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Posted: 9/4/2010 4:42:07 PM EDT
One of two things would be mandated, I'd be in favor of either:

1. No new bills will be signed into law without rescinding an existent but no longer needed law. In effect, no increase in the total number of laws, ever. We have far too many already, time to prune the tree.

2. With only a few exceptions (statutes on Murder and the like) all laws currently on the books, ALL of them, will expire in 5 years unless reviewed and signed off on individually, by both houses of congress. All new laws will contain the same expiration timeline.

Gridlock in congress is a good thing. An unlimited number of unenforceable laws are not.
Link Posted: 9/4/2010 4:46:23 PM EDT
Government is for the living.

It would be difficult to see #1 implemented, but I definitely think that ALL laws require a sunset date. That way, only those that are truly necessary and pertinent will be renewed.

I hesitate to create any kind of permanence criteria, even for things like homicide, because of how it could be abused. You would think the language could be written in such a way that it would be air-tight, but the Constitution is pretty damn clear about 2A, and yet look at the mess we have. Someone could exercise a loop-hole in this exemption to institute other permanent laws that don't deserve to be.

_MaH
Link Posted: 9/4/2010 4:47:43 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Chairborne:
One of two things would be mandated, I'd be in favor of either:

1. No new bills will be signed into law without rescinding an existent but no longer needed law. In effect, no increase in the total number of laws, ever. We have far too many already, time to prune the tree.

2. With only a few exceptions (statutes on Murder and the like) all laws currently on the books, ALL of them, will expire in 5 years unless reviewed and signed off on individually, by both houses of congress. All new laws will contain the same expiration timeline.

Gridlock in congress is a good thing. An unlimited number of unenforceable laws are not.



With #2, do you mean federal or state laws? How would that work for state laws since the states pass their own?
Link Posted: 9/4/2010 4:52:48 PM EDT

Originally Posted By LE6920:
Originally Posted By Chairborne:
One of two things would be mandated, I'd be in favor of either:

1. No new bills will be signed into law without rescinding an existent but no longer needed law. In effect, no increase in the total number of laws, ever. We have far too many already, time to prune the tree.

2. With only a few exceptions (statutes on Murder and the like) all laws currently on the books, ALL of them, will expire in 5 years unless reviewed and signed off on individually, by both houses of congress. All new laws will contain the same expiration timeline.

Gridlock in congress is a good thing. An unlimited number of unenforceable laws are not.



With #2, do you mean federal or state laws? How would that work for state laws since the states pass their own?

If Federal laws got mandatory expiration dates I don't think it would take long for the populace of states to demand the same thing of their states. It would have to be up to each state to pass their own version of the legislation (or not, depending on the will of their citizens). I don't believe that federal law should supercede state law except where clearly delineated in the constitution. I think the 10th Amendment is as clear about that as the 1st and 2nd are about more commonly known powers and rights.
Link Posted: 9/4/2010 4:54:18 PM EDT
It's a great idea, but it has been discussed here off and on for years.
Link Posted: 9/4/2010 4:55:56 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2010 4:56:36 PM EDT by Chairborne]

Originally Posted By Bloencustoms:
It's a great idea, but it has been discussed here off and on for years.


I've been here a few years now and only recall the ideas being floated in passing, not discussing it at any length. I'm not laying claim to either as my original thoughts.
Link Posted: 9/4/2010 4:56:53 PM EDT
How about a sunset commission? Review of all federal regulations on an annual basis. That would keep Congress busy. And for all the statists out there, Congress is composed of the TWO houses, The House of Representatives and the Senate.

Stating that Senators are elevated above Congress is evidence that you have an incorrect view of Congress.
Link Posted: 9/4/2010 5:31:57 PM EDT
These sorts of laws would merely create a different kind of bureaucratic culture. The first weeks of every legislative session would be devoted to reprising all the same old shit that they have gotten comfortable with.

At best it would help the legislators know more intimately which laws are personally beneficial and they'd have a better focus when it comes time to bargain for scraps.



