Regulate more than just the Economy
Hey folks! I’m back to blogging…it was a nice break from it (*cough*…Diablo 3…*cough*), but it’s time to get back to things.
I was thinking a bit about this whole regulation problem that’s being way-too-slowly addressed in the nation’s political sphere. People keep talking about regulating the banks, regulating other big business, regulating Wall Street investing, etc. All of these things are good and necessary…yet they’re not happening. Why not?
Maybe it’s because the people who are in charge of regulating these things (Congress) are not effectively regulated themselves. If such is the case, what incentive to they have to really get things done? All they need to do it sit tight for their term, serving the interests of those who funded their little trip to the legislature, and then they can either go home not really having accomplished much or get reelected for another term of not really doing much.
On top of things, you have so many politicians all over the place, from the national level way down to local townships, who think its their duty to violate the rights of other by inserting that right-violation into the legal code itself. Fortunately, these ludicrous attempts are being brought to light by (some of) the media, but what does that really accomplish? Sometimes it’s in time, but often the news stories reported are that these laws have already been passed. How does this even fly?
Here’s my beef with this: The Constitution ALREADY EXISTS. It’s readily available, everywhere, in every state. So why is it possible for politicians to pass things that aren’t in agreement with what the Constitution provides for?
And to take things further, why does the process of examining the constitutionality of a new law have to take place AFTER the law is passed? With the lack of functionality of the government, if an improper law gets passed it is often months or years before it reaches a court that can do something about it. But what happens in the meantime? People get screwed. Lots of people.
So why, I ask, can’t we check the constitutionality of a law BEFORE it becomes a law? It seems so simple, yet it doesn’t happen. Why can’t the last step of a law be to submit it to a judicial panel who examines it thoroughly for constitutionality ahead of time? It’s so simple, so logical…why CAN’T it happen? It would probably eliminate a lot of unnecessary lawsuits in the end, and save everyone some money (except maybe lawyers, who probably don’t need much extra).
That’s one step. The other is to regulate the congresspeople themselves. The problem here, as I see it, is a matter of accountability. People are complaining rampantly about the lack of accountability in the financial problems of late, but what about accountability for the legislators who either help cause problems or fail to fix them?
The only accountability system in place right now for Senators and Representatives is the fact that they can lose the next election in their attempt to stay in office. But this isn’t regulation. It lets Reps have a free pass while they are in office without any sort of oversight aside from being prevented (theoretically) from doing something flat-out illegal.
A Senator’s term is six years long. That’s SIX YEARS of being able to cause legal havoc without any sort of oversight. Representatives are two years, a little more stomachable, but not short by any means.
We need a way to make sure that Reps and Senators act responsibly with regard to rights and the constitutionality of laws BEFORE their term is up.
Pass a law that is unconstitutional? Lose your seat. Fail to fix a problem that approaches emergency levels? Lose some stature. Ignore a problem for a period of time in which it should have been fixed, causing regular people to somehow suffer? Get a fine. A law you passed is ruled unconstitutional? Suffer some consequence.
Something like that. People smarter and more knowledgeable than me can figure out a proper punishment system, but in no way should these representatives have a free hand while they’re in office. There needs to be some sort of regulation in place while these people are serving so that the rest of the people can make sure they actually SERVE and do their jobs.
Of course, sadly, the people who could pass a law like this are the very people who I am talking about. This is a real conflict of interest that I see no way to fix aside from somehow creating some extra-governmental panel with the power to enact these changes. If Congress votes to up their own salaries and benefits again before the economy really recovers, my forehead might just turn red from one too many self-slaps.