With Democratic leaders are engaged in intense arm-twisting sessions with recalcitrant members of their caucus, the Administration apparently offering federal jobs to retiring lawmakers as the presidents’ polls plummet, it sure doesn’t seem like the latest push to nationalize our nation’s health care system is winning plaudits from the American people or winning votes on the bill’s merits. If Nancy Pelosi wins this one, she wins it ugly.
This phonebook-sized law that would control a sixth of the U.S. economy cannot be a law by that definition. If you rummage through the text of, say, the House of Representatives’ version of the bill, you find scores of places where power is delegated to administrative agencies and special boards, which are charged to fill the gaps in the written legislation by promulgating thousands, if not tens of thousands, of new pages of regulations that will then be applied to individual cases. Voters sometimes complain that legislators don’t read the laws they enact. Why would they, in this case? You could read this leviathan until your eyeballs popped out and still not find any “settled, standing rules” or a meaning that is “indifferent, and the same to all parties.”
In fact, that’s the point of such promiscuous laws. They operate not by setting up fences to protect each man’s liberty. They start not from equal rights but from equal (and often unequal) privileges, the favors or benefits that government may bestow on or withhold from its clients. The whole point is to empower government officials, usually unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats, to bless or curse your petitions as they see fit, guided, of course, by their expertness in a law so vast, so intricate, and so capricious that it could justify a hundred different outcomes in the same case. Faster than one might think, a government of equal laws turns into a regime of arbitrary privileges.
Please note that he wrote this last week so he’s not referring to the House reconciliation package, so maybe they new bill doesn’t so delegate. Perhaps, we should just call this the Federal Bureaucrat Empowerment Act.
Oh, yeah, let’s not forget the 16,500 additional IRS agents needed to enforce it. Wonder if the CBO factored in the cost of their employment in its estimate of the bill’s cost.
So, this is why Mrs. Pelosi calls this a jobs’ bill: it creates jobs for federal bureaucrats.