Sunset: Can tactic once popular help trim federal overreach such as PPACA tax bill?

US Capitol

Photo: Kay B. Day

Many of us who are no longer young and impressionable remember a time when federal overreach was not popular. The current federal behemoth is a result of Congress and presidents vesting more and more power in Washington while degrading power of the states.

You can’t find much on Sunset provisions on the Web, but what is there suggests it’s time to revisit the concept. Can the idea of sunset provisions be reintroduced now as Congress grapples with the PPACA/Obamacare tax bill? 

I don’t know, but I did find a fairly good overview of the Sunset Provision at a Web site featuring an excerpt from West’s Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2 (2008). The abandonment of sunset provisions or laws as a tactic represents a sell-out by many who call themselves conservatives. I don’t include libertarians—their official party has little actual clout past or present.

As the article points out, the mushrooming of government on both the state and the federal level “grew dramatically in the 1950s and 1960s.” Sunset provisions later began to be used as a tactic to combat overreach that in fact is largely unconstitutional.

I don’t know if this is an option when it comes to monster bills like the PPACA tax bill. I do know that when it comes to wiggle room, Dems have long been geniuses at it as the late former KKKer, esteemed Dem senator Robert Byrd demonstrated.

Maybe the GOP can revisit this. I’m not talking to GOP ‘leaders’, but to congressmen who actually might take a chance on change.

Has the PPACA tax bill increased the debt or deficit? If so, there’s a possibility with the Sunset tactic.

It appears to me both Dem and GOP leaders are content to play parlor games with rhetoric, wallow in Russia tinfoil conspiracies, continue to grow our debt,  and play nice to legacy media so they can retain their comfy seats.

(Commentary by Kay B. Day/July 24, 2017)

About Kay Day

Kay B. Day is a freelance writer who has published in national and international magazines and websites. The author of 3 books, her work is anthologized in textbooks and collections. She has won awards for poetry, nonfiction and fiction. Day is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the Authors Guild.
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