I have no confidence, as currently constituted, or otherwise.
Link Posted: 9/4/2010 6:38:45 PM EDT
A few others to suggest:


No person shall serve more than two consecutive terms in any public office at any level.

No person shall serve in any elected capacity for more than 20 years in total over his or her entire lifespan.


No person shall be permitted to spend more of his or her own personally owned money and assets, to pay for
poliitical campaigning, than the job being campaigned for, pays. If the job pays 100,000 dollars per year
and it's a four year term, the candidate shall not be permitted to spend 400,000 dollars of his own money
in order to attempt to get elected.

No foreign interests or agents of foreign interests may donate or contribute in any way, shape, or form to the
election campaign of any candidate.


All items acquired with public funds for use by the federal government and its agencies shall be acknowledged to
be the property of the people, and all property so acquired shall be resold at public auction to the public after
its usefulness for government purposes is at an end, provided such items are still potentially of some use and
do not pose a clear and present danger to the health and safety of the public. Military vehicles and weapons
systems shall not be intentionally damaged or destroyed prior to sale.

All government agencies shall be directed to exercise restraint in acquisition of new materials. Agencies that procure
less than their allotted share of federally funded materials shall not be penalized, but shall instead be rewarded for
the exercising of thrifty practices, said reward to be applied as a cash bonus based on a percentage of the difference
between actual acquisitions and allotted acquisitions.


Link Posted: 9/4/2010 6:58:06 PM EDT
Term limits can have negative consequences. The VOTERS should be the ones that limit terms, when needed.
Link Posted: 9/4/2010 7:06:46 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Keith_J:
Term limits can have negative consequences. The VOTERS should be the ones that limit terms, when needed.


While I agree generally I think that based on the current government failure we should happily dismiss the three or four 'good' govt employees to be able to be rid of the rest of the snakes.
Link Posted: 9/4/2010 7:09:59 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Keith_J:
Term limits can have negative consequences. The VOTERS should be the ones that limit terms, when needed.

People are sheep, most will just vote for whatever name looks familar and has an (R) or (D) next to it. We didn't have constitutionally mandated term limits for POTUS either, but we obviously realized the oversight and corrected it. They should have taken it one step further at the same time and made it two terms in any seat in the House/Senate/POTUS IMO.
Link Posted: 9/4/2010 7:17:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Keith_J:
How about a sunset commission? Review of all federal regulations on an annual basis. That would keep Congress busy. And for all the statists out there, Congress is composed of the TWO houses, The House of Representatives and the Senate.

Stating that Senators are elevated above Congress is evidence that you have an incorrect view of Congress.

thats because those same people think the senate shouldnt be state reps.
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 10:11:23 AM EDT
Term limits aren't a perfect answer but I believe nothing is more important to keep politicians honest than to kick them out before they get too deeply entrenched. We need new blood in office, and we need it OFTEN. People who ARE honest and have not YET been corrupted.

I absolutely do not believe that any 30-year Senator could possibly be uncorrupted.


CJ
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 10:44:47 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Chairborne:
One of two things would be mandated, I'd be in favor of either:

1. No new bills will be signed into law without rescinding an existent but no longer needed law. In effect, no increase in the total number of laws, ever. We have far too many already, time to prune the tree.

2. With only a few exceptions (statutes on Murder and the like) all laws currently on the books, ALL of them, will expire in 5 years unless reviewed and signed off on individually, by both houses of congress. All new laws will contain the same expiration timeline.

Gridlock in congress is a good thing. An unlimited number of unenforceable laws are not.


MAJOR Problem with that:

The Constitution is the Ultimate Set of Laws of the Land.
Are you implying that the Constitution has to be re-written ever so often?
Goodbye 2nd Amendment.

Link Posted: 9/5/2010 10:57:24 AM EDT
Good God number 2 is completely unworkable.
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 12:52:41 PM EDT


Eliminate Lobbyists....and set up term limits.

