Fearless Blogger McJoan, over at my favorite site for a few laughs, DailyKos, has proclaimed the Republican party the party of “Un-governing” due to a movement within the party to rally around the phrase “repeal and replace” in regards to the Health Care bill. Those gosh-darned republicans, they’re just the party of no, forever having no response to Lord Obama’s edicts beside “no”, “nay” or “never.”
Y’know, I really like the notion of “un-governing” as it cuts straight to the heart of my biggest problem (no pun intended) with the DC Beast – it’s too damn big (ok, maybe a little pun intended).
50 state legislatures to manage their individual constituents and it’s the Feds that have to manage education policy, housing & urban development, and, of course, health care. The Federal Government does too much in too many areas and they’re simply not built for it. Who can write policies that effectively manage the welfare of 400 million people on such intimate issues as health care or education? All too often, the legislative agenda is hijacked by vocal minorities that then impose an unneeded and excessively expensive solution on the rest of the public that was just trying to get on with their lives. There are, no doubt, legions of users of tanning beds who didn’t care one iota about Health Care reform who are going to discover their prices have been jacked to help subsidize someone else’s health insurance.
So yeah – Un-governing. It’s time for truly brave politicians who aspire to federal office to say, “We can do less, you can do more.” Department of Education? Department of Housing & Urban Development? Department of godforsaken Homeland Security? Empty their offices and tear down their marble temples. Privatize Social Security. Transfer Medicare to Medicaid and offer it to everyone at 200% of the poverty line, dividing the cost and the revenue between the federal government and the states. Enact block grant transfers to ensure that every state has the necessary funds to run world-class education systems and let them each try their own programs and swap ideas. None of this requires sprawling bureaucracies or No Child Left Behind.
A lot of folks have rapped Mitt Romney in the mouth for decrying ObamaCare since it bears a great deal of resemblance to Massachusetts’ own program – for me, that’s the bloody point. Let the governor handle his 6 million folks and stop trying to come up with programs for all 400 million of us. National issues are things like defense, foreign policy and the environment. The rest is not DC’s business and should not be handled at that level – it’s just not their area.
Every year, John Shaddegg, congressman from Arizona, introduces a bill in the House called “The Enumerated Powers Act.” It has a simple proposal: any bill Congress proposes must include the authority derived from the Constitution to act on that subject. He’s never gotten more than 50 sponsors, which tells me all I need to know about Congress and its sense of entitlement to tell me how to live.
I think we could use a bit more un-governing.