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November 14, 2013

Proposed New Law: The No Taxation Without Honest Representation Act

Just an idea that's struck me.

The purpose of the law is to make sure the American public is given an honest, candid report on the actual costs of a bill. American democracy cannot function unless the public offers actual consent to the laws passed in citizens' names, and they cannot render that actual consent without knowing what costs would-be laws would actually impose on them.

Alternate name for the bill: We Shouldn't Have To Pass It To Find Out What's In It Bill.

The new law would state the following:

1. No law can be voted on before the CBO or some other analytical office examines a bill for hidden taxes, cost-shifting, disguised subsidies, disguised taxes, mandates on businesses likely to be passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices, etc.

2. The report noting the hidden taxes, et al. must be presented to the public at least seven days before the bill can be scheduled for a vote.

3. On an emergency basis, Congress can temporarily waive these requirements and pass a bill without the report; however, such bills are automatically sunsetted within 90 days. Thus, absent a report on hidden taxes before passage of the bill, within 90 days, the report must be conducted and the bill must be voted on again, or else it passes out of law, automatically.

4. The law is specifically made retroactive to January 1, 2010. All bills passed since 2010 (including Obamacare) are required to be re-voted after the submission of a report explaining the hidden taxes, etc. contained within the bill.

As there are a bunch of bills to work through, I suppose some schedule must be worked out, with earlier bills having priority, and also ranked in priority according to economic impact. (I.e., Obamacare is the first bill to be re-examined for hidden taxes, cost-shifting, etc.)

Would this work? Did I go to far in Point 4? I have no idea.

But it does seem to me that this nation was founded on the idea that taxation, without actual informed consent of the governed, is fundamentally illegitimate.

And it's time to return to that idea, after a century of it being out-of-vogue.

Beautiful! We can use AAA's great suggestion as a replacement for my Point 4:

On point 4, you might also consider an alternative to the effect of "retroactive to any laws already passed but not fully in effect / implemented yet", which would include Obamacare. If it's not fully rolled out and in effect it should be subject to review, and people might find that more attractive than an arbitrary calendar date.

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posted by Ace at 01:56 PM

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