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The Quality Amendment

I propose the following Constitutional amendment to increase the quality of legislation passed by Congress.

The Congress shall not pass any bill larger than the original Constitution. Each bill must be smaller than 4,367 words.

Higher quality legislation would thus be able to crowd out lower quality legislation.

Such an amendment would simultaneously reduce corruption and waste as well as gridlock.

Jim
 

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Dennis Gorelik - March 19, 2010

1) I like the idea.
2) How about the next logical step:
Set the limit on total length of all Congress bills that could be active.
E.g. 1 million words total.
Then in order to pass new bill Congress must obsolete one of previous bills in order to fit into 1 million words limit.

3) Such text-length-limiting bills would actually increase gridlock (not decrease it). And such gridlock is good: the less productive government is — the better.

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Jim - March 19, 2010

Perhaps Constitutional amendments should include punishment clauses for Congressmen who violate them. For example, this amendment could grant total immunity to any citizen who punishes a Congressman who votes for any bill large enough to violate this Constitutional amendment.

This amendment would decrease the overall number of words passed by Congress, but that is not what is meant by the term gridlock. Gridlock means that Congress can never get any bill passed to solve a given problem; whereas, they would have no choice but to include only the most popular measures in a bill, and thus it would pass rather easily.

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Jim - March 19, 2010

I like the 1 million word limit on active legislation.

I fear that Congress will try to circumvent the size limitation on bills by using the kind of vague language they have placed in other bills, and so this amendment may also need a clause to guarantee clarity, or maybe that should be a separate amendment.

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