Drug test all State and Federal politicians.


Link Posted: 9/5/2010 12:52:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/5/2010 12:53:56 PM EDT by CSW223]

Eliminate Lobbyists....and set up term limits.

Drug test all State and Federal politicians.


Opps double tap...must be important...
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 12:57:09 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Chairborne:
One of two things would be mandated, I'd be in favor of either:

1. No new bills will be signed into law without rescinding an existent but no longer needed law. In effect, no increase in the total number of laws, ever. We have far too many already, time to prune the tree.

2. With only a few exceptions (statutes on Murder and the like) all laws currently on the books, ALL of them, will expire in 5 years unless reviewed and signed off on individually, by both houses of congress. All new laws will contain the same expiration timeline.

Gridlock in congress is a good thing. An unlimited number of unenforceable laws are not.


i don't like #1 but I am in favor of #2

And no exceptions for murder or whatever... Murder will of course be renewed, and I don't like the idea of some laws being more important and needing to be permanent. It defeats the purpose of your plan, and everyone will want their law to be permanent.

I don't like #1 because while I agree we have too many laws, it seems silly to cap the number. If a law is needed pass it, if not don't. Capping the number would just lead to problems.

Link Posted: 9/5/2010 12:57:35 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Keith_J:
How about a sunset commission? Review of all federal regulations on an annual basis. That would keep Congress busy. And for all the statists out there, Congress is composed of the TWO houses, The House of Representatives and the Senate.

Stating that Senators are elevated above Congress is evidence that you have an incorrect view of Congress.


I like Heinlein's idea in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

Bicameral legislature... one house passes laws, one house does nothing but repeal them. And the repealing body can do so with a 1/3 minority vote.
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 12:58:59 PM EDT
Originally Posted By GiggleSmith:
Originally Posted By Chairborne:
One of two things would be mandated, I'd be in favor of either:

1. No new bills will be signed into law without rescinding an existent but no longer needed law. In effect, no increase in the total number of laws, ever. We have far too many already, time to prune the tree.

2. With only a few exceptions (statutes on Murder and the like) all laws currently on the books, ALL of them, will expire in 5 years unless reviewed and signed off on individually, by both houses of congress. All new laws will contain the same expiration timeline.

Gridlock in congress is a good thing. An unlimited number of unenforceable laws are not.


MAJOR Problem with that:

The Constitution is the Ultimate Set of Laws of the Land.
Are you implying that the Constitution has to be re-written ever so often?
Goodbye 2nd Amendment.



Not the original constitution just new bills/laws.

The constitution is already under different rules, as its a lot harder to amend the constitution than just pass any old bill.
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 1:01:00 PM EDT
How about just stating what the law is for, and what you hope that it will change.
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 1:02:49 PM EDT
#2 is very similar to what Jefferson proposed. I think Jefferson wanted all laws of Congress to expire after 19 years.

http://etext.virginia.edu/jefferson/quotations/jeff1000.htm

Murder laws are not within Congress's enumerated powers. They belong to the states.
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 1:05:04 PM EDT
Originally Posted By distributor_of_pain:
How about just stating what the law is for, and what you hope that it will change.


The intent of the framers of laws rarely matches the total effect of those laws.

It needs to be harder to pass laws at all.

That whole senate filibuster thing that people bitch and moan about? That's kept so much horseshit from getting to the President's desk it isn't even funny. In my opinion, they need to formalize it and make everything require a 60%+ majority vote to pass.

If something is so horrible that 40% or more of the people don't want it, then it probably shouldn't be a law.
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 1:06:48 PM EDT

Originally Posted By badfish274:
Good God number 2 is completely unworkable.


