A Simple Solution to the Problem of Big Government

I just had one of those “Eureka!” moments, as I was writing about a completely different topic. It suddenly occurred to me how to solve the problem of our spendthrift federal government that has grown completely out-of-control.

The inspiration came as I marveled at the Founding Fathers for the umpteenth time for having written such brilliant but simple documents that were so remarkably clear and concise that practically anyone could read and understand them.

The Declaration of Independence was written on a single sheet of paper. The entire U. S. Constitution, all 4,543 words (including signatures) needed four whole pages.

By comparison, four years ago in 2013 the current U.S. tax code required a whopping 73,954 pages. The Affordable Care Act eventually grew into a bloated mess of legislation with a total of 20,202 pages. How can laws that nobody has time to read and decipher be enforced? And of far greater concern is the fact that ignorance of the law is no excuse, according to the law. However, it is entirely possible that every single adult citizen in the U.S. has broken one or more of our laws without realizing it.

A very simple solution to this problem that will never happen would be to repeal every current law on the books except the Constitution and every amendment and start over.

The first new law must stipulate that all future legislation must be handwritten. New laws must also be no more than five pages long — in other words, no more laws that are longer than the document that defined the entire government. Furthermore, legislation must be handwritten in conversational English that every reader can easily comprehend, not legal jargon that requires hiring a lawyer to translate it into English.

The brilliant economist Walter Williams once made an astute observation, claiming that the Bill of Rights (which refers to the first ten amendments, for those people living in Rio Linda) was too long. He said only the first five words were necessary, which are:

Congress shall make no law…

Can’t we dream it could happen? All who favor Big Government could move to states like California and New York, where local government is already Big Government, and everyone might be happy.

Well, not everybody. There’s always going to be at least one malcontent — but almost everybody.

It’s a win/win scenario, in my opinion.

About the author

John Leonard

John lives in the northern suburbs of Atlanta, GA with his wife Lisa, two dogs and an antisocial cat.

His detective novels are published under the pseudonym Rocky Leonard, while his nonfiction writings may be found here at The Resurgent, or his personal website, depending on the subject.

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