Sunday, July 15, 2012

GRAPHIC: The Uselessness of Congress

Ezra Klein has a list of fourteen reasons why this (the 112th) Congress is the worst ever. One of the primary reasons can be encapsulated in the above image which graphically demonstrates how Republican control of the U.S. House of Representatives, led by John Boehner and Eric Cantor, have made the institution's productivity significantly worse. Most people would say this is due to divided government (Republicans control of one house of Congress while the Democrats control the other house) but Klein refutes this:
Now you may say that this simply reflects divided government. But while there are many instances of divided government on that chart — the 104th Congress, for instance, when Newt Gingrich and his Republican revolutionaries faced off against President Bill Clinton and still managed to pass 333 public laws — there’s no session of Congress with such a poor record of productivity.
Then again, if divided government goes away, due to redistricting and timing (Democrats need to defend 23 seats compared to 10 for Republicans thanks to a banner year in 2006), we might look back with fondness at the lack of scary legislation coming out of Congress!

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