Policy

What Is "Comprehensive Legislation" Anyway?

Sheldon Richman

Have you noticed the government panacea for every problem?

Oil spill?

Comprehensive energy legislation.

Bank failures?

Comprehensive financial legislation.

Medically uninsured?

Comprehensive health care legislation.

Just one problem. No one can tell you what comprehensive legislation actually means. Literally, it would have to mean that nothing can be done except under the watchful eye of a bureaucrat. But that would be impossible. Moreover, wouldn’t that bureaucrat have to be watched by another bureaucrat just in case he was corrupt or prone to daydreaming?And so on ad infinitum.

The upshot is that the word comprehensive really means nothing. It’s just an arrow in the government’s propaganda quiver that is pulled out whenever politicians seek more power than they have — which is already considerable.

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