That’s the federal government, if you couldn’t guess. Over the last ten or twenty years the American people have rendered judgment on the blob. They don’t like it. In one recent poll it was rated the number one problem facing the country. It’s turned into a national joke. Now the EPA wants to regulate the length of your shower in hotels. That’s why regulatory reform is so popular. It would also, of course, reduce the burden on business, resulting in more economic activity and more tax revenue for the Treasury.
The REINS Act, introduced by Senator Paul in 2013, would require every new regulation that costs more than $100 million to be approved by Congress before it takes effect. Heritage says there were 130 such rules in Obama’s first term alone, imposing $70 billion annually in costs. I would amend it by requiring any regulation that costs more than $1 has to be approved by Congress.
Congress won’t like that, but they’ve got nothing to say about it. The states can put that in the Constitution with Article V, and Congress can go fly a kite. It’s not that Congressmen are lazy. Many are dynamos of activity, but their energy is focused primarily on raising money for their campaigns, and paying off their contributors with favors. I remember one guy from a few years ago made a vow to spend no more than one half of his work day to raising money. His buddies in Congress probably laughed at him, a goodie two shoes. I don’t think he’s still around.
Reviewing regulations would be a lot of work, and they don’t like too much of that. That’s why the gave these agencies the power to issue regulations, so they wouldn’t have to do the work themselves. And, of course, to make themselves look good by giving vague, lofty sounding goals for the agencies to pursue with their regulations.
Congress should also be given the power to repeal any regulation by majority vote in each chamber, with no veto allowed. There’s a lot of bad ones on the books that need to go. You might also want to sunset any regulation, so that they automatically expire after, say, ten years. If they’re really important, issue them again.
These will all be topics of conversation at the Reagan Amendment Summit in Denver on June 3rd. The Amendment Convention will have the final say, but it’s worth talking about right now. The Convention will probably be held about one year after the Summit, so it’s not too early. Dave Biddulph is going to talk to John Aglialoro about being the sponsor. At one time he said he was ready to put $100 million into Article V. The Summit would be cheap. If we had the bucks, I’d like to pay for every legislator’s plane fare and hotel. I want representatives from 50 states there. If not 50, 38. If not 38, 26 will do.
From Louisiana I’d like to get Senator Elbert Guillory. He’s black, from a poor district, but he figured out that his people need jobs, not handouts. So he’s a Republican. He cut an ad last fall that tore Senator Mary Landrieu a new one. I like this guy. I’d like him to talk about what an honest to God economic expansion would do for his people.
Ideally, I’d like a Democrat from West Virginia to talk about what federal regulation is doing to his people, the economic devastation being visited on his district. I read last week that unemployment is up in every county in West Virginia. I know this is Appalachia, and these Scotch-Irish hillbillies aren’t the right sort of people. But they are Americans. And the feds are killing them. It’s a national disgrace.
I was 12 when “The Blob” came out. It was Steve McQueen’s first leading role. The double feature with it was “I Married a Monster from Outer Space”. They don’t make them like that any more. The blob was this slimy pink thing that kept growing and growing. That’s why it reminds me of the federal government. The best part of the movie is when the blob seeps into a movie theatre through the heating vents, and eats the whole crowd. Me and my friends really liked that part. They finally figured out that it couldn’t take the cold, so they froze it and parachuted it into the Arctic. Could we do that to the Federal government? Under Article V, we can do anything we want.
Yes we can!