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Part of this problem is that Congress has simply stopped functioning for the past ten years or so. They're pretty much just keeping the lights on while social conservatives refuse to compromise with anyone else. When's the last time you remember high-profile federal legislation being passed with the intention of protecting or aiding constituents?



> When's the last time you remember high-profile federal legislation being passed with the intention of protecting or aiding constituents?

July 1st, 2019

H.R. 3151

"Taxpayer First Act

This bill revises provisions relating to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), its customer service, enforcement procedures, cybersecurity and identity protection, management of information technology, and use of electronic systems."

https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/3151...

Just because actual legislation is too boring for cable news and NPR doesn't mean it's not happening.

You can find all the bills that passed into law here: https://www.congress.gov/advanced-search/legislation?congres...

PS: Believe the 9/11 first responders bill would be more recent, but I figured people would take issue with that as a celebrity bill.


What makes you say this bill is doing more than call for a minimalist response to tax return fraud (giving people “identity protection ID number” to use with ID theft cases and a single phone number to call about tax related identity theft) and make updates correcting obvious flaws in the tax code (aka keeping the lights on)? The provisions in this law will not make it less likely that someone will file a tax return with your stolen info, and not make it easier to get it made right if that does happen.

At least the 9/11 first responders bill was about allocating resources to do something, but the main reason it doesn’t serve your point is the fact it stood for 18 years as an example of our government’s incompetence and inability to do basic, non controversial things.


I could quote from the bill, but the individual subsections all make material changes in the way the IRS runs.

Reducing everything to "creates a new department or abolishes an existing one" or "does nothing and just keeps the lights on" isn't a useful rubric.

Good law is acreted over time, in the same way bulletproof code is.


You are asking me to trust that the people making law now know what they are doing and are slowly moving things in the right direction instead of slowly in the wrong direction, while not contesting the claim that this law does nothing to accomplish its stated goal of reducing the public burden of tax return fraud.

US tax law has been dysfunctional and getting worse for decades, to me that says there are issues with how the system is designed and meaningful progress beyond “keeping the lights on” will require restructuring the law and the agency, not adding a new office here and giving taxpayers more notifications there. Those types of measures, as you correctly point out, have to be looked at as part of a larger plan for the organization that meaningfully addresses a problem, not in isolation. Except here we have a collection of measures that doesn’t coherently address a problem, so there is no way left to look at them except in isolation.


I was pointing out passed law that I consider answers "When's the last time you remember high-profile federal legislation being passed with the intention of protecting or aiding constituents?"

The law has many stated goals, as set forth in the quote I posted.


The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau just barely makes the mark. Of course, Trump started gutting it almost immediately after joining office.


The constituents of social conservatives favor this approach to governing. Those constituents don't want to punish corporations using the law because they view government regulations as bad for the economy.


They're pretty much just keeping the lights on while social conservatives refuse to compromise with anyone else.

Why is your assumption that the social conservatives are the ones that have to compromise? Shouldn't both sides be compromising?


That is hilariously backwards. "Social Conservatives" have done plenty to try an protect or aid constituents, but it's held up by the Grand Old Party in the Senate.


Social conservatives usually mean GOP when referring to American politics


Compromise implies both sides have something to give. One side doesn't have anything the other side wants, so there can be no compromise.

Let's take freedom of speech. One side believes it's unlimited, and the other doesn't. How do you compromise on that? You can't. How do you solve that problem? You don't, it's not the government's job to solve all of society's problems. That's the point most people don't understand: quit trying to control the behavior of others.




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