Monday, April 26, 2021

Wonking Ourselves To Death

Pelosi's maligned and misrepresented comment about Obamacare, "We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it," is perhaps applicable now, though it seemed a bit absurd at the end of a year long process in which it seemed that every single detail was hashed out in public.

Public debates about proposed policy are good if they are informative, but in truth, even our respectable news outlets aren't very good at discussing policy, and everything becomes a debate between paid liars and people forced to treat paid liars as good faith actors (back when I went to DC a bit more, I participated in a few public panels on various things, and "must have a paid liar on the panel because this is how things are done" is a bizarre part of the culture).

Most people won't ever really know what's in a big bill, they'll know if the Biden Bucks show up in their bank accounts, or if their kids get health insurance, or if the potholes are still there. Policy debates, as they happen in The Discourse, do not actually educate voters, and throwing it out there for a discussion for a year is just going to end up misleading and confusing them.

I'm not making the case against transparency, for writing secret bills, just making the case that given the way people are "informed," the longer things take the more likely they are to be misinformed.

Pass it, let people see the consequences, see the voters at the next election.