Separation of authority and responsibility.

We hear from our politicians and media of all sorts how crucial the separation of church and state is to the very survival of our Republic. Curiously, the concern is to keep Christianity out of the state but not (a) any other religious groups or (b) keeping the state out of churches, as in The Little Sisters of the Poor or anyone not celebrating LGBT… xyz preferential rights.

These quarrels might be interesting, especially during election times, but there are other issues more immediately malignant. And we’re not likely to hear politicians talking about them.

We hear of executive orders that may or may not invade legislative authority. We hear executive candidates promising to “rein in” judicial or legislative alleged overreaching of their constitutional authority constraints. And, we see judicial decisions based on some obscure legal reasoning both contradicting and befuddling to both the other branches and citizens.  

But, think both local and national level:

  • When has a parole board had any “price” to pay for recidivism?

  • Has a school board or administration paid a price for poorly educated “graduates”?

  • How do laws addressing being an accomplice before or after a crime apply to sanctuary cities, their mayors, or city councils? If not, why not?

  • Why do laws (such as the Affordable Care Act) not apply to the people who passed the laws, or their families or staff?

  • Why can legislatures continue to put provisions (a.k.a. riders) into bills having nothing to do with the primary purpose, and costing a lot of money, but would never pass alone? An example would be a 700 square mile park for a certain flower inserted into a national security bill that must be signed by a certain date.

  • Conversely, perhaps, why did we not adopt the line item veto at the federal level?

  • Why did we not adopt term limits?

  • Does a “taxpayer bailout” help the entity that cannot repay loans or the lenders that made stupid loans? How does an average citizen distinguish between an economic liability and a toxic asset? Why is that citizen left holding the bag?

In all these instances, and more, the people with the authority don’t bear responsibility for any “unintended consequences”.

The separation of authority and responsibility must be fixed.


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