Apparently, the role of the U.S. Congress is to churn out as many laws as it can, like a legislative assembly line. At least, that's what Washington Examiner columnist's assumption seems to be.
When Secretary of the Senate Nancy Erickson published statistics that showed senators passed only 90 bills, it's second lowest total in 20 years, the Examiner's Paul Bedard complained:
For those who need proof that the Senate was a do-nothing chamber in 2011 beyond the constant partisan bickering and failure to pass a federal budget, there is now hard evidence that it was among the laziest in 20 years.
Legislative production was so bad, Bedard complained, that the number of Senate bills proposed was down 30 percent compared to the Democrat-controlled 2009 Senate, and the number of amendments shrunk by over half.
Is that really a bad thing?
Laws are not very comparable to products, as Bedard assumes. A law, by definition, is a limitation. Laws aren't meant to say what you can do--they tell you what you can no longer do.
Many laws are good--a law against murder means you aren't free to murder people. You are deprived of that option, which is great. You also don't have the freedom to steal, assault, or vandalize.
The problem is, legislators covered those easy laws a long time ago. Now, we're delving into what foods are available to you, what light bulbs you should use and how you should protect your family. That's why government grows and becomes more oppressive over time--because people like Bedard think it's the job of politicians to pass as many regulations as they can.
Thanks to that mindset, we get buried by thousands of new entries into the Federal Register and struggle with the 9 million word tax code on Tax Day.
Each new regulation is another limitation on freedom, and people like Bedard can't get enough.