Rant. Muse. Eat. Sleep. Recycle.
Monday, August 07, 2006
Why so complex?
As I read about the latest shenanigans of GOP lawmakers to pull the wool over the voters' eyes, it occurs to me that this is the computer age and what the U.S. Congress is working with is data. Laws are information and information is what we've gotten very good with in this country. We can transform 1's and 0's into purple Mona Lisa's or Blue Whale mating calls. And yet, legislators are piling pork in bills and tying unrelated items into single bills -- the latest and greatest being a single bill that raises the minimum wage, which is good for millions of people AND eliminates the estate tax which is FANTASTIC for a a few thousand people.
Why don't we tinker with how laws are passed? Make them clean and easily indexed, almost to the tune of One Issue-One Law. Cross-reference families of laws that then point to each other. For instance, if you're voting on the minimum wage, you should JUST vote on that issue. If there is a related issue that supports it, say increased SBA funding for new businesses, that should get a separate vote and be placed in the same "family" of bills. The old way of doing business is a recipe for political sabotage. For instance, if I'm a Dem voting against the minimum wage because of how much it will cost the country because of the estate tax provision, cyncial Republicans can point at me and say, 'See? He doesn't believe in the minimum wage.'
Politicans of all stripes have plenty of ways to hide their malfeasance; it seems absurd that the thing we elect them to do should be so fogbound. We should make sure that they know we're watching those votes ... AND we understand them. 1's an 0's people. It's not that hard.
link | posted by Jae at 5:09 PM |
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