In Tuesday's column, I told you Rep. Gage Froerer, R-Huntsville, has this crazy idea that Utah lawmakers who believe in small government should make government smaller.
Yeah, I know: Never happen.
Froerer would hold a session where the lawmakers do nothing but repeal stupid laws. I asked you for some ideas.
Boy did you respond:
* Bill Wade would dump the auto safety inspection law. "They can leave the smog, but the safety inspections make no sense," he writes. "There is already a law requiring the autos be maintained in a safe condition."
* Everyone agrees Utah has no business running liquor stores. Judging by last week's state auditor's report that says the whole program is badly run, they're right.
* Wade also wants to get the state out of deciding who can get married.
Great idea. Beyond public health considerations, preventing child abuse and recognizing unions for legal purposes, government should have no role. Government serves the people. Gay people as well as straight want to get hitched. Lawmakers shouldn't be picking favorites.
If religions want marriage rules based on moral grounds, that's their business.
* Nobody likes the pile of documents Utah demands -- proof of birth, citizenship, residency and immigration -- for a driver's license. "I needed less to get a Nepalese travel visa," noted WSU professor John Armstrong.
Utah's new rules are an extension of federal rules to make state driver's licenses into national ID cards. If the feds want us to have a national ID, they should simply require one instead of sneaking it in this way. All Utah needs to know is that I live here and know how to drive. After that, butt out.
* The driver's license mess directly relates to Utah's laws about undocumented aliens.
Immigration is a federal job. Various states' immigration laws are a hodgepodge of uncoordinated enforcement that is hindering trade and helping no one.
* Monalisa Wald would do away with Utah's death penalty. She cites moral considerations, but considering the cost and time Utah spends to kill one guy who's already locked up, this sounds like the fiscally conservative choice.
Life without parole is legally simpler and, to my mind, meaner.
* Facebook friend Kyle England would kill the bill prohibiting hemp growing and give Utah farmers a new cash crop.
Hemp is used to make rope, paper, cloth and many other things. No, you can't smoke it and get high, but a misunderstanding of that is why hemp is illegal. U.S. hemp users buy the raw material from Canada.
* While we're at it, said several, make drugs legal.
Utah and other states spend billions on the failed War on Drugs. The war's failing because more Americans spend more billions buying illegal drugs and, by extension, financing drug cartel wars in Central America.
Meanwhile, caller Jim Johnston notes, drug-treatment programs that would actually reduce demand for drugs go begging.
Legalization can't get traction, Jim said, because the billions we spend on prisons fund a lot of jobs and have created the booming business of private contract prisons. If drugs were legalized, a lot of the need for those jobs and prisons would go away, so the prison industry lobbies hard to protect its cash flow.
* Julie Steele would do away with the law that says car dealerships can't sell cars on Sunday.
Utah law 41-3-2010, approved in 2007, says you can't sell or lease a motor vehicle "on consecutive days of Saturday and Sunday," and dealers pick Saturday.
Why did we need that law?
Because in this, as in so many other things, our elected believers in small government just had to make government bigger.