Legislative Results of the 2012 Session

Want to guess?  Government grew Bigger

TPaine1Last week I attended the State Committee meeting in Columbia.  During the meeting I gave a brief overview of the legislative session.  Now that the dust has settled, it is clearer than ever.   Despite the fact that self identified “Conservatives” are in control of the legislature, our government continues to increase in size and intrusiveness every year.  This year was no exception.

Many legislators try to justify their actions by claiming they have great reasons for voting to increase the expense and encroachment of government.  I know from spending eight years in the legislature how easy it is to follow the crowd while the taxpayers end up getting the shaft and the tab.  As a result, most bills now headed to the governor’s desk are unconstitutional, make government bigger, more oppressive, more expensive or are a waste of paper because the problem they seek to correct is already addressed in current law.  Additionally, the unintended consequences usually set off a new chain of foibles.

Some of the legislators who give the best speeches about limiting government don’t have the best voting records.  If you want to see who does, click here to see the ranking from last year.

The first problem is the budget.  If you like magic, miracles or believe money grows on trees, this is the budget for you.  The budget this year presumes on the lottery suddenly taking in an additional 35 million dollars beyond what is projected.
The Republican controlled legislature passed a budget that is about one billion dollars more than what the Governor proposed.  If you ask your legislator why, you will be told it is because the governor used some soft numbers and their budget is now hard numbers.  They still could have accepted the governor’s budget and simply changed the estimated numbers to firm numbers.  While they are all trying to dodge the blame for any cutting that must be done, we must hold all of those who voted for this budget responsible because it is built on shaky economics and expenditures that grow the nanny state.

The second problem is the new laws that take away more of our freedoms under the guise that they will protect us from others.  If we didn’t pass any more laws, we already have enough to keep our legal system very busy.  Ultimately, we will never have enough laws to make sure everybody is nice and nobody ever gets hurt.  Perhaps the real goal was for the legislators to make themselves look good with the special interest groups.

Two examples:  Expanded Gambling: (HB1644)      Expanded Governmental expenditures for babysitting.  The taxpayers will be forced to subsidize more babysitting under the philosophy that more mothers in the workforce makes our state stronger.  Yet most thinking taxpayers believe that our state is stronger when parents take care of their own children.    (HB1323)

We were very narrowly spared the passage of the prescription drug “big brother” monitoring program.  It passed the House and nearly passed the senate.  It is highly likely this will come up again next year since it came so close.

It is the job of the legislators to read the bills and understand what they actually accomplish.  Last week an Illinois legislator made national news when he went into a tirade about a lack of time to read a bill before it was brought up for debate.  If more legislators cared about accountability, and know just what they were supporting, perhaps we would have better outcomes from our sessions.  As our next Lt. Governor, I plan on inviting legislators to my office to study the bills so that we have a better grasp of where we are taking our state and taxpayers.

Your thoughts on growing government bigger are important to me, so please share what you think here:
Mail to Cynthia


 A Little Bit of Humor…

Government Bureaucracy

  • Pythagorean Theorem:  24 Words.
  • The Lord’s Prayer: 66 Words.
  • The 10 Commandments:  179 Words
  • The Gettysburg Address:  286 Words
  • The Declaration of Independence:  1,300 words
  • The US Gov. Regulations On The Sale Of Cabbage: 26,911 Words

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