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Decade after decade, laws have piled up like sediment in the harbor, bogging down America in dense regulation, unaffordable health care, and higher taxes and public debt. Political leaders come to office and find their budgets pre-committed by mandates enacted decades earlier. Philip K. Howard shows us how ten well-intentioned laws ossified over time into special interest entitlements and became deadweights on society. The personalities and political deals in this narrative are sometimes compelling and often shockingly cynical. The final result in each case is a travesty. The laws Howard describes will include civil service, special education, environmental review, subsidies from the New Deal, safety laws, due process in schools, Medicare reimbursement, the '¬Sright to sue,'¬ labor union benefits, and corporate subsidies. The book describes a new approach to refresh old programs and restore the authority of sitting leaders to make the choices needed to support the vitality of our free society.