Is Our Government Breaking Down?
(Painting: Neptune Offers the Wealth of the Sea to Venice, by Giovan Battista Tiepolo)
In the last several months we have witnessed historic events: legislation has been introduced and passed (The Bailout Bill, The Stimulus Bill, The Carbon Cap and Trade Bill, and the House Health Care Reform Bill) that possess cosmological scales in size, scope, and cost. This government intervention is so reaching and complex that our legislators now concede that they are unable to analyze and deliberate on their provisions. Yet the Administration has aggressively pushed for a fast-track process for these acts through Congress. A torrential storm of unforseen consequences from this legislation hangs like ominous black laden clouds of an approaching squall.
The process and function of our government is seizing up because of the immensity of this legislation. There is a very real danger that we will destroy republican democracy by the powerful majorities continuing to ram these behemoth bills through Congress without some thought to what they will have wrought. We cannot continue to do the business of the people in this manner.
A thousand-page bill cannot be adequately considered in a fortnight. We are reaching a natural limit to the scale and scope of how the Federal Government can intervene in our lives. It is time to back off.