Congressman Henry Waxman authored a bunch of laws. "I love to legislate" is his mantra. He is always writing laws. He banned smoking on airplanes, he required warning labels on cigarette packages. Well, point of fact, Waxman did not do any of those things. He drafted legislation, which bureaucrats and local governments had to enforce.
"Legislating" is not doing much unless it empowers other people to do things. Laws are more of a bane than a boon when it comes to getting things done. The hardships which construction companies face just to build something nowadays --- Yikes! Environmental impact reports, committees, regulations, fees -- all of this "legislating" causes more problems than it solves.
Even the Clean Water Act, which Congressman Waxman supposedly amended, has been curtailed or struck down in two Supreme Court cases. Obama-WaxmanCare is burdening doctors, who have to file more paperwork, receive less from Medicare, and comply with a myriad of regulations or face huge fines. Incidentally enough, California has a major doctor shortage now. And I still cannot by health insurance across state lines.
Congressman Waxman should write another law: more doctors! (As if!)
Other fanciful "laws": Raise the minimum wage, liberals say. Why not triple it? Then no one will have a job. We need more regulations to protect the banking industry? Here comes Dodd-Frank. Only the big banks will be able to read and apply the big regulations, the same big firms which caused the banking crisis. Oh, the insanity!
This country does not need more laws, but fewer laws and more respect for the local levers of power.
Consider this: the California legislature authors an average of six hundred laws every year. Is all that legislating really necessary?
I would like someone to write another law:
Thou shalt not write a law unless thou art prepared to repeal two laws.
State senator Ted Lieu won't be thrilled, but so what? Do we pay legislators like him to tell us how to live our lives? How to drink our water? Where we buy our pets?
Instead of the filibuster in the US Senate, legislators could invoke "reverse cloture": One-fifth of present lawmakers can repeal a bad law. There's plenty of bad out there.
Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury, noted that government should make the prevention of bad laws more important than passing good laws. The Chinese Taoist philosopher Lao-Tze wrote that with more laws, there are more criminals. In the United States, lawsuits abound because of the abundance of laws which micromanage everything from how to store a gun in one's car to microchipping one's pets, to ordering that everyone must purchase health insurance.
Congressman Henry Waxman should not pride himself on the number of laws that he writes. The Framers of the Constitution were concerned about "ambitious" legislators like Congressman Waxman, not Wild West Presidents like Andrew Jackson, who respected the Constitution. The Framers would be disturbed by government expansion under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Congressman Waxman investigated waste during the Bush administration, but what about President Obama?
While President Andrew Jackson drew his pistol if someone wanted to fight him or sleight his wife, Congressman Waxman draws out his pen and write more laws to regulate, legislate, and frustrate our daily lives. The pen definitely is mightier, or deadlier, than the sword.
Congressman Waxman authored legislation which requires the Tobacco industry to put warning labels on their cigarette packages. I do not smoke, and more people have given up the terrible habit, but the warning labels alone did not set people free. Waxman drafted laws which would prevent Tobacco companies from using advertisement to target young people. Good parenting does better and more. Yes, Waxman also drafted legislation to prevent people from smoking on airplanes. Frankly, consumer demand would have forced these changes.
Reforms do not require an act of Congress.
Waxman "led the fight" on AIDS research, but what does a member of Congress have to offer that individual researchers and health professionals cannot? I am still repulsed by his allegation at the Venice Neighborhood Council that “Republicans” wanted to round all the AIDS suffers onto a lonely desert island. When will someone stop this slanderous insanity?
His investment in promoting AIDS awareness highlights a latent arrogance among legislators. Just because they passed a law, they assume that they have "done something" about a problem. In fact they merely authorized the President or administrative agencies into more bureaucratic shuffling, while expanding the legal codices for trial lawyers to file more lawsuits.
We need fewer laws in this country, not more laws, whether good or bad. Human beings do not need "Big Government" looking over their shoulder, provided that they have many things which are greater, better, more stable, more able to lead and guide their way in this world.
Congressman Waxman loves to legislate. I wish that he loved to repeal laws, too. Obama-WaxmanCare would be a great start. . .