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H.R. 0000, Sample: The Happiness Protection Act of 2007
- This item is from the 111th Congress (2009-2010) and is no longer current. Comments, voting, and wiki editing have been disabled, and the cost/savings estimate has been frozen.
Version saved on February 11, 2011, 22:24:00, by favila:
[This is not a real bill, but rather a sample of what the text for a bill write-up might look like.]
H.R. 0000 would promote the happiness of the American people by expanding and amending a variety of federal happiness promotion programs and by making grants to states in support of happiness.
- Detailed Summary
- Title 1 - Expanding Federal Happiness Promotion Efforts
- Expansion of HHS Office of Happiness
- Expanded Happiness Efforts in Other Happiness Related Agencies
- Title II - Enhanced Law Enforcement Authority
- Title III - Sense of Congress on Happiness
- Status of the Legislation
- Feelings Committee Consideration
- Judiciary Committee Consideration
- Anticipated Action
- Points in Favor
- Support of Direct Happiness Promotion and Happiness Research
- Happiness Promotion
- Happiness Research
- Purging Unhappiness
- Points Against
- Existing Federal Happiness Efforts Have Failed
- Waste of Funds
- Happiness Successes is Happening Elsewhere
- "Happiness" is not a Federal Responsibility
- Detailed Summary
- Status of the Legislation
- Points in Favor
- Points Against
H.R. 0000, the Happiness Protection Act of 2007, would promote the happiness of the American people by expanding and amending a variety of federal happiness promotion programs and by making grants to states in support of happiness.
Title 1 - Expanding Federal Happiness Promotion Efforts
Title 1 of the legislation expands and amends a number of federal happiness efforts at the federal level.
Expansion of HHS Office of Happiness
The Office of Happiness in the Department of Health and Happiness Services is the coordinating office for federal efforts aimed at happiness. It funds basic and applied research on American happiness and makes this information available to other federal happiness bureaus. In addition, it convenes the Federal Happiness Advisory Workgroup - a consortium of federal agencies working on happiness and happiness-related issues.
H.R. 0000 would expand the functions of the Office of Happiness to include a new Happiness Promotion program, which would perform public outreach and services to encourage happiness. This office's functions would include maintaining a federal happiness help-line, to which Americans could call when they needed either direct help with their happiness needs, or when they needed referral to another happiness agency, including federal happiness offices, state and local happiness bureaus, and community-based organizations working to promote happiness.
The bill would also authorize additional funds for happiness research. The Office of Happiness would have authority in Fiscal Years 2007-2009 to distribute $40,000,000 in grants to researchers in universities, non-profit organizations, and the Institutes of Happiness that would advance the science of happiness facilitation.
Expanded Happiness Efforts in Other Happiness Related Agencies
H.R. 0000 would also provide greater authority for happiness promotion research, grant-making, and regulation in the following federal happiness offices:
Expanded happiness-oriented research and grant-making authority to the Happy Living Program in the Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Good Things.
Enhanced ability to promote private sector happiness in the Federal Communications Commission's Happy TV Office in the Bureau of Broadcasting.
Expanded authority to regulate point-source pollution on the part of the Environmental Protection Agency's Happy Skies program. The expanded authority would permit regulation of particulate emissions by hotels and motels that have more than 10 floors of guest capacity.
Title II - Enhanced Law Enforcement Authority
Title II of H.R. 0000 would increase the penalties for violating the federal anti-happiness statutes in the following ways:
The maximum penalty for inducing the unhappiness of a minor would be increased from 5 years and $50,000 to 10 years and $100,000. Taking candy from a baby would be added as an additional offense carrying a penalty of 3 years and $30,000.
The organized unhappiness law, which penalizes corporations that induce, promote, or glorify unhappiness, would be amended to make business partnerships and sole proprietorships with more than 10 employees subject to the same penalties.
Title III - Sense of Congress on Happiness
Title III of H.R. 0000 would express the sense of Congress that the Executive Branch should maximize its happiness promotion efforts in both the management of agencies and in its diplomatic efforts overseas.
Status of the Legislation
H.R. 0000 was introduced on April 1, 2007 by Representative Bozo T. Clown. It was referred to the House Committee on Feelings and Emotions, which referred it to the Subcommittee on Simple Emotions, Technology, and Dance. This Subcommittee is chaired by Rep. Clown. The bill was also referred to the Committee on the Judiciary for consideration of the criminal provisions.
Feelings Committee Consideration
The Subcommittee on Simple Emotions reported the bill without amendment to the full Feelings Committee on April 15th, and the bill is expected to receive consideration at a meeting of the full committee scheduled for June 16th.
