Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Time for Congress to "REIN" In the Alphabet Soup

How come it took so long for someone to recognize the problem?  I have been on this case since...well...I can't really remember.  I even proposed a rule like the one Trump has made that says that for every new rule, two old ones must be repealed.  To find out what I am talking about, read Stephen Moore's post over at Townhall.com entitled Congress Must Stop Death-By-Decree. Moore writes:
Trump is off to a speedy start in rolling back the rule-making industry in Washington. He has signed an executive order that mandates that any agency wanting to implement a new business regulation must at the same time repeal two existing regulations. This should reverse the tide of regulatory burdens. Yet there's so much more to be done. And Congress, not just the president, will have to play a lead role.
Moore is right about the fact that Congress needs to get involved. First, it is the duty of Congress to make the laws that affect business, the people, and the economy. It is not the Executive branch's job. The Constitution firmly places making the laws in the hands of Congress, and executing the laws faithfully in the hands of the President. Some argue that the highly technical nature of such regulations makes it impractical for average citizen lawmakers to understand the myriad things over which they would be making laws. But the fact is that the people who generally make it to Congress are pretty sharp, and can quickly acquire knowledge enough of the subjects, and in any case, they can hire staff with knowledge of these matters to tutor and prepare them.

Second, it is the height of the meaning of "conflict of interest" to have the making of the law and the interpretation and enforcing of the law in the same agency.  Why can no one see this?  The possibilities for abuse are endless, and in fact have occurred under both Republican and Democrat administrations.  Since the courts tend to defer to the agencies in such matters, the chance for an ordinary citizen caught up in the byzantine red tape to receive justice is almost nonexistent.

Third, it is most undemocratic, which of course is the Progressive way.  While maintaining the forms of democratic governance, the Progressives have slowly piled one undemocratic law on another until our entire government is ruled by unelected bureaucrats and judges.  In point of fact, Betsy DeVos's statement that she wants to work herself out of a job should be on the lips of most of the cabinet positions and executive commissions created since the turn of the last century.  Most are not needed and do more harm than good.  Congress has slowly ceded so much power to these agencies, that at times it seems to have become irrelevant.
The solution is a law that requires congressional approval before a regulation takes place. If I had my way, each and every new rule would only take effect after a vote of approval by the House and Senate. If they have to stay up until midnight to do it, so be it.
That's what we pay these people for. At the very least, the Regulations in Need of Scrutiny Act (or the "REINS Act") would require congressional approval of any rule with a cost of $100 million to workers, employers or consumers.
At the very least, indeed.

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