Even I didn’t know it was this bad

From a column in The Hill today:

Even by the standards of a divided Congress . . . there has never been such an unproductive session of Congress.

NBC’s “First Read” recently published a chart comparing the productivity of today’s divided Congress (57 laws passed) to the work undertaken by a divided Congress during President Reagan’s terms – when Republicans controlled the Senate and Democrats controlled the House. The 97th, 98th and 99th Congresses respectively passed 473 laws, 623 laws, and 663 laws.

The article concluded: “It’s not even a close call. That [Democratic] House got a lot more done with its GOP rivals than this GOP House has with its [Democratic] counterparts.”

24 responses to “Even I didn’t know it was this bad

  1. I still say “fire them all!”

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  2. Why in hell are we paying these assholes?

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  3. Even by the standards of a divided Congress . . . there has never been such an unproductive session of Congress.

    Of course, there are those of us who see this as a feature and not a bug.

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  4. What people take away from this is that the Democrats are just as bad as the Republicans, and government itself is ineffective. So for the Right, this has been a very successful and productive year.

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    • Between that and the disastrous Obamacare rollout, that ‘gov’t is the problem’ meme got a lot of reinforcement this year orhan, you are correct – that’s a plus for the GOP.

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      • Yeah, it’s simply become a factoid. But I guess on the positive side, it seems to have backfired for the GOP during the last debt ceiling battle. In any event, Happy New Year 🙂

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  5. ……and they are getting paid to do this!…..

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  6. Seems to me that using number of laws passed as the goodness metric is like Commissioner Bratton’s predecessor in 1991 using number of arrests as the NYPD goodness metric. Only when Giuliani, Bratton, and Maple changed to the badness metric of numbers of murders, assaults, larceny, etc did NYC start to control crime. Seems to me no one knows what the badness metrics for Deprtments of Education, Health & Human Services, Housing and Urban Affairs, etc, etc, etc are, let alone whether we are driving them down.

    On a far brighter note, very best wishes for a good 2014!

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    • Damn, Jim! You commented almost exactly what I was going to, even to the example cited.

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    • Almost excellent analogy jim, but falls a bit short since most ‘laws’ are mostly matters of housekeeping to keep the whole enterprise functioning. Most aren’t even worthy of a small headline.

      But still, nice to see you here and Happy New Year to you.

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      • I’m afraid your data is outdated to the point of being more than a little naive, Moe. Most, not all of course, laws these days include many completely unrelated riders and amendment that totally change their functional character and most of those changes make “housekeeping” laws into far more than one might think they were intended to be.

        And before you even say it, this is a bipartisan failing.

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        • But that reinforces my point jonolan – the fact that these things can’t be attended to as they once were – very recently – is further evidence of a broken congress.

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  7. ” most laws are mostly matters of housekeeping to keep the whole enterprise functioning.enterprise functioning.”
    Sounds like stuff that could be done by some good lines of code built by Amazon or Google or Rockwell Collins.

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    • Ha! I like the idea but building a ‘few lines of good code’ has lately proven to be something that our gov’t isn’t too good at (to wit, ACA).

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      • Perhaps that’s why Jim specified the code being written by Amazon, Google, or Rockwell Collins instead of one of Michelle Obama’s old cronies?

        I don’t know whether to laugh or cry but the ACA website debacle has been the worse case of FLOTUS crony capitalism since the adoption of the M-16.

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        • FLOTUS? What’s she had to do with it?

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          • One of the senior execs – a senior vice president – at the company that got the no-bid contract for the failed website is an old college and alumni group buddy of Michelle’s. That’s a bit suspicious, wouldn’t you say? Or, rather, wouldn’t you say if it wasn’t an Obama being discussed?

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            • jonolan – I’m not much of an apologist for Obama, although I’m glad he’s the one there right now. Website was the most colossal clusterfuck of a roll out of all time. You mean to tell me that there was some cronyism down thar’ in the guv’mint?? I am shocked, shocked.

              I would condemn that crap whoever is guilty of it. If they’re guilty of it. Of course, if it all worked beautifully we wouldn’t care at all if there were personal connections.

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              • I can only say that there is the appearance of cronyism in this case. I would also point out the company in question returned a fair amount of the payment for the website in the form of contributions to Obama’s 2012 campaign…

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