Judiciary Committee Consideration
On May 17th, the Committee on the Judiciary considered the bill in a hearing entitled "Happiness: An Ounce of Unhappiness Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure." Witnesses on the first panel were from the Department of Justice's Office of Happiness Enforcement and DoJ's Bureau of Justice Programs. A second panel of witnesses included the Executive Director of the Council for Happiness Research, a Professor of Happiness Studies from Blingstorf College in Springfield, and Dr. Homey T. Clown (no relation to Chairman Clown) from the Unhappiness Institute of New York.
There is no schedule for further consideration of H.R. 0000 in the Judiciary Committee.
Points in Favor
The "pursuit of happiness" is something that the Founders of the United States prioritized for the American people and, for over 20 years, the federal government has been directly involved in promoting the happiness of the American people. Thanks to federally sponsored advances in happiness research, Americans are happier than ever before, and they could be happier. H.R. 0000 advances that goal in the following ways:
Support of Direct Happiness Promotion and Happiness Research
The Office of Happiness in the Department of Health and Happiness Services has done a great deal to advance happiness, but it can do more.
Direct happiness promotion is a necessary adjunct to the research and indirect promotion of happiness that the office has conducted to date. The creation of a federal happiness help-line will continue to make Americans happier. They will be able to reach either direct happiness-related counseling, or receive a referral to a state, local, or non-governmental happiness promotion bureau. Currently, though there are nationwide efforts to promote happiness directly, they are uncoordinated and lack the ability to support all happiness needs.
Research on happiness must continue for the gains made so far to be increased. The Executive Director of the Council for Happiness Research testified to the Judiciary Committee that happiness has risen 22% since federal happiness efforts began in 1987. However, the rate of increase in happiness during the last 5 years has slowed, at the same time as federal funding for happiness research has tightened. Expanding happiness research will create more happiness in the country.
A major threat to American happiness is the fact that some individuals and groups continue to promote unhappiness, particularly among the young. In particular, this year has seen many incidents where candy has been taken from babies, inducing immediate waves of unhappiness among Americans, young and old alike.
To combat this scourge, H.R. 0000 provides increased penalties for causing unhappiness, and it specifically penalizes candy-taking from babies.
The bill expands the reach of the organized unhappiness law, which has been very successful at stemming organized meanness and the creation of unhappiness. In 1985, before the organized unhappiness law was passed, there were over 1,500 corporate malefactors in the country. Since the law passed, the number has dropped to under 1,000, according to best estimates, even while the country's population and economic activity have grown.
More happiness will be made available to Americans if the protections of this law are extended to prevent other business organizations from inducing unhappiness.
The Happiness Protection Act should not be passed. It would grow an unnecessary bureaucracy that is ineffective, costly, and beyond the proper role of the federal government.
Existing Federal Happiness Efforts Have Failed
Increasing the activities of the Office of Happiness in the Department of Health and Happiness Services would do nothing to make Americans happier. Since this office was created, it has had no provable result in terms of overall happiness.
While it is true that happiness has increased nationally since the office came into existence, the rate of increase in happiness actually dropped shortly after the creation of the office from an average annual rate of 1.15% in the 20 years before 1987 to just under 1% during the 20-year period since then. In addition, the states that have not received happiness-related funds have seen equal and sometimes greater increases in happiness, according to a prominent independent study.
Waste of Funds
In the 20 years of the Happiness Office's existence, it has spent over $200 million precious taxpayer dollars on various ineffective programs and studies. Funds spent by the Happiness Office have gone to boondoggles like "The Influence of Pantomime and Mime-Related Folk Music in Urban Teens." This is pure waste of taxpayer dollars.
This is ironic, because lack of money is one of the chief causes of unhappiness. Returning the funds spent by these government programs to taxpayers would improve their happiness more than having the programs! At a minimum, the federal happiness spending should not be increased and new programs should not be created.
Happiness Successes is Happening Elsewhere
The variety of happiness efforts being undertaken by states, localities, and private entities is also important to protect and conserve. Federal involvement in these areas would do more harm than good. Various diverse and experimental happiness promotion programs exist. Some are state-funded, or are within university systems. Some are funded by philanthropies and undertaken by non-profits. There are even private business seeking to promote happiness in a for-profit model. These should not have to compete with aggressive, federally sponsored happiness efforts because they may produce maximal happiness at no expense to the taxpayer whatsoever.
"Happiness" is not a Federal Responsibility
While is it true that the "pursuit of happiness" is in the Declaration of Independence, this does not mean that creating happiness should be a federal responsibility. The Framers of the Constitution envisioned that the federal government would protect people against the invasion of certain rights, leaving Americans free to pursue their own sense of happiness, but they did not conceive that happiness would be affirmatively provided by government. Had they done so, they would have made happiness creation or promotion one of the explicit powers of the federal government. It is not.
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Status of the Legislation
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Points in Favor
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