How many times have you heard someone say "there ought to be a law." Really? Two of our most revered Founding Fathers warned differently.
"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - Benjamin Franklin
"A government big enough to give you everything you need, is a government big enough to take away everything that you have...." - Thomas Jefferson
How has American become a nation so willing to turn our backs on the liberty our Founding Fathers bequeathed to us? Every law, every regulation, every tax, no matter how innocuous they may seem, is the government stealing a slice of our freedom from us. The willingness to surrender to the government even the smallest fragment of liberty in the fleeting hope that it will solve some trivial problem would make the Founders spin in their graves.
James Madison said, "It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man who knows what the law is today can guess what is will be tomorrow." With this in mind let us take a look at the current state of America.
Contemplate the phrase "Law Library" in light of Madison's quote. It requires an entire library full of books to hold all the laws that we are responsible to abide by. "Ignorantia juris non excusat" is Latin for "ignorance of the law does not excuse" describes the legal concept explaining that a person does not escape liability for violating a law even if they have no knowledge of its existence. Thus, we are all responsible for knowing every word in every book that graces the shelves of a typical law library
As of 2013, the I.R.S. tax code is 73,954 pages and contains over 3 million words. To put that in perspective, that is four times the size of the Bible. The question is, does the I.R.S. even understand the tax code? Former I.R.S. Commissioner Douglas Shulman found negotiating the tax code beyond his abilities such that he admitted he couldn't even do his own taxes. The Internal Revenue Service's Inspector General released a report detailing that I.R.S. employees' confusion about the tax code is its number one problem. The Thomas More Society, a public interest law firm, released documents providing evidence that I.R.S. agents enforce laws they do not understand. In a Government Accounting Office survey, "Tax Preparers Make Major Errors," found the tax laws so complex that even professional tax preparers are ignorant of the code. And finally, Money magazine surveyed tax preparers. Fifty different preparers came up with 50 different answers and none completed a return correctly.
If you now think the I.R.S. code is a nightmare, it pales in comparison to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). I can guarantee that there isn't a single person on the planet that can explain exactly what is expected of us. How do I know this, because the vast majority of the law has yet to be written.
You would think a piece of legislation more than 2,000 pages long would at least be clear about the specifics. This is not the case. ObamaCare contains more than 850 references to: "The secretary shall or will determine " meaning the Secretary of Health and Human Services will announce the rules (laws) sometime in the future without Congressional input. No one knows the impact of this law because most of the details are absent from the original text.
H.H.S. has already issued over 12,000 pages of regulations elaborating on the original 2,700 page law. As reported in U.S. News, the first set of H.H.S. regulations covering only six of the pages of the Obamacare legislation, resulted in 429 pages of regulations. That equates to a ratio of 71.5 pages of new regulations to every page to the Affordable Care Act. If the ratio holds true, Obamacare will total more than 170,000 pages of freedom killing regulations when it is all said and done. As I said, no one can possibly know or understand all of those regulations.
The Federal Register is a compilation of all the laws and regulations added throughout the year. The 2012 edition weighed in at 78,961 pages. That is an additional 79,000 pages of freedom stolen from us by politicians and bureaucrats. For the past 20 years each edition has topped 60,000 pages.
The government regulates virtually everything. I tell my economics classes that they can have extra credit if they can find anything about their lives the government doesn't regulate. I have yet to give one student that extra credit. The government has its grimy fingers in everything we do and we still think we are free. If there ought to be a law it should be to force the government back within the confines set by the Constitution. In fact there is such a law, our government just chooses to ignore it and we the people allow them to get away with it.
This is exactly the situation Madison warned us to avoid. A government that makes our laws so numerous, so lengthy, so complicated, so cumbersome such that none of us can possibly know how to conduct our lives has the power to control us. If you make the wrong enemy in the halls of power, they can find a violation and use that violation to unleash the force of government. There ought to be a law? Anyone who utters those words must be insane. There ought to be a revolution so we can throw all those laws and regulations in the trash and start fresh.
Read Jack Loesch's web site at www.TorchNFork.info.
He may be reached at: TorchNFork@frontier.com.