Government Spending

Congress Should Let These Three Things DIE Already!


The last Congress was one of the least-productive ever, at least in terms of passing legislation. Contrary to goo-goo types who want a government that does somehthing/anything to justify its paycheck, gridlock isn't such a bad thing. Indeed, it's the reason why real outlays per capita were flat or slightly lower for a few years after 2009's unrestrained spending orgy.

It's unlcear whether gridlock will survive a fully Republican Congress. The GOP majority in both houses might be able to muscle through certain things and, if the last two-term Democrat in the White House is any indication, we might even be treated to the spectacle of a lame-duck president working with the GOP majority to pass some stuff.

However that might shake out, Reason mag economics columnist and Mercatus Center policy analyst Veronique de Rugy identifies three things that Congress should…just let die. Our brave lawmakers can make things better by letting sunsetting laws and policies just fade away like MacArthur after Korea.

Specifically, Congress can let the charter for the Export-Import Bank and some provisions of the Patriot Act ride off into oblivion. And Congress can let the sequester caps return as scheduled. "What we need," reads the headline at The Daily Beast, "is a Seinfeld Congress." That is, one that does nothing, at least in these three cases. 

[These] changes…will not fundamentally alter the untenable fiscal course our federal government is on. And they are relatively small compared to the changes that I usually call for from lawmakers.

They are, however, low-hanging fruit because all that is required is for Congress do nothing! In addition, each of the changes would send a significant signal that—unlike the previous Republican-controlled Congress—the new Republican Congress is serious about reining in our overgrown federal government….

Read the  full article.