American Elephants


So, These People We Elect to Congress — Do They Have to Read the Bills? by The Elephant's Child
August 5, 2009, 8:06 pm
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Liberalism, Politics | Tags: , ,

Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA) had a Town Hall meeting a few days ago.  A citizen asked if he had read the health care bill.  He responded that they didn’t have time to read the whole thing so he divided it up with his aides and each read part of it.  Mark Steyn posted a comment.  An Arlen Specter supporter responded that:

“Every CEO in the country, including Ronald Reagan as President, reads executive summaries of important documents.  The idea that any Senator has to read an entire bill in nonsense.  He needs staff not only to read it but to relate how items on page 3 relate to provisions on page 1009…What is true is that without time there is no way staff could read it and draft the necessary critiques for Senatorial review but this ‘he hasn’t read the bill stuff’  is stupidity not some great insight.”

Mark Steyn responded (and this is the brilliant part):

Arlen Specter is not a CEO: — notwithstanding the vast Gulf Emir-sized retinue to which he has become accustomed.  He doesn’t run anything.  He has no payroll to make, no contracts to fulfill, no deliveries to expedite.  A legislator is elected to legislate — so, if he doesn’t read the law before he makes it law, he’s not doing the only job he has. When you go to see Barbra Streisand, she has an orchestra and a conductor and arrangers and lighting designers and hair stylists, but she’s still expected to do the singing herself.  If she stood up and said, “Okay, I’ve outsourced “People” to my intern Kevin and “You Don’t Bring me Flowers’ to the niece of a friend of mine who needed a summer job and the Yentl medley to some people Kevin met for a breakfast session and said seemed to know what they were talking about,” you’d begin to wonder why anyone needs Barbra.

Why does anyone need Specter?  Why can’t we just eliminate the middle-man and have his “staffers” announce their collective vote like a U.N. Security “Council meeting?  (emphasis mine)

Excellent exchange.  Of course they have to read the bills.  If they recognized that they are required to read every bill in its entirety, bills would be shorter, earmarks would be fewer, laws would be clearer and work better, and they would pass much less legislation — which would benefit the country immeasurably.  Half of the problems in the country are caused by some little provision that someone sneaked into a bill that no one read.  As far as that goes, a lot of staffers would no longer be needed if they didn’t have to read the bills and summarize them for the very people who are supposed to be doing that job, and the budget would be smaller.

Don’t miss the update from another correspondent to Mark Steyn.  It’s priceless.




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