Legislative reform, anyone?
Things aren't quite that bad on that front here in the US, but there's still a lot of gunk in the law books that really only exists for historical reasons, and persists because of inertia.
So I was thinking about a constitutional amendment that would be sort of a legislative non-proliferation pact as well as a means of keeping laws relevant. Here are some items I came up with:
- Expiration dates. For any law to be passed, it must have an expiration date no later than 10 years from the date the law is passed. After all, if there isn't solid support for a law any more, why should it be a law?
- Preambles. For any law to be passed, it must contain a preamble which gives the reason for the law and the intent behind the law. And laws will have to be enforced according to the stated intent, even if a loophole may have been found in the verbiage of the law.
- Taxation determined legislatively. The IRS can be left in charge of collecting taxes, at least until the nation wises up and throws them out. But all federal taxes that exist in the US will require enabling legislation with regards to their amounts. This legislation, like the rest, will come with an expiration date.
- Amendments. Once a bill is out of committee, it shouldn't be permitted to amend it. If it isn't good, it shouldn't get out of committee. Trash it and try again.
- Single issue. The whole issue with the line-item veto is that laws can contain numerous unrelated topics. This will no longer be allowed.
Obviously, all of this would apply only to federal legislation. But it'd be a start.