Friday, December 27, 2013

Do Nothing Congress – A Good Thing?

I have to begin by asking – are we worse off if congress never showed up for work? The 113th Congress is being touted as the least productive in history. If that is the case then I declare a partial victory for America. A good year for congress would be if no new laws were passed and many were repealed. Speaker Boehner said much the same thing, but his actions tell us otherwise.

The Constitution requires only that each house of Congress meet once per year. Congress was never intended to be in session for most of the year. Being a Senator or Representative was never intended to be a full time job. It is because governing has become a full time job that they become corrupt. Politicians spend more time in Washington, DC than they do in their home districts. This is why they lose touch with the people for whom they were elected to represent.

Because they continuously live and work in DC, the Lobbyist become their friends and a part of social groups. It has reached the point that Congress is judged by how long they are in session and and by the number of new laws passed. With each Congress government grows. For those who want central planning this is a good thing. For those of us who want more power reserved for the states as designed by the Constitution – more Congress is a bad thing.

Because past Congresses have been so busy, they have transferred much of their power to the Executive Branch. There are dozens of regulatory agencies under the president that creates hundreds of new regulations that become law. Few realize that once an Executive Order or regulation is entered into the Federal Register, and remains there for 90 days without challenge by the courts or Congress, it it becomes law.

It's for this reason many label the USA a soft tyranny. You might say the country doesn't have a single ruler, but with all the alphabet agencies under control of the president, he/she has direct power over them. It is almost impossible these days for Congress to pass a law that has been vetoed by the president.

Congress approval rate is in the single digits. Some draw the conclusion that its low for lack of activity. This is true for some, while for others we disapprove because there has been too much activity. Just recently the House caved on sequestration and allowed more spending and new taxes. There were instances where the House could have put in place financial stumbling blocks for the Affordable Care Act.

Some of us disapprove of Congress because they have failed to act on things such as CIA drone activity and NSA spying. The NSA is one of those alphabet agencies that falls directly under control of the Executive Branch. Because of this it would take an act of Congress to reel them in, while it would take a single order by the president to remove domestic spying from the program.

Some are upset because the House will not pass immigration reform. The Senate will gladly pass even an amnesty type of immigration reform that most Americans are against. Congress doesn't even talk about tough laws on employers who hire illegal immigrants despite this being something the left said they wanted as well.

But let's talk about the real reason Congress has such a low approval rate. We watch those elected to Congress parade across our television screens telling one lie after another. They have sold their souls to their perspective parties and seemly have forgotten the people for whom they were elected to represent. They shout hyperbolic narratives and call each other names. Too often both houses of Congress sounds more like a junior high hallway. You would think those elected to the highest offices in the land could sit down and talk like adults.

Yes, we have differences on how we want to see the country run. Both houses of Congress are guilty of cronyism and if they were responsible humans they would step down and give their seats to more honorable people. Congressional leaders should grow up and act like responsible leaders.

Let's not leave out the supporters of our elected leaders. Every political site is filled with anger and hate. You too often see words like “libitard” and “teabagger” tossed around. Childish rhetoric will never solve the problems of this country. Making someone hate you will not sway them to your side. A debate is about trying to make the other party think how your way of doing things might be best. Those with whom you debate might never come to your side, but they might find valid points. No one side is 100% correct. Too often people are simply arguing and that will never further either side.

Our only goal should be to make sure government abides by the Constitution as written. Your favorite cause might not be supported by the document on which this country was founded. If we do only one thing required by the Constitution we would all be better off – and that's to make sure all citizens are equal under the law. Once we make laws for one person that don't apply to another we are then on the road to a class based society.

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