So it is time to write the next column. Occasionally one of you will ask me how I think of things to write about. Usually, I have a list of things to choose from.
Today, for example, I might write about the bombs in Boston, or President Obama’s suggestion that we add another 85 cents a pack to the cigarette tax, or I could talk about the mayor of New Rochelle, N.Y. who has refused to allow a group of veterans to fly the Gadston Flag at their armory.
But I recently found a statistic that boils my blood. Did you know that the Internal Revenue Service now has 73,554 pages of rules and regulations about our taxes? That is totally ridiculous. Do you have any idea how much money our businesses have to spend just to try to comply with that many regulations?
What would happen if some bureaucrat decided to punish you for some reason? With that many regulations, he would be sure to find something to charge you with, and drag you before a judge. Even if you were to win, your legal fees would be tremendous!
It is not just taxes, of course. The Environmental Protection Agency has stacks and stacks of rules and regulations, all of which impact your business and your life. The federal housing programs are loaded down with rules as are all other federal programs. President Obama’s new health program adds even more thousands of regulations to federal law.
When you hear someone from the Tea Party complain about being smothered by rules and regulations, they are not kidding. We have enough rules and regulations to fill a large library.
I have a pamphlet that contains the entire Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution and all of its amendments. It is small enough to fit into a shirt pocket. It is clearly written, easy to understand and sets the rules for our entire government. So, here is what I think we ought to do:
We need a rule that every piece of legislation passed by Congress must have a word count no larger than the Constitution and its amendments. Then we should require that all rules and regulations written by the bureaucracy must meet the same standard. And while we are at it, lets make sure those laws, rules and regulations are authorized by that same Constitution.
I promise you that such a policy would put an end to government over regulating, over spending and over taxing. If we want to get government out of our lives and our pocket books, we have to set serious limits, and this idea would do just that.
Frank Gillispie is founder of The Madison County Journal. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. His website can be accessed at http://www.frankgillispie.com/gillispieonline.
I agree with most of what you said, Frank. But if not for the EPA, our air quality would be like Beijing,Chinas, and our rivers and ponds would be void of all living things.
Most of their regulations were enacted to stop the damage already being done by unscrupulous large industries back in the good ol days of your youth.
Can not believe I agree with Ben. Will not bring up the 19430-1940 Prez name here either. Ga needs stronger EPA to protect our state. Ben, ask people about Hudson-Broad River-South Broad about fishing. Most will tell you the silting and run off has destroyed a once vibrant fishery. Not many of my friends fish this river anymore. Pipe lines in our county need more checking and ground water needs more checking near these pipe lines also.
If people would do the right thing, we would not need rules and regulations. Unfortunately, greed makes people want to skimp, cheat on taxes, not invest in worker safety or food safety, etc., so we absolutely must have many, many rules and regulations to keep irresponsible businesses and citizens in check and rightfully so.
05/02/13 at 02:59 PM
Agreed. Otherwise, we would be a Bangladesh with 400 poor people dead (mostly women) from a building guaranteed to collapse by a knowledgeable engineer if anyone entered the building the next day. The owner ignored the warning out of greed and arrogance. We must have restrictions on the basic vile nature of human beings for the same reason the Bible came into being to try to teach humans the right way to go. As we all know, humans still don't make the choices that avoid harm to others.
".... lets make sure those laws, rules and regulations are authorized by that same Constitution."
I definitely agree with this! However, your solution is apples to oranges. The Constitution was designed as a framework specifically for all the details that would follow. It is the principles from which the details are determined and on which the details are based.
Many laws, regulations and rules are not designed for the public good. They are there for the benefit of various "interested" parties, particularly those in the now horrendous tax code. All those pages are filled with plolitical favors given over the decades by both parties for pay-back to people and businesses for political contributions and to buy votes from a short-sighted and clueless public. This is the true problem, not simply the idea of rules and regulations.
Our tax code needs to be completely abandoned and we start over with something simple, fair and, most importantly, unalterable. Steve Forbes has a well-thought-out system that accomplishes just that, but I'll gladly accept any system at all that completely replaces our present monstrosity whether it's good or bad. We can then work to replace that if need be, but we must DO SOMETHING now! It has gone on about 4 decades too long. The last thing we need to do is to try to fix any part of the abomination or even many parts. Get rid of the entire mess and start over from scratch ! ! !