Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The No Legislator Left Behind Act

245 The No Legislator Left Behind Act

Why didn’t someone think of this sooner? It’s a way to make members of Congress, the state legislatures and various town and county and city governments WAY more responsible.

It’s the No Legislator Left Behind Act.

Why do we need it? Because the people you pay to make laws don’t actually make laws. No. They’re put together by staff and even more often by lobbyists.

Congress members, Senators and such may think of the stuff (well, sometimes they do,) but it’s the lobbyists who do the actual work.

Is that right? Of course not. Legislators should know what’s in those bills.

And this Act is how to make sure they do.

From now on, we must decree, that no legislator can vote on a bill until they have actually read it. (We don’t want to make them over work, so they don’t actually have to write legislation. After all, that’s so gauche. But from the moment this act becomes law, they’ll have to know what’s in the bills.

How do we know that they know? By giving them tests. Not too tough, understand. But tough enough so they can demonstrate the expertise that they claim all along to have.

So 65 is passing. Unless, of course, their name is among the sponsors. Then, passing is 85.

Standardized tests for anyone who gets to vote on a bill. Then, we can gauge more about our lawmakers than we now can. We’ll know more about them than mere financial disclosure. We’ll know more about them than is said in the campaign “literature.” We’ll know more about them than what local newspaper editorial writers and reporters let us know.

It may slow things somewhat (this crowd is in no danger of winning the Kentucky Derby, in the fastest of times to begin with.)

But after they take and pass the test, we’ll know what they know – and it will be more than the present level which often is nothing.

We can start remedial reading and thinking classes for these class clowns. We can publish the grades – passing and failing alike – on the internet.

It would be nice to know, for example whether, say Senator Kennedy (D-Mass) could recite the substance of 85 percent of his immigration bill. It would be nice if Representative King (R-NY) could receite and translate the substance of 85 percent of his Homeland Security bill.

It would be nice if anyone could intelligently discuss the specifics of ANY bill on which they have voted or planned to vote.

Is this a serious proposal?

Absolutely.

Does it have a chance of passing?

Absolutely not.

The Congressites would have to read it first. And we know no one does that.

Of course, there’s no reason we have to limit this to the legislative branch.

Do you think Supreme Court Justices actually read the rulings and decisions their names are on?

Or does the President actually read any of those executive orders he’s always issuing?

Not on your life. At least not yet.

(parts of this blog were used earlier as part of the author’s daily radio program on WBLF, Bellefonte/State College PA.)

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2007 WJR

1 comment:

Carissa said...

You write very well.