Little things

By AL DIAMON  |  January 12, 2011

The bottom line is that it ought to be tough to pass a bill — even a thoughtful, well-researched bill that addresses a real problem in a practical way, such as by placing onerous taxes on tofu, low-carb beer, and artificial turf on baseball fields — because otherwise, we'd be burdened with even more unworkable laws than we already have.

Not only would a smaller Legislature have fewer smart people capable of spotting errors and unintended consequences lurking in even the best prepared proposals, it would also have fewer dopes, whose mindless blunderings manage to inadvertently sidetrack lots of bills, both good and bad.

More laws would be passed. More freedoms would be infringed.

There are plenty of places in state government that could stand to be cut: all of the Department of Economic and Community Development, most of the Department of Education, enough of the Department of Health and Human Services to staff and fund every county in Maine. But the minimal savings from reducing the size of the Legislature wouldn't be worth the loss of representation in rural Maine and the reduction in safeguards against oppressive government.

I shouldn't have to point out such obvious conclusions. After all, every legislative leader has a communications director who could handle that task.

Shrink hemorrhoids, not legislatures. Got a better bumper-sticker slogan? E-mail me at aldiamon@herniahill.net.

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