Thursday, January 03, 2013

Good Riddance to Rottenest Congress in History

Ezra Klein writes Good Riddance to Rottenest Congress in History.

"What’s the record of the 112th Congress? Well, it almost shut down the government and almost breached the debt ceiling. It almost went over the fiscal cliff (which it had designed in the first place). It cut a trillion dollars of discretionary spending in the Budget Control Act and scheduled another trillion in spending cuts through an automatic sequester, which everyone agrees is terrible policy. It achieved nothing of note on housing, energy, stimulus, immigration, guns, tax reform, infrastructure, climate change or, really, anything. It’s hard to identify a single significant problem that existed prior to the 112th Congress that was in any way improved by its two years of rule."

"When it ends, the 112th Congress will have passed about 220 public laws — by far the least of any Congress on record…Of course, raw productivity statistics can mislead. After all, if the 112th Congress’s laws were particularly worthwhile, or if its low productivity reflected a period of political calm and economic growth, the slow rate of legislating might even be a good thing. In this case, however, the raw data mislead in the other direction. The 112th Congress wasn’t merely unproductive: It was devastatingly counterproductive."

Klein isn't the only one saying such things. The Week points to several others in 10 insulting labels for the outgoing 112th Congress.

Here's a list of the laws passed by the 112th Congress (as of now it lists 218 through 12/20/12). I haven't gone through them all to see how many of them are things like naming post offices. Okay, I did, there are at least 30 of them and it seems one more to amend the address of one of them. There are 7 more designations of things like courthouses. Also 6 laws about commemorative coins. 3 were appointments to the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution. There are also a bunch that are "Continuing Appropriations" or "Extensions" and 5 that are corrections to previous laws passed by the 112th Congress.

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