Don Jones

Tech | Career | Musings

Friday, POTUS announced that he’d be ordering the rollback of Dodd-Frank and other regulatory laws. Congress should be deeply pissed, and more than a little scared.

Now look, this isn’t an argument about whether these financial regulations are good or bad. Not at all. The argument is that Congress passed these laws, and Congress should roll them back. We shouldn’t have a single dictatorial person deciding what laws are good laws, or bad laws.

Republicans mostly hate these laws. But Republicans also control both houses of Congress, and obviously in this case have an agreeable President. There’s zero reason they couldn’t rescind these laws themselves.

But they’re scared of doing so. Many were elected in close margins, and these laws are popular with many Democrats, and with many independents. Many of these laws were enacted after the 2008 Econopocalypse, and were very popular with the vocal “Occupy” movement and its supporters. So it’s politically expeditious to just let the President – by all accounts not our most popular Chief Executive in history anyway – do the deed.

The problem is that our system of government essentially lets the Executive Branch do whatever the Legislature lets them get away with, and powers, once seized, and rarely relinquished. This kind of pansy-ass legislating inches us even closer to a world where Congress literally doesn’t matter, and the President simply accomplishes whatever he or she wants by executive fiat. Obama was lambasted – rightly so, to be sure – for executive overreach, and the same people in Congress appear poised to let The Donald do the same thing.

The danger of an ineffective Congress is more than just stuff not happening. It’s that other branches of government will step into the power vacuum and do whatever they want, with little oversight or consequence.

Write your Congresspersons (I’ve written my rep and both Senators already). Tell them you oppose executive rollback of Congressionally passed regulations, but that you’ll happily support Congress taking up the task of legislating any time they’d care to get around to it.

2 thoughts on “[POLITICS] Why Congress Should be POd.

  1. When Oz was looking at changing from a constitutional monarchy to a republic, the model put up was one where the “president” would have no real power beyond ceremonial and perhaps the ability to veto legislation. The “president” would be appointed by a 2/3rd vote of parliament and would generally be an “eminent Australian” – something like our Governor Generals.

    One of the reasons Oz didn’t get a republic was that a good number of people said that they wanted a US style system where people could vote for the President because obviously anything America has must be pretty bloody awesome. These voters figured that if they knocked back the model where the president wouldn’t have much power, they’d get a chance to vote for a model that was more like the US system.

    Sanity has prevailed and in the 20 years since no one has seriously put the republic idea back on the table. In theory Oz will revisit after QE2 is no longer around, but cooler heads suspect that we’d be better off with a nutty vegan monarch than whatever boofhead a US style political system applied to Australia would throw up.

  2. If we have no checks and balances and the people whom we elect to make our voices, only show up and vote themselves raises – we are doomed as nation. Any nation ruled by one and only one person has never resulted in a fairytale ending.

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