One Subject at a Time

Today I would like to introduce DownsizeDC.org’s “One Subject at a Time Act”

Most Americans probably believe a bill has to have majority support in Congress before it can become the law of the land. Sadly, this common sense expectation is totally wrong. Congressional leaders routinely pass laws that a majority opposes. DownsizeDC.org believes every bill should have to stand or fall on its own merits. Toward this end we have crafted the “One Subject at a Time Act” (OSTA).

One thing that i like about the Downsize DC approach is that most of the legislation they promote is written as a regulation for Congress and not for the people of the United States at large. OSTA is no exception. This bill recognizes the smoke and mirrors effect perpetrated by congressional representatives when they are allowed to bundle or misrepresent pieces of legislation in order to pass them.

The premise of OSTA is that if a piece of legislation is not able to pass on its own merits then the bill does not deserve passage. There may be good bills that generate opposition, but more often there are bad bills that are slipping under the public radar by being passed under the shadow of a deceptive title or hiding behind bills that do deserve the support of congress.

10 comments for “One Subject at a Time

  1. August 11, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    >written as a regulation for Congress and not for the people of the United States at large

    Kinda reminds a fella’ of the U.S. Constitution! (As it was originally intended, anyway.)

  2. August 11, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    Exactly. One of the major powers given to the bodies of congress was to establish their own rules of conduct. Unfortunately they have only done that with the technicalities such as how to balance committees between parties and other such minutia rather than regulating how they make the laws that govern our nation so that the process is not easily manipulated contrary to the will of the people.

  3. August 11, 2008 at 8:28 pm

    One of the main characteristics of politics is compromise. One way that happens is when politicians agree to support something they don’t necessarily like in exchange for a vote on something they believe to be very important. Even many facets of our Constitution came about through this method. So, I think OSTA would be a hard sell when it comes down to brass tacks.

    Still, one thing OSTA would do is to force actual debate and consideration of each issue. It would necessarily limit the things that could be brought into consideration by the central government. That is, it would support the cause of limited government.

  4. August 12, 2008 at 7:25 am

    Even with OSTA in place compromise would still be a major part of politics. All amendments would have to relate to the subject of the bill, but there would still be debate and compromise over the wording of bills and the amendments attached to them. The difference is that you could not hide offshore drilling provisions in a bill about the military budget.

  5. August 12, 2008 at 11:22 am

    >One of the main characteristics of politics is compromise.

    Which is one reason that “politics” is bad. Compromise over wording, or something like that might not be a problem, but rarely is the compromise over something innocuous. When you compromise with evil, only evil wins.

    Of course, the biggest problem with trying to eliminate the games that politicians play is that it destroys their profession. There is little money to be made in small, common-sense government. The money that is made in that case is by the masses, when government gets out of the way.

  6. August 12, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    . . .the biggest problem with trying to eliminate the games that politicians play is that it destroys their profession . . .

    I would have said that was one of the biggest benefits. (I would have expected you to agree onthat point – or were you taking the view of the politicians?)

  7. August 12, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    Oh, I agree with you completely. What I mean by “problem” is that it is an obstacle to getting it done, since they’ll fight to the death to prevent their flow of cash and power from getting cut off or inhibited in any way.

  8. August 12, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    Too true.

  9. August 12, 2008 at 8:00 pm

    Yup, there’s the rub. But it comes down to the will of the people. If the people really (truly) wanted it to happen, it would.

  10. August 12, 2008 at 8:30 pm

    Unfortunately the will of the people seems to be that they want to be left alone after they outsource their political authority at the polls.

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