September 2, 2015

THE ONE AMENDMENT THE CONSTITUTION SHOULD HAVE:

Sunsetting Government Waste (Brian Baugus and Feler Bose, Sept. 1, 2015, US News)

Almost everyone, regardless of political persuasion, can point to some aspect of government that has outlived its usefulness or is a waste of time and money. Getting rid of the "waste, fraud and abuse" is a constant campaign theme. Such claims imply there must be plentiful opportunities to bring efficiencies to government and that a process such as the sunset review process, designed to rid government of bloat and inefficiency, would be well used. Pioneered in the mid-1970s, the sunset clause is, indeed, at least one good government tool.

Sunset clauses are provisions written into the law, most often laws establishing regulatory agencies, which end the agency's existence, unless the legislature acts to extend its life. The sunset review process requires that the agency defend its existence and justify its continuation. We examined the sunset clause and its use and found that it was not just about good governance but also a political power play.

The good news is that some states use the sunset process and seem to be achieving tangible savings for taxpayers. Texas and Ohio, for example, use the sunset review process extensively and regularly eliminate agencies and regulations. In the five-year period examined, we found that the Ohio state legislature subjected 274 agencies and laws to the sunset review process and eliminated 79 of them for a 28 percent kill ratio. Texas had an 18 percent kill ratio.

Every act of Congress and federal regulation should sunset and require re-enactment.
Posted by at September 2, 2015 7:32 PM
  

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