Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Our Fast-acting Congress

The House of Representatives has scheduled a meeting of the subcommittee on Consumer Protection to investigate recent complaints about unsafe levels of lead in toys imported from China. The hearings are to begin on September 19th.

Not to be outdone, the Senate Appropriations subcommittee began meetings on the same topic TODAY.

I have already discussed the format of all congressional hearings.
1) Find a high level corporate or government leader of the minority party
2) Make a grand speech about the congressman’s astute command of the problem, along with accusations of malfeasance on the part of the witness.
3) Follow up with a baggage-laden question.
4) The witness (#1 above) makes a grand speech about what is wrong with the system and/or explaining why they made the only possible decision.
5) Answer the question as ambiguously as possible.
6) Repeat 1-5 above until the media tires of the issue and removes cameras and microphones from the chambers.

So they will rake Mattel and Toys-R-Us executives over the coals for a couple of weeks, add headcount to the CPSC, and claim victory during their next campaign.

Do you wonder why they jump on these hot-button issues within 30 days but only review the immigration issue every ten years? I suppose it has something to do with the fact that these hearings always result in blaming some large institution but they avoid blaming themselves.

They scarcely have time to govern with all these special hearings.

I don’t suppose it ever occurred to them that between the competitive forces of capitalism and the threat of litigation, just maybe American business can handle this problem without Congress. Of course, government always improves every process they touch. (Puke.)

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