Thus did The Blaze’s Becket Adams comment with exquisite understatement on the simultaneously unsurprising and horrifying fact that the 154 page bill just passed to avoid the worst aspects of the so-called fiscal cliff was almost certainly never read by any U.S. Senator before he or she voted for or against it. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), one of eight Senators who refused to vote for the bill, told reporters that they were given a total of “6 minutes to read this bill before we had to vote on it; not one single senator who voted for it had read it and that is unacceptable.” Lee added what should be obvious to all, that when senators can’t read bills, “there are always bad things in it.”
Yes, I’d say that this is a fair conclusion, and indeed, we are learning of bad things in this bill, like pork.
The previous Ethics Alarms post was about the criminal implications of using a firearm without due care. Passing national legislation affecting millions of lives and affecting the disposition of billions of dollars demands far more responsibility and care than using a gun, and the long and short-term damage caused by careless, ill-considered legislation far exceeds what any lone gunman can accomplish. This is so incompetent, so reckless, so arrogant and irresponsible, that no comparison, no condemnations, nothing can do it justice. Projectile vomiting comes close.
Do not, I warn you, retort that because of the time pressure and looming deadline, the Senators had no choice. The Senators were ethically and legally obligated to make sure they could read the legislation, consider it and vote for it only after doing so because that is their job and Constitutional duty. They must not be excused for allowing this to happen. They knew this deadline was coming two years ago. They had a choice. The choice was to run the country like statesmen, adults and responsible elected officials rather than the Three Stooges on a holiday.
The last two major tax bills have been passed by Congress without those who voted for it knowing exactly what was in the bills and what they were inflicting on the American people. It’s not just a bad habit. It is an abdication of duty of a magnitude that the nation cannot long survive.
Pointer: The Blaze