In 2015, Congress voted on about 600 bills. Perhaps not all these bills deserve public attention, if even the attention of Congress. For example, Congress voted on whether or not to rename a post office in Staten Island, New York. Could decisions like this be made by the Post Office? or by the people in that state? If a Direct Democracy is to be viable, the people should not be overwhelmed (as our Representatives are today) with too many bills. What kinds of decisions need to be made at the Federal level? What kinds of decisions can be left to the state?
There are so many laws on the books that no one knows exactly how many. According to the Library of Congress website, in 1982 the Justice Department tried (and failed) to determine exactly the total number of criminal laws. In a project that lasted two years, the Department compiled a list of approximately 3,000 criminal offenses … scattered among 50 titles and 23,000 pages. The IRS code is about 74,608 pages.
Do we need this many laws? Could the process be made more simple? Simplifying the wording and limiting the length of bills may be part of the solution to this problem, but how could the number of bills be reduced to decrease bureaucracy, protect the people, and increase democracy?