Digger Cartwright - My Own Words
Author | Industrialist | Philanthropist
Solution #6 to the Dysfunctional Political System in America
We all know that the current atmosphere in Washington, D.C. can be described as dysfunctional. I’ve been giving a lot of thought to ways that our dysfunctional political system could be fixed. Here’s what I’ve come up with.
Today, I'll expand on solution #6:
Eliminate Riders and Amendments to Bills—Why should any bill put forth in the Congress get
amended to include legislation not in any way related to the original bill? Shouldn’t each and
every single bill get voted on by itself without riders or amendments? Shouldn’t the merits of
the bill itself be the chief factor in determining whether it passes and not because there was
some rider that got some votes to ensure passage? I think the majority of American people
would find this abjectly wrong. That’s why we have bills that are thousands of pages long and
that never get read by members of the Congress. It should be fairly simple—the proposed
legislation should fit on less than two pieces of legal paper. The Bill of Rights didn’t need much
more space than that. Do we really need these complex documents that no one seems to read
or understand? Absolutely not! Riders are simply another way that members of the Congress
slip in pet projects for their district or state that may not stand the muster of a vote by itself.
This needs to change. Obviously, the members of the Congress are too lazy or too busy or too
stupid to read the entire bill. But then again, would you want to read a thousand pages of
lawyer language? Simplification is the key. If the everyday man or woman can’t understand
what’s going on, why should we entrust members of the Congress who have admitted to not
reading the bills to know any better? Let’s try this: Put each bill on two pages. Post the bill
online for public review for at least thirty days prior to a vote. Let the people review it and if
they have questions or concerns or objections their voices can be heard online or via telephone
calls to their elected officials.