This is an article in a new series The Atlantic is publishing in partnership with Common Good, a nonpartisan government reform organization, devoted to remaking government within budget and without suffocating the American spirit. Each month, America the Fixable will identify a different challenge facing the United States — regulation, school bureaucracy, healthcare, civil service, campaign finance reform — and, drawing together a range of expert voices on the topic, offer potential solutions in articles, online discussions, and video reports. This month, the series tackles the scourge of obsolete laws.
How can we force Congress to clean house? Absent a crisis — the only proven prod to congressional reform — voters must get tough. Not only should constituents be suspicious of new initiatives and refuse to be seduced by “new and improved” bureaucracies, they should demand that their elected officials be diligent and competent in framing legislation. But today, Congress is a part-time job, with about 90 days a year spent in Washington and 270 days back home, mostly time spent campaigning and fundraising. It is difficult to know what’s in your committee’s jurisdiction with so little time for hearings and research. It is impossible to be conversant with all the issues facing the nation.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]
If you could eliminate an obsolete law, which would you choose? Why? Submit a post and let us know.
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