Lunatics Running The Asylum

by Stuart Shapiro

The House passed a bill this week 398-1 eliminating the word “lunatic” from federal law.  The bill was well-intentioned, if a bit trivial.  Who voted against it you might ask?

The lone “no” vote was cast by Representative Louie Gohmert, Republican of Texas, who said in a statement that “not only should we not eliminate the word ‘lunatic’ from federal law when the most pressing issue of the day is saving our country from bankruptcy, we should use the word to describe the people who want to continue with business as usual in Washington.”

One might be sympathetic with this argument if it wasn’t being made by Rep. Gohmert.  This is a man who voted for Newt Gingrich as speaker (in 2012), accused the President of wanting a dictatorship, as well as doing many other things that one might describe as “lunatic.”  Well, at least he is an expert on the subject of lunacy.

About Stuart Shapiro

Stuart Shapiro Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels. Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush.

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