Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Worst Congress?

For the last year there have been numerous articles castigating the current Congress for being worst than the Congress Truman called 'do nothing'. Here's a recent, but not the most recent, chart showing the number of bills passed:

The latest government statistics shows them at 184 laws enacted to date.
To be fair, somewhat, some Congressman and Congresswoman have claimed they've passed twice as many but the Senate has held those up. Also to be fair, you can see from the linked chart (bottom of the page) that Congress is more active in their last October than in any other month of their two we expect great things from them starting today! If they follow the pattern, they'll enact a total of 263 before their session is over...which will beat the 112th Congress' record but not anyone else's. Also, we're not recovering from a World War, or any Asian conflicts, or transforming society with regard to civil rights. But we still have plenty of legislative discussion with regard to Middle East conflicts, privacy issues, commercial efforts, economic stimulation, trade deficits, taxation and health care expense crises (a topic from as far back as the 1970's if not before).

On the other hand, even the Pew Research Center acknowledges that a lot of Congressional activity is ceremonial and not substantive, so we really can't tell what they're going to do this month.

Maybe we don't want Congress to do much if they remain so polarized...

Hmm, look how this compares to US averages temperatures! As the heat goes up, polarization goes up and productivity (bill-passing) goes down. We can blame Congress' poor ratings on global warming--or we can blame global warming on Congressional prattling.

Graph showing rise in global mean temperature, esp. after 1975

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