Nebraska’s Senator Ben Sasse seemed to throw both the New Deal and Great Society programs under the bus while trying to make a point about small government, then followed that up with an admission that Congress would be largely incapable of running the country.
“Especially since the 1930s and then ramping up since the 1960s, a whole lot of the responsibility in this body has been kicked to a bunch of alphabet soup bureaucracies,” Sasse said, referring without name to government institutions such as the Social Security Administration, Medicare/Medicaid, the EPA, and others created between the Roosevelt and Johnson administrations.
“We pretend we make laws,” Sasse continued. “We write giant pieces of legislation, 1200 pages, 1500 pages long that people haven’t read, filled with all these terms that are undefined, and we say the secretary of such-and-such shall promulgate rules that do the rest of our dang jobs.”
Immediately thereafter, Sasse admitted that neither the Senate nor the House were capable of even passing legislation, never mind being able to “manage all the nitty-gritty details of everything about modern government.”
With a growing awareness that he was contradicting the point he was trying to make, Sasse stammered that there were “rational arguments” for a “system [that] tries to give power and control to experts in their fields where most of us in Congress don’t know much of anything about technical matters.”
He continued anyway, arguing that while “Congress would have a hard time sorting out every final dot and tittle about every detail,” the status quo allowed legislators “to avoid taking responsibility for controversial and often unpopular decisions.” Presumably this would include long time Republican goals such as cutting Social Security, gutting the EPA, and restricting access to health care for senior citizens and the indigent.
Watch the video below.