The 111th Congress (2009-2010) has been seen by many observers as the most productive Congress since the 89th Congress (1965-1966).
But now, the 112th Congress (2011-2012) has been declared by Ezra Klein, the brilliant commentator of the Washington Post and MSNBC, as the WORST Congress EVER!
Is Ezra Klein correct in his assessment? ABSOLUTELY!
The 112th Congress, as Klein says, has failed to deal with the problems facing the country, and has had as its major agenda the defeat of President Obama for a second term, and in the process, holding Americans hostage in the midst of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression!
Klein points out the following:
No Congress, with records back to the 80th Congress of 1947-1948, has produced such little passage of legislation, with the smallest being the 104th Congress (1995-1996), with 333 laws passed, and Democrat Bill Clinton being relected President in 1996 as a result.
Congress has only a ten percent approval rating, an all time low, with the Internal Revenue Service being at a popularity rate of 40 percent; Lawyers at 29 percent; President Richard Nixon during Watergate at 24 percent; Banks at 23 percent; the British Petroleum Oil Spill at 16 percent; and Paris Hilton at 15 percent, as examples!
The 112th Congress is the most polarized Congress since the end of Reconstruction in the 1870s, and we all know what came after–the GILDED AGE period of corporate dominance, not well looked upon by historians, and reminding us that we are now, in so many respects, in a new GILDED AGE, personified not only by the GOP control in the House of Representatives and in many state governments, but by the wealthiest Presidential nominee in American history, Mitt Romney, worth twice the assets of the last eight Presidents from Richard Nixon to George W. Bush combined!
The Republican majority in the House and Republican opposition in the Senate set back economic recovery in 2011 and right up to this moment in 2012, by any measure! And this Congress caused the loss of America’s credit rating, and seem ready to do it again!
Voting unsuccessfully to repeal the Affordable Care Act THIRTY THREE times is an exercise in futility, and the House of Representatives has wasted approximately EIGHTY hours in doing nothing, two work weeks when they could have been working on job creation legislation!
This Congress has NOT passed any appropriations bills by the deadline of October 1 in 2011, and will not by October 1, 2012, as things stand!
The failure to provide for the future of our infrastructure–roads, bridges, subway systems, and airports– is a major problem for the long term.
Two Congressional experts, Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein, have written a book condemning the paralysis of the 112th Congress, saying it is the worst performance they have witnessed in 40 years of covering Congress!
In sum, the 112th Congress is an embarrassment, and there is no sign of any improvement in the future, particularly if the split Congress continues into the future!