A productive Congress gets no respect from voters

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by Range Rover, Oct 18, 2010.

  1. http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=11904723



    A Productive Congress Gets No Respect From Voters


    In times ripe for gridlock, Congress posts a surprising record of achievement unseen in years

    By JIM ABRAMS
    The Associated Press


    WASHINGTON

    The public panned it. Republicans obstructed it. Many Democrats fled from it. Even so, the session of Congress now drawing to a close was the most productive in nearly half a century.

    Not since the explosive years of the civil rights movement and the hard-fought debut of government-supported health care for the elderly and poor have so many big things  love them or hate them  been done so quickly.

    Gridlock? It may feel that way. But that's not the story of the 111th Congress  not the story history will remember.

    Democrats are dearly hoping history won't repeat itself. In 1966, after Democrats created Medicare and Medicaid and passed civil rights laws, they got hammered in the election, losing 48 seats in the House and four in the Senate. They maintained their majorities in both at the time, but an identical result next month would turn the House over to Republicans.

    In the 1960s Democrats paid the price for events largely outside their control  an escalating war in Vietnam going badly, rowdy anti-war protests and violence in American cities, said Linda Fowler, professor of government at Dartmouth College.

    "I think that's what's going on this time too," Fowler said, "despite a very significant record of accomplishment."

    Democrats struggling now to retain majorities in the House and Senate must deal with a public that is quick to blame Washington for the prolonged economic downturn, and that resents the bank bailouts that were actually passed by the previous Congress.

    In terms of legislative successes, the current session of Congress is "at least on a par with the 89th Congress" of 1965-1966, said Norman Ornstein, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

    But, he added, Republicans have done all they could to discredit Congress and Democrats have failed to sell their agenda. Moreover, it will take years to fully feel the effects of the health care law and financial regulation.

    "A world dominated by bickering and epithet-throwing and bomb tossing in Washington obscures accomplishments," Ornstein said.

    Congress passed an $814 billion economic stimulus package soon after President Barack Obama took office, tapping a staggering sum of money to avoid a full-blown depression. Democrats have trumpeted the gains from that effort, but know it's not enough for restive voters. "Americans still see themselves in a ditch," said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.

    The two other landmark acts of this session were the health care overhaul, a giant step toward universal coverage that had eluded presidents back to Franklin Roosevelt if not Teddy Roosevelt, and the Wall Street accountability act.

    Obama has also signed into law at least a dozen other pieces of legislation of significance. They include:

    Making college loans more affordable.

    The Cash for Clunkers program that helped rejuvenate the auto industry.

    New consumer protections for credit card users.

    Making it easier for women to challenge pay discrimination.

    Increasing federal regulation of tobacco products.

    Cracking down on waste in Pentagon weapons acquisition.

    Making attacks based on sexual orientation a federal hate crime.

    Giving businesses tax incentives to hire unemployed workers.

    Tax credits for first-time homeowners.

    So where is the love?

    Polls suggest three-fourths of Americans disapprove of Congress.

    The 1960s were a time of upheaval, and Medicare only arrived after a bitter debate echoing with cries from the right that socialism was on the march in America. Yet people had a lot more faith in government to do the right thing, polls from that time indicate.

    And Medicare grew to be so popular that Republicans, the party that resisted it, have been quick to accuse Democrats of trying to cut it when they proposed to slow its growth and use the savings to help provide medical care to millions who lack health insurance.

    An erosion of trust in institutions in general has enabled Republicans to score points by arguing that Democratic Big Government programs are exploding the national debt, Ornstein said. The result, he added, is that not many Democrats are campaigning on the benefits of the stimulus package, even though one-third of it was tax cuts that put money in most people's pockets.

    "The amazing thing is that we have had such a productive Congress despite the obstructionism," Hoyer said. "Republicans and their media have successfully sent out a message that the Congress has failed."

    Democrats cling to a hope that voters in the last two weeks before the election will come to a more favorable view of how the party handled health care and the economy.

    But in taking on issues for the history books, Democrats have failed on some matters close to the hearts of allies whose energy is vital in an election. Legislation making it easier to unionize workplaces is stalled, Hispanics are still pressing for an overhaul of the immigration system and environmental groups want action on climate change.

    Democratic leaders put off action for nearly two years on preventing a massive tax increase come Jan. 1, when the Bush-era tax cuts run out. And they couldn't even put a budget together this year. But it's not what Congress didn't accomplish the past two years, it's what it did do that seems to have voters most riled.

    Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

    Copyright © 2010 ABC News Internet Ventures
     
  2. Lucrum

    Lucrum

    What's next? Making speaking out against a liberal a "hate" crime. The whole so called "hate crime" thing is absurd and hardly worth bragging about.

    This thread suggests you are part of the 1/4 that supports congress. Making you, in the other 3/4 of American's opinion, part of our nations problem.
     
  3. Obama has also signed into law at least a dozen other pieces of legislation of significance.
    -------------------


    Oops missed one.

    Tax relief for wooden arrows.
     
  4. I hear the Mexican drug cartel is also productive.
     
  5. Making college loans more affordable.
    It's the cost of going to college that's the problem. Do something about that!

    The Cash for Clunkers program that helped rejuvenate the auto industry.
    Laughable!

    New consumer protections for credit card users.
    And the banks found new ways to screw people the next day.

    Making it easier for women to challenge pay discrimination. Yawn, more money for lawyers.

    Increasing federal regulation of tobacco products.
    How's this for a novel idea? Don't smoke and if you choose to do so it's on you when you can't breathe anymore.

    Cracking down on waste in Pentagon weapons acquisition. LOL! The waste in government is so rampent, this is a drop in the bucket.

    Making attacks based on sexual orientation a federal hate crime.
    Yawn, more money for lawyers.

    Giving businesses tax incentives to hire unemployed workers. And yet unemployment is through the roof, so obviously this wasn't the problem.

    Tax credits for first-time homeowners.
    Dried up quicker than an old whore.

    None of the above fixed anything. Unemployment is still very high, the financial terrorists that brought this upon us still walk free, and adding insult to injury are doing better than ever. The swamp has not been drained and it's got's more scum than ever. The stupid war rages on while we try to win hearts and minds. Gee, that worked so well in Nam I can see why we're trying it again. The country is broke and the solution? Spend more! Damn, I just can't understand why people are upset with congress.
     
  6. What the majority of voters and libtards think is productive are two different things.
     
  7. Hello

    Hello

    I was just thinking the same thing, lefties seem to think it is productive to pass a bunch of shitty legislation, i didnt even need to read the article beyond that line, to realise it would be left wing trash.
     
  8. Response to the realization that the days of their chokehold on congress are almost over. LOL!!! LOL!!