom to have to wait two years for an MRI like they do in Canada and the UK!"

Even when Republicans took control of Congress in a November election last year, the CRomnibus bill -- $1.1 trillion in federal spending -- was passed with Republican John Boehner simply promising us that "frankly, it's a good bill."

The legislative process nowadays seems to be something akin to me showing my five-year old son a copy of Moby Dick and having him say, "Whales are cool, that's a great idea, dad.  Let's go with that."  Then five minutes into it he recognizes that it's a slow and boring book, and he realizes that he had no idea what he got himself into.  But he's stuck with it, because if he doesn't sit and endure it, I'll take away his dinner and start him on lawn duty for the rest of his and his children's life.

That's what government does these days.  Take the latest Net Neutrality bill that passed through the halls of Congress.  It was passed under the guise of busting up the digital trusts, destroying the internet monopolies.  What exactly does the bill give the government the power to do?  Who knows?  No one read the bill in its entirety!  But now, here we sit, after the bill has been passed, reading commentary about all the implications inherent in the bill which gives government the kind of power to regulate the substantial commerce via the internet.

In our granting the government such power as taking out a credit card in our grandkids' name, or fundamentally changing our healthcare system, or regulating our intellectual consumption via the internet, wouldn't in make sense, Congress -- as our representatives -- to read the damn bill before it's passed?

William Sullivan

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