For most states and to a lesser degree the federal government, there are no real issues anymore. None. There is nothing left for Congress, the General Assemblies or other legislatures to do anymore.
Here in Indiana, there were two things to be done this year: setting precinct districts based on new census data and setting a new two-year budget. Everything else is just fluff around the edges. The whole session has been dominated by right-to-work and union bills, education bills, abortion bills and gay marriage bills and other useless things like cell phone usage while driving legislation.
The sad part is that none of that really needed to happen. There wasn’t some huge problem with right-to-work policies in the state. Education is crappy today and will probably be just as crappy tomorrow because the input is crap. Crap in, crap out. The abortion and gay marriage bills won’t change anything. It’ll still be just as difficult to get an abortion and just as illegal to get married in this state. Cell phone use while driving is still just as dumb and unenforceable as ever.
“Government small enough to drown in the bathtub” is supposed to mean government large enough only to do the necessities and leave everyone else alone. Sadly, it’s small enough now to sit in the tub with you and tell you what you can and can’t do.
They’re just beating around the edges and all the same debates and useless rhetoric are going on in other states like Colorado, Kentucky and Ohio. And those were just three random states I looked up in Google News. That’s all they’ve done.
Which leads me to believe we don’t need a full-time legislature anymore. Or a full-time Congress. Granted, Congress has matters of Libya, Iraq, etc. to contend with, but they’re stuck in more peaceful gridlock in Washington right now. For states, we’ve covered the basics: don’t kill people, don’t rape people, don’t steal from people and don’t forget to pay your taxes.
My proposal: the legislature gets one month from here on to handle the important matters, like district allocation, budgets, etc. And, if a special issue crops up that warrants attention, like a disaster or a strike or some such, the Governor can call a session to handle that and then we can all go home. Otherwise, we’re just adding laws on top of laws on top of laws just because there’s nothing else better to do.