Slashing the Red Tape Stranglehold

March 13, 2015 3:04PM

Federal regulations have consumed Americans in a barrage of red tape, unnecessarily interfering with nearly every aspect of our lives. The Heritage Foundation estimates that this regulatory spider web costs taxpayers $1.75 trillion annually. That’s “twice the amount of individual income taxes collected” each year. And that cost is only rising. Part of the problem is that Congress has by and large abdicated its responsibility to enact laws through the legislative process, often deferring to unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats to impose the force of law through fiat. This endangers the separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches, and it tramples on the rights of Americans in the process. Fortunately, our state leaders seem more willing to defend those Americans’ rights and tell federal busybodies to mind their own business. One such example is Sen. Mark Norris, who will be proposing Senate Joint Resolution 2, Monday night on the Senate Floor. The resolution calls for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would begin to rein in regulators. Under the resolution, if one-quarter of either the U.S. Senate or House opposes a proposed federal regulation, that regulation would be subject to a full vote of Congress before it can be adopted. This would allow duly elected members of Congress to force the legislature to fulfill its constitutional duties, even if a majority of Congress keeps its head in the sand. SJR 2 is a good first step to tackle the regulatory state. Let’s hope other states follow suit. Our livelihoods depend on it. -Justin Owen