Various reports over the last few days suggest that leaders of the congressional Democrats are considering wrapping up this session of Congress early.
I often wonder – more often aloud to my friends who need some help thinking through their political convictions – if our nation’s Founders ever envisioned Congress operating like it does today. I can’t help but think they imagined people traveling to D.C. for the legislative session, and then making the trip home, back to the farm or to the law practice or wherever.
We do this in my home state, the Lone Star State. The Texas Constitution calls for our state legislature to meet for 140 calendar days every other year. Check it out in Article 3, Section 5 . That’s right. No full-time legislators in Texas. Folks who make the law have to go out and try to make a living under it.
Is this not part of the problem with Washington? Both Republicans and Democrats get so entrenched in their office up on that high Capitol Hill that they inevitably find themselves far removed from the rest of us.
Want to see some real change in our federal government? Limit the activity of Congress like that of the Texas Legislature. Consider:
- No time to worry about light bulbs or the breeding practices of some specific fish or whatever other nonsense earmark you’d like to cite.
- With less time, they’d actually have to focus THE BASICS – you know, like the basic enumerated powers of our much loved Constitution.
- Because they couldn’t hole up in D.C. all the time, they would have to – wait for it, wait for it – WORK! You know, like, OUTSIDE GOVERNMENT! (Gasp!)
Pipe dream? Yeah, probably. But it is certainly a point worth pondering. Do some Google searches to compare and contrast Texas and California, a state with a full time legislative body. What you’ll find is that Texas is doing a far better job growing its economy than California. Could it be because we in the Lone Star State have worked hard to have LESS government getting our way?
So anyway, please adjourn, Washington. Go home. Campaign. Whatever. At least you won’t be raising taxes, increasing regulation, destroying healthcare, or otherwise sucking the life out of Americans’ will to prosper and provide for their families.