Dodd-Frank, Obamacare And The Erosion Of The Rule Of Law

“…He has erected a Multitude of new Offices, and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harass our People, and eat out their Substance…”

– The Declaration of Independence


Timothy H. Lee

Since our inception, we’ve aspired to remain a nation of laws, not of men.

For that to be true, however, our laws must be of sufficient clarity that we can understand them and guide our conduct accordingly.  Otherwise, the rule of law dissipates, and the tyranny of bureaucrats expands.

On March 23, 2010, for example, President Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as “ObamaCare.”  That 2,700 page monstrosity also generated between 20,000 and 30,000 additional pages of regulations, depending on how one counts them, and that regulatory labyrinth continues to grow.

Just four months later, on July 21, 2010, Obama signed another monstrosity into law:  the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill, an 850-page bill that has generated over 2,000 pages of interpretive regulations so far and could require “as many as 398 new regulations,” according to the Competitive Enterprise Institute.  “Worse,” according to The Economist magazine, “every other page demands that regulators fill in further detail.  Some of these clarifications are hundreds of pages long.”

More recently, the U.S. Senate passed a 1,200-page immigration reform bill last month without sufficient time to even read it.

As the number of these mega-bills are debated and passed without being read, let alone understood either by lawmakers or the people they represent, We the People may fairly ask:  Why?  Why must any law exceed a thousand pages?  Why can’t our elected officials speak and write in more straightforward language, declaring clear principles and drawing clear lines of demarcation understandable to reasonably intelligent citizens?…

…As citizens subject to these mega-bills, we become no longer ruled by laws evenly and equally applied, but rather by the arbitrary will of politically driven bureaucrats.  In turn, the legal and political Brahmin class becomes empowered to use these laws and regulations as weapons against an ignorant public and an overwhelmed system of courts…


The complete article is at Forbes.


H/T Dan Riehl



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