Stop The Presses!

Posted on January 18, 2012 by


Editorializing today against SOPA and PIPA, its legslative sibling in the the Senate, the brain-trust over at The Zero sagely notes:

It’s now clear that members of Congress have been grappling clumsily with technologies they do not well understand.

Has Congress ever done otherwise?

A quarter of a century ago, as but one example, Oregon Sen. Bob Packwood spearheaded the “streamlining” of federal tax code; subsequently campaigning on a claim that he had “put more money into your jeans”. In point of fact, what they did involved the elimination of many deductions routinely claimed by average Americans: the gasoline tax deduction, the deduction for interest paid on loans and credit cards, and most others – gone.

They also made interest earned in savings accounts taxable; discouraging savings by Americans – and in the years that followed, there was much rending of garments and gnashing of teeth as politicians and news columnists alike lamented the apparently inexplicable lack of savings by Americans in general.

This is what Congress does. Historically, they boldly tackle issues that they don’t understand, claim credit for their role in helping to solve problems, and then bemoan the inevitable results of their meddling. It’s why, far from being the catastrophic event as generally portrayed, government shutdowns are often beneficial.

MaxRedline: Stop The Presses!.