Laws SHOULD be Simple, (…which is precisely why they aren’t)

Ah, another week, another day-to-day grind of attempting to decipher what the heck new story/law/bill/excuse/meme Obama-&-Company’s pushing, and if it even makes any sense to them.

And ‘sense’ is the operative word.

That whole “making sense” aspect of rhetoric by our leaders is becoming rare indeed. Worse, it is completely unheard of in the laws which they pass. Consider Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, and numerous others: these were Gigantic bills which then became, well…. Gigantic-er.

They also became virtually indecipherable.

Our good friend, Dapper Dan, has a post up which speaks to this issue. You really, really, need to read the whole thing, so I’m just going to give a very small portion below:

Because of the pages upon pages of incoherent language, the law can be “understood” in any way the powers want (or however the right amount of money can buy).  When we all read the law, we should all come to the same conclusion about what it says.  If we don’t, then the law needs to be re-written until it is clear.

James Madison in Federalist 62 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.”

Anyone remember Nancy Pelosi saying we need to pass Obamacare so we can find out what is in it?

E.C. Wines in his ‘Commentaries on the Laws of the Ancient Hebrews‘ said,

“The style in which the laws are written is not beneath the attention of legislators. It should be concise, simple, clear, and explicit. It should excite in every mind the same ideas; and this because the object is to establish justice and teach duties—not to furnish specimens of rhetoric.” 

In addition, DD also includes references and quotes from Larry Arnn, F. A. Hayek, and Ayn Rand in his discussion.

Good stuff. Please, click HERE and go read it all.


As the following few weeks progress, remember that what we are electing this year is much, much more than simply one man, or even a pair of men. We are electing almost our ENTIRE legislating body, and we need men & women at all levels of government who will take up this fight on our behalf.

I pray we each choose well.

13 responses to “Laws SHOULD be Simple, (…which is precisely why they aren’t)

  1. It doesn’t require much of a “stretch” to come to the conclusion that today’s legislation is written PURPOSEFULLY to be vague, which is why businesses are in a state of “wait and see” BEFORE they do such crazy things as expanding operations, hiring, etc. The bottom line is NO ONE can interpret the meaning UP FRONT, and the power is in the enforcement AFTER THE FACT.

    The ONLY other clear thing that comes from today’s legislation is INCREASED Government bureaucracy…THAT PART, they have down like nobody’s biz.

    • That’s so true it’s depressing, Pgh. Just recall the Congressional rep who basically said ‘Why should I bother to read the bill? I wouldn’t even understand what I was reading’.

      When our elected officials can’t fathom the very bills which they pass, we’ve totally lost sight of the real purpose of laws. We are not a nation of laws in order to more easily confuse and frustrate the populace.

      At least, we didn’t USED to be….

      • livinrightinpgh

        No we didn’t, JTR…..the thing that irks me is that I believe, once again, that this is done so that the average Joe out there, has no solid path illuminated in front of them, which by extension, requires them to be MORE dependent on government. It’s nauseating….

  2. Thanks for pointing out the article posted @ Principles Not Men.

    On a similar note, here’s a story posted on Twitchy this morning, more or less to the same effect: Lying liar Nancy Pelosi: Duh! Of course I read the Obamacare bill to find out what was in it

    • Good one, James. Very similar, I agree; just without the historical context that Dapper Dan provided.

      We hear about the ‘slippery slope’ fairly regularly now. Incomprehensible laws are the grease being poured onto the slope, and one of the essential aspects of our present government that needs to be changed.

  3. An example from my own city: In our last mayoral election, a very good conservative man was running, one who wanted to shake up the established old boy network we endure here in the Fort. He ended up in court over some campaign contributions. He still ran, but he lost…Our own tax man claims that those campaign laws are purposefully vague and confusing so that “dangerous” candidates can be eliminated…

  4. One problem is the “comprehensive” bill that promises to completely solve every aspect of a given issue. No bill can do that. Its like asking Michael Anglo to scupt “David” from a giant piece of marble with one comprehensive blow from a sledge hammer instead of carefully chipping away at it one piece at a time.

  5. Some laws are immutable and easily understood…such as, always blow on the first spoonful of chili before putting it to your lips. 😉

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