2 PARAGRAPHS 4 LIBERTY: 439
Last week’s column about reducing the size and cost of government drew numbers of responses. So I want to pass along to you some of the thoughts I have received under the heading of “More ‘Less is More:’”
- One suggestion proposed by several respondents was also to abolish the Transportation Security Administration (the TSA). Obviously we must continue to screen passengers before they board commercial flights, but the airlines themselves have a vested interest in not having their passengers harmed while on their flights. Furthermore, the airlines could and would do a far better job for a much lower cost. In fact, considering the TSA has more than 57,000 full-time employees at a yearly cost of $10.38 billion, that should not be hard to do. (Have you ever seen so many employees lounging around doing nothing than when you are at an airport? That’s the TSA for you.)
- We should institute a definite program for taking POWER permanently away from politicians and bureaucrats in Washington. For example:
- Permanently take away the power of Congress to borrow without limits and bankrupt the Country;
- Permanently take away the power of Congress to manipulate the size of the Supreme Court; and,
- Permanently take away the power of federal bureaucrats to impose regulations by edict, without the consent of Congress.
Each of these reforms, and perhaps others, could be accomplished, one at a time, by a specific Constitutional Amendment that polling shows would have 2-1 or 3-1 voter support. Just as public pressure forced Congress to propose popular and widely understood Amendments for a woman’s right to vote, presidential term limits, and the 18 year-old vote, public pressure, properly created and mobilized, could do so again. Specific Amendments on two of these three subjects, which are the “Keep Nine” Amendment to ban Court packing and the “Regulation Freedom Amendment” to require that major regulations be approved by Congress, already exist and have significant political support, but they are little known among liberty-minded activists. The idea of a balanced budget or Fiscal Discipline Amendment is also widely popular. If liberty-minded activists began to talk, not just about temporarily shrinking government, but about permanently “taking power out of Washington” so it cannot re-grow, they could highlight the bipartisan “keep power in Washington” consensus of the Washington establishment that is the true threat to limited government and fiscal responsibility.
Once again, it is the purpose of these columns to promote people to think about and discuss the important issues of our day – and then to act upon them when there is a need. Why? Because fundamentally it is our government, and if it isn’t working we have no one to blame but ourselves.
Story for the week: Patient talking to a psychiatrist: “Doc, I am really depressed.” Doctor’s response: “We certainly can delve into that, but in the meantime why don’t you go see Smiley the Clown’s show this weekend? That should really pick you up.” Patient’s response: “You don’t understand, I am Smiley the Clown . . .”
Judge Jim Gray (Ret.) Superior Court of Orange County, California 2012 Libertarian Candidate for Vice President