Friday, September 11, 2009

"Trust us"

I thought after the last election it would be no more "politics as usual," right?

Once again, Representative Ron Paul hits the nail on the head.  I'm glad people are paying more attention to this guy.  It's about time.

"There is much confusion and debate over what is and is not in the reform plan being considered. Are there or are there not so-called death panels? What are the end-of-life consultations really for? How will private insurance be affected? Can you keep your current plan or will you eventually be forced into a government plan? Will it pay for elective abortions or not? What are the implications for medical privacy? The truth is no one knows what will be in the final bill until it is on the House floor, and provisions could be added in and taken out in the wee hours of the morning before.

In February, the House was forced to vote on an over 1,000 page "stimulus" bill that had first been posted on the internet just after midnight the morning of the vote. It passed. Then in June, House leaders rushed a vote on the cap-and-trade bill, even though an over 300 page "manager’s amendment" making substantive changes to the bill, was introduced shortly after 3:00 a.m. the morning of the vote."

So, Washington, you expect us to trust you when you pull shenanigans like this?  Are you really surprised to see people get riled up at "town hall" meetings?  You're approving broad-sweeping legislation without even reading it.  You wouldn't even have time to read it if you tried!  Why should we put up with this?

He continues:
"Washington thrives on crisis. If enough people can be convinced that we are in an emergency, they will more likely tolerate rushing legislation to the floor like this. Last minute changes will be slipped in, benefitting who knows what special interests and at what expense to the taxpayer. But the mantra is repeated over and over: We are in a crisis. We must act immediately.

"It should be unconscionable for legislators to vote in favor of legislation they have not had the opportunity to read. This is why I have re-introduced the Sunlight Rule, H.Res 216. The Sunlight Rule prohibits any piece of legislation from being brought before the House of Representatives unless it has been available to read for at least 10 days.

"Justice Louis Brandeis famously said, "Sunlight is the best disinfectant." The Sunlight Rule would do much towards negating the cycle of pseudo-crises and cleaning up the legislative process here in Washington. I sincerely hope this is the year Congress remembers its deliberative duties and passes it."

Well put.  "It's a crisis."  "More people will die" (that comes from Obama's speech yesterday).  Yup.  People will die.  They do every day.  But how are you sure the change you want to rush through is actually going to make things better and not worse?

If we are in a "crisis" right now, it is a governmental one, one in which congressional leaders can rush a bill through with huge changes and no time to consider them, listen to the voice of constituents or even read them.

Cleaning up that process is truly "the change we need."

-Abu Tulip

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