* This was a column I wrote two years ago. Congress currently has a nine percent approval rating. Has anything really changed?
There is truly something to celebrate in these trying times. With the coming of the new year, we can bid adieu to the worst Congress in decades. Farewell to the destructive and reckless 112th Congress. The Congress that ignored our wishes and smothered us in unending and staggering debt.
Perhaps the best place to begin these last three years of destruction would be the passage of Obamacare. Against the wishes of a clear majority of Americans, the 111th approved this ill-defied and monstrous 2,700 page bill. Chalk full of special-interest pork and political payoffs galore, the bill passed in the dead of night in April, 2010.
Though many suspected then that Congress simply didn't bother to read this “War and Peace” of legislative garbage, the ensuing months left no doubt that was the case. Immediate consequences of this politically-charged bill have been universally bad in the long run.
Those who voted for the bill came under increasing public pressure to fess up about their own ignorance of its content. Like cockroaches scurrying when the light goes on, they ran for cover and blamed their party leaders for its inception. Had they known how bad it was for the country, they never would have voted for it. Sure.
But at the time, they followed their ever-smiling leader who said they'd “better understand the bill” after it was passed.
But the smell of poor legislation and questionable leadership started much earlier for this gang that couldn't legislate. Hit the reverse button to June, 2009. At that time, apparently no one in Congress bothered to read the cap-and-trade bill before it was passed. With a 309-page amendment submitted by Henry Waxman (D-CA) at 1:30 am, shortly before the final vote, a speed reader could not have read it.
Fortunately it was DOA before it saw the light of day in the Senate. Further proof that a more balanced media has begun to educate Americans on the actions in Washington.`
And let us not forget the 2,000 page financial reform bill passed two summers ago. As one of its two co-sponsors, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) remarked, “No one will know until this is actually in place how it works. But we believe we've done something that has been needed for a long time.” What a comfort to all Americans.
Three major pieces of legislation - No clear understanding of the horrific ramifications to this country by any of the principles involved in its passage. Self-admitted misunderstanding which is incomprehensible considering the trillion dollar price tag taxpayers must pay.
The truly frightening aspect of all this are the Democrats seeking office in November, 2010. Rarely (or not at all) did any of them bother to mention these three bills. Obviously not talking points to impress voters while remaining relevant on the campaign trail. It was as if none of this ever happen. The glaring lights of an educated public insured their silence on past deeds they had been complicit in.
Over the years since those bills slid through Congress, the electorate has awakened in anger over this utter incompetence and wasteful spending.
Fast forward to this years midterm elections.
After suffering a humiliating and debilitating defeat (in 2010), Senate Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi took it upon themselves to act as drunken sailors with a proposed federal spending spree. This in spite of being defrocked by their superiors – the American taxpayer.
Nancy and Harry promoted a late-inning race to the finish for the 111th. More federal spending, debt, earmarks, taxes and regulations. They demanded the biggest tax hike in American history and the DREAM Act awarding amnesty to certain children of illegal immigrants.
It was suddenly time to act quickly in the closing weeks of lame duck after two years of saying nothing at all. It was time to pass the budget which was due that year in October but stalled so they could be re-elected before presenting the outrageous bill to a distracted holiday public.
So what becomes of this enormously wasteful Congress that can't read a bill?
They staggered out the door with “Don't ask, don't tell” being repealed (it was inevitable), federal compensation for 9/11 first-responders (would have passed but was held up to insure proper supervision of credible allocation) and the START Treaty, laden with Russian demands and American concessions.
There is one shining light is this almost comical end to the 111th and the 112th.
The trillion-dollar omnibus national budget has been postponed for approval until the adults of the incoming 113th take their seats. This one saving grace occurred as an exhausted and largely vilified 111th and 112th Congress bid farewell. The Congress that could not read.
Before the American people awoke, these glorified drunken sailors managed to pass appalling legislation that will be litigated in America's judicial system for many years to come. The zeal of Obama's 08' victory led Democrats to feel they had carte blanche with the taxpayer's wallet. Rather than securing legislation that would stand the test of time with bi-partisanship cooperation, they went it alone.
They went it alone and will see the results of that behavior as the years roll by. Bad legislation of the most partisan kind that will haunt generations of Americans if not repealed or stopped permanently. All attempted or enacted during the worst recession in 70 years.
The most alarming in aspect of this 111th and 112th Congress is the frustration politicians themselves have expressed. Our Founding Fathers were wary of government doing big things. That is why they created checks and balances separating the various branches of power. It appears that this has come as a revelation to many involved in the spending spree.
Because of their extravagances, Obamacare will be litigated in 2014 all the way to the Supreme Court (again). The cost will be in the billions to the American taxpayers who slept through the ongoing missteps of their elected officials in Washington.
Congress has voted on bills that are prohibitive in their cost and read by no one.
Although the Democrats now spin the election as if the voter had a childish tantrum, the glaring fact is a referendum for real change in Washington. The nation is now aware of the impending doom of democracy unless spending is curtailed and the 'social experiment' reversed or curtailed.
Is the country willing to make those sacrifices? Can the tide of red ink be reversed, or will the dreamers of ill-fated legislation return as the sacrifice becomes personal to every American?
It's abundantly clear the 111th and 112th failed miserably as the leaders we need to guide the process. It must succeed or we will all fail.
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