You don’t have to look far if you’re interested in wrap-ups detailing what the NYS Legislature and Gov. Cuomo accomplished or didn’t accomplish during the just ended legislative session. I’m not going to recap the recaps. Instead, I’m going to climb on a horse that is in major need of being ridden––why so many major legislative efforts in Albany and in Washington go bad.
Would-be politicians must being inhaling in their college polisci classes the idea that the best way to tackle a major problem is to assemble an omnibus legislative package that incorporates everything they want passed on everything remotely related to the central topic.
Take ObamaCare for example. Instead of dealing with some of the more obvious problems facing healthcare delivery piece by piece, we got a bill so massive that no one had read it when it was passed and today it is crashing under its own weight. Insurance rates are skyrocketing, millions of the uninsured will remain uninsured, and billions have been wasted in the process.
Or take immigration reform. Instead of dealing with such matters as the guest worker program separately from border security, our elected officials want to load everything and anything related to immigration into one package. No wonder it’s unlikely to pass.
And, in the just ended session in Albany, we saw comprehensive gun control passed which hinders law enforcement and makes criminals out of law-abiding citizens, but how much did it do to prevent gangs and criminals from using guns? I won’t insult the intelligence of my readers by answering that question for you.
What about Gov. Cuomo’s government corruption legislation? It failed to pass because he had to inject his views on campaign finance reform into the package. So after a session during which several legislators were arrested on public corruption charges, nothing to sharpen oversight of legislators has been put in place. Gov. Cuomo’s women’s agenda failed for the same reason. He cynically threw in abortion legislation that he knew would kill the entire package.
These failures are a sign of the arrogance of political power. Men like Barack Obama and Andrew Cuomo (and those who work for them) think they are so much smarter and know so much better than anyone else what’s good for the rest of us that they can’t resist the temptation to top their legislative ice cream with large doses of castor oil.
The arrogance of these men extends to their calculation that it is better that nothing is done if they can’t get everything they want. Why? Because they believe they can gain more power politically by being able to blame their opponents for their own failures. They are confident the media and the public will absolve them of any blame.
Comprehensive reform sounds good in theory. It rarely works out that way in practice.