No it's not. I understand that the USC is massive, I've read some parts of it. That's exactly the problem. We don't need tens of thousands of pages of laws to run this nation, especially at the Federal level. I wouldn't have to look at the USC very long to find examples of laws that are outdated, unenforceable, or just plain unconstitutional (but have yet to be challenged). Every law, even title 10 and 32 which govern the Armed Forces, should be subject to periodic review. Instead of simply tacking on another thousand pages a year until the code rivals the entire library of congress in total page count, we need to dramatically cut the fat and limit the scale of federal law.
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 1:10:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Flindelaaf:
#2 is very similar to what Jefferson proposed. I think Jefferson wanted all laws of Congress to expire after 19 years.

http://etext.virginia.edu/jefferson/quotations/jeff1000.htm

Murder laws are not within Congress's enumerated powers. They belong to the states.


And yet, see US Code Title 18, Chapter 51 (Homocide), Section 1111 (Murder). The US Code is one massive SOB, and I bet most Americans aren't even aware of it.

Look at the size of Title 18:
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/usc.cgi?ACTION=BROWSE&TITLE=18USCPI&PDFS=YES
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 1:11:12 PM EDT
In, before you are told this is A_Bad idea
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 1:14:49 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Flindelaaf:
#2 is very similar to what Jefferson proposed. I think Jefferson wanted all laws of Congress to expire after 19 years.

http://etext.virginia.edu/jefferson/quotations/jeff1000.htm

Murder laws are not within Congress's enumerated powers. They belong to the states.

Very nice, smart guy, that Jefferson.

"Every constitution, then, and every law, naturally expires at the end of nineteen years. If it be enforced longer, it is an act of force, and not of right. It may be said, that the succeeding generation exercising, in fact, the power of repeal, this leaves them as free as if the constitution or law had been expressly limited to nineteen years only. In the first place, this objection admits the right, in proposing an equivalent. But the power of repeal is not an equivalent. It might be, indeed, if every form of government were so perfectly contrived, that the will of the majority could always be obtained, fairly and without impediment. But this is true of no form. The people cannot assemble themselves; their representation is unequal and vicious. Various checks are opposed to every legislative proposition. Factions get possession of the public councils, bribery corrupts them, personal interests lead them astray from the general interests of their constituents; and other impediments arise, so as to prove to every practical man, that a law of limited duration is much more manageable than one which needs a repeal." ––Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1789. ME 7:459, Papers 15:396



Link Posted: 9/5/2010 3:43:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/5/2010 3:45:10 PM EDT by badfish274]
Originally Posted By Chairborne:

Originally Posted By badfish274:
Good God number 2 is completely unworkable.


No it's not. I understand that the USC is massive, I've read some parts of it. That's exactly the problem. We don't need tens of thousands of pages of laws to run this nation, especially at the Federal level. I wouldn't have to look at the USC very long to find examples of laws that are outdated, unenforceable, or just plain unconstitutional (but have yet to be challenged). Every law, even title 10 and 32 which govern the Armed Forces, should be subject to periodic review. Instead of simply tacking on another thousand pages a year until the code rivals the entire library of congress in total page count, we need to dramatically cut the fat and limit the scale of federal law.


Except the vast majority of the USC is stuff that is perfectly fine the way it is, and Congress really shouldn't be tinkering with it.

The judiciary act, the bankruptcy code, substantive criminal law, federal rules of evidence... all that stuff shouldn't be repealed every 5 years because it works and depends on continuity to be effective. And thats stuff that Congress really shouldn't play around with very often at any rate.

Do you have any idea how much logrolling and backroom dealing would go on with these massive bills being voted on constantly?

If you want to cut the fat, you need to target spending. The vast majority of the USC isn't a problem.

ETA: Congress votes on the Army every 2 years, IIRC. Know how its done? Simple 5 minute vote. They'd do the same thing here. Quite the paper tiger.
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 3:48:48 PM EDT
The vote may only take 5 minutes, but there's a shit ton of wrangling about it's budget, what projects should be commissioned, how big it should be, which projects should be cancelled, etc... that goes on long before it comes to a vote.

I don't know if I'm in favor of this notion for everything, but it has had more of an effect on the army than you're making out.
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