Aug 21 2008
To which I can only say, “Excelsior!”
When did it become a benchmark of productivity or success for a legislative body to pile on more laws and regulations? This would be like measuring your doctor’s success by counting the number of times he performed surgery on you. Or your mechanic’s success by the number of times he repaired your car. Except in this case we can’t just pack up and find ourselves another Congress. Well, technically, we could, but that would require actually voting, and tossing out incumbents, which we do less frequently than did the Politburo (in the Senate, at least).
We’re not particularly good at enforcing what we’ve got already, so the idea that shoveling more words into the United States Statutes is going to help anything get better is at best, um, “counterintuitive”:”Well, that didn’t work at all — so let’s do it some more!”
Also, there’s a bit of a problem with actually provoking Congress into action — it’s kind of like poking a large, sleeping predator with a cattle prod, hoping that it will rouse itself and shamble into a better spot. Instead what seems to happen is that it wakes up, notices that people “want action!” and in response does something so screamingly random, irrational and counterproductive that we end up wishing that it had just stayed the hell asleep and out of our lives.
The only drawback to this Congress’s laudable inaction is that it’s failing to pass legislation that would repeal its previously-passed bad legislation. Hello! High oil prices! Lots of oil off our shore! Can’t get to it because you’ve prohibited offshore drilling! Throw us a bone, here, Congresscritters!