Modest Proposal — Sunset ALL Laws

(Note: We’ve proposed this before)

Want “Democracyreally to mean “the people rule?” Simple: Every law — no exceptions, federal, state and local — has a maximum ten-year life, at which point it expires.

Ten years.

Could be less, but never more than … ten years.

At that point, the law must undergo the same process it underwent to become a law in the first place … or it just lapses.

In this way, you would know exactly what the people’s priorities are. At all levels.

Basic laws like those against murder or robbery would undergo the same process. Likely their reinstatement would be assured, but you never know. If it weren’t, there would be a flurry of state laws that would go into effect right quickly, you can be sure.

Still, the law proscribing murder would have to be put to a vote every ten years. As well as monstrosities like Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, Social Security, Voting Rights, laws against jaywalking, texting while driving …

One great thing about this idea is that it would eliminate the need for various groups to form mass movements over the course of decades to get various laws repealed or replaced. After all, the thing’ll die on its own anyway.

If there’s significant support to get rid of it, then Congress will simply not re-propose it, or it will fail in a vote, or the President can veto it.

Society-wide change — as well as important corrections for really stupid changes (like Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, Sarbanes-Oxley) — would happen much more quickly.

Laws could be promulgated on a “Try before you buy” basis for, say, two years, or five. Some laws might need only tweaking, and we could do that. Each law would undergo the same process as it had to undergo to become law … as if it had never been a law before.

You’d have to amend the Constitution for this to happen, or whatever law or rule implements this would expire as well.(1)

Needless to say, all those quaint “blue laws” we often hear about — laws we sometimes hear about that forbid wearing a hat under a barber’s pole, or some such, would all just go away automatically. Who’d bother to support their reinstatement?

The people don’t like a law? Let it die. If the lack of that law causes a problem, vote to reauthorize it. You have the text. Bring it up for a vote and bring it back. Simple as that.

Why not let things like Sarbanes-Oxley, Dodd-Frank, Obamacare undergo this kind of scrutiny? What are the supporters worried about? Are they so concerned that the people hate them that much? What are they doing enacting laws that the people hate in the first place?

Think of the myriad fad laws that have been enacted — feminism, extra gay rights, and so many more — that would simply expire. Entire industries have been built to enact these laws, which really represent hand-outs — of money, prestige or power — from the productive class to the taker class. Now, the takers would have real incentives to acquire meaningful, productive skills — in case the law they’ve been using as a gravy train were to expire.

Let Obamacare expire. Let Dodd-Frank expire. Let welfare expire. Let Social Security expire. Then let’s see whether there’s a popular will to reinstate them. Or to put something else in place. Say, something that actually might work.

One other benefit this “law” would bring about: Congress and the President would have a lot less time to spend thinking up ways to muck up our lives, to get in our way, to regulate, control, supervise, oversee every bit of day-to-day minutiae that they do now. And every year, a whole bunch of pernicious, nonsensical, ridiculous, nanny-state, meddling, intrusive, overbearing, rotten, no-good, lousy, moronic, steaming-piles-of-codswallop known as laws would just … go away.(2)

I’ll be back in another post with a way to implement this.

— xPraetorius


(1) If I recall correctly, Congress can put a “sunset” provision into any law now. This is, as stated above, a time limit after which the law expires. All I’m suggesting is that every law have such a provision in it — capped at ten years.

(2) One more vital benefit this might bring about: it just might make the deadliest disease mankind has ever contracted — Socialism — impossible. After all, laws are measures to control you and me. Socialism is about controlling you and me, therefore, it’s all about enshrining into law the power of the government over the people. If socialists were to take power — under such a Constitutional provision — and start to enact all the laws they would, to squash freedom, individual initiative and upward economic mobility, then they’d have to re-enact those laws each time they were set to expire. If socialists really believed in Socialism, (they don’t — Socialism’s never been anything but a way to wrap a bunch of pretty words around a lust for power) they’d welcome this way of bringing about in a systematic way what they say is inevitable in the first place. The same holds true for capitalists, who should embrace enthusiastically this mechanism to limit burdensome regulations.

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