Editor's note: This is the third of a six-part series by Matt Horween, CPA, FSO (retired), that will run each day this week. The previous columns were Bring the Troops Home and Fix America First.
Many people want to know why Congress will not read the laws it passes and why we do not have lengthy public hearings with real public participation on life changing legislation. I think the answer is that both major parties have created a system over the last four decades that has totally shut down real-third party competition and has almost guaranteed that the people will only have a choice of the most rabidly partisan people to vote for the House of Representitves and to a lesser extent the Senate. Both political parties at the state level have gerrymandered congressional districts into safe ones for their most partisan members of Congress so that in most elections there are very few districts actually up for grabs in the general election. During the past 10 years many Republicans and Democrats have become registered independents. In a few states, the registered independents can vote in the Republican or Democratic primaries. If all states allowed this, we would end up with more moderate representatives. In addition, because of our one-issue and group-identity politics the winner of any election will be beholden to the special interest groups and their lobbyists in Washington, D.C., who now actually write most of our legislation, which is why the legislation takes so many pages to write as the lobbyists feed on it like reverse piranha making the legislation get bigger as more lobbyists add more sections to enrich their masters. In the end, you get massive subsidies for ethanol as an example and a so-called stimulus bill that helps public employees stay on the payroll with great health benefits and pensions while normal people are being fired.