Sunday, November 20, 2011

What's to blame for Congressional gridlock

Of course, the liberal/conservative split is a main cause of gridlock. But it is not the sole, or perhaps even the main, reason for Congressional gridlock. There are many things most politicians agree on. Why don’t they just pass limited bills they easily agree on instead of over-ambitious, futile attempts at several-thousand page bills that nobody reads or understands and require bureaucrats to write thousands of more pages of implementing policy and regulation?

When members of Congress do manage to force thorough an omnibus bill, like ObamaCare, serious unintended consequences are inevitable.  Congress should stop believing it has the wisdom of Solomon to develop wise omnibus bills.

Some really obvious things that should be able to pass with relative ease include:

  1. Expediting legal resident status for foreign PhD scientists and engineers who train this country. No, we ship them back to competing nations while we wait for everybody to agree on a comprehensive immigration reform Act that may not occur in our lifetime.
  2. Sealing the borders instead of suing the several states who try to enforce illegal immigration laws. No, again we wait on the omnibus immigration Act.
  3. Eliminating federal subsidies and tax breaks for corporations. No, we wait instead for the elusive omnibus bill to over-haul every aspect of federal taxation.
  4. Lower the corporate tax rate to the international standard so our companies can compete on a level playing field. No, we again wait to do everything in one bill.
  5. Make the spending cuts that both liberals and conservatives can agree on. No, we have to wait on comprehensive budget reform.
Then, there are some things that obviously need change where Congress in inexplicably unable to act:

  1. Do something real about “too big to fail” instead of pretending that the Dodd-Frank bill has solved the problem.
  2. Abolish government by “Czars.” This is Obama’s idea to circumvent Congress and why Democrats let him do that is a mystery. Failure of Congress to act further empowers the President, at the expense of Congress.
  3. Limit the power of the Federal Reserve and make its processes more transparent.
Congress is impotent, and when it does act, often incompetent because its reach exceeds its grasp. They deserve Obama’s scorn as a “do nothing Congress.” Democrats who support gridlock are trying to help Obama’s re-election campaign. But they pursue this political tactic at the risk of their own jobs.

Whatever happened to that old notion that “half a loaf is better than none?”

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