In a special Outlook section feature, The Washington Post surveys some of the "worst ideas of the decade." Reason's Nick Gillespie makes the case for Sarbanes-Oxley, the onerous accounting "reform" passed in the wake of Enron and other scandals, as a classic example of bipartisan lawmaking that fixes nothing yet imposes enormous costs.
The dumbest government policies are almost always the fruit of the bipartisanship that sets Beltway hearts beating with patriotic arrhythmia. Think the Patriot Act, No Child Left Behind, the authorization of force in Iraq and the TARP.
A particular offender is the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which rewrote accounting and disclosure rules for publicly traded companies in the United States…the act should be remembered as a case study in hysterical legislating, which always produces more harm than good.