Congress Gone Bad

Yes, it has gotten out of hand.  This Congress is now officially labeled “the do nothing Legislature.”  If Americans ever needed proof that members of Congress do NOT have American citizens as the principal purpose of all they do at the Capitol, they have it now.  Congress is in its 3rd or 4th recess of 2017 (who’s counting?), while the Nation and the World boil over amid the multitude of furies facing many of the countries on Earth.  If you have been watching and listening to all that has come out of D.C. over the past few years, you would think that members of Congress never sleep they work such long hours and never have weekends for their families.  It’s time now to put the stamp on the envelope, the cork in the barrel, and close the lid on the toilet:  Congress ain’t getting it done…period.

Roll the clock back 8 years.  What was happening then?  Barack Obama was 5 months or so into his first term as President.  He had already spent billions of dollars on those “shovel ready jobs” that never materialized even though the money was all spent, he presided over the completion of the largest financial bailout in U.S. history by the government, and his plans were underway for massive federal government financial pandering to Obama supporters with trillions of taxpayer dollars in loans, financing, and startup dollars.   That came with a promise to jump start the economy with those dollars in bailouts and loan guarantees, and fix America’s crumbling infrastructure with those “shovel ready” job dollars.  None of this materialized.  And the deficit and the national debt started racing toward the $20 trillion mark at break-neck speed.

Fast forward to 2013.  Obama was 5 months or so into his second term as President.  Obamacare was in process, about to finally be rammed down the throats of Americans per a unanimous ratification by Congressional and Senate Democrats.  Unemployment mysteriously began to decline though the economy was tanking with virtual zero growth.  (It was later revealed that the unemployment rate decline was because millions of workers who could not find work simply stopped looking.  That dropped them off the Labor Department’s rolls of those unemployed which lowered the rate artificially)  Taxes soared making U.S. corporate tax rates the highest on the planet, the number of Americans on welfare and food stamps and those officially classified as living in poverty began to soar.  African American unemployment reached an all-time high, racial tension under Obama’s watchful eye began to escalate (and continues), and illegal immigration from Mexico and Central America skyrocketed as the President led the charge to get government dependency in the U.S. as high as possible virtually assuring permanent Democrat Party dominance at the polls.  And the U.S. military pullout from the Middle East allowed the “new” al Qaeda — ISIS — to fill in the vacuum left when Americans vacated.  Libya, Syria, and parts of Iraq have housed Earth’s nastiest terrorists bent on destroying all World freedom in the name of their God.

Back at home the G.O.P. (thanks to the Tea Party) wrestled control of Congress and the Senate away from the Dems.  With that gift from conservative voters came the promises from the Republicans to repeal and replace Obamacare, drastically cut taxes for private citizens and corporations, stop illegal immigration permanently, slash EPA and other regulations that had handcuffed business growth and stifled economic growth, and take the lead on obliterating ISIS.  All these promises came with an “IF” from Congress:  voters had to give the G.O.P. the White House.

Fast forward to 2017.  Voters gave the White House to a Republican and kept the G.O.P. in control of the House and Senate.  Certainly because of all the strength and power and political clout that came with total control of the Government, fulfillment of all of those G.O.P. promises would be well underway 5 months or so into a 100% Republican controlled government.  But it hasn’t happened.  And I’m hesitant to say this, but I will:  I doubt they WILL happen….at all.  Why?  Read along.

I recently had a conversation with a Republican freshman Congressman who just arrived in D.C. to facilitate in whatever ways he can the delivery of those Republican campaign promises to Americans in his district.  He has been severely disappointed at the power structure in the House of Representatives where “power is everything.”  I am fairly active politically and am pretty much confrontational.  (My call to him was to confront him regarding pending legislation that was controversial in his election campaign)  G.O.P. leadership had already in this young Congress led many in the Party astray with promises about specific pending legislation crafting and (without the help or knowledge of most of the Republican rank and file House members) prepared legislation to propose on several issues in disregard of scheduled meetings and promises of their inclusion in drafting this and other legislation.  He was shocked to tell me that he feels he would be hard pressed to identify more than 30 true Conservatives in this House of Representatives — and there are 240 Republicans in the House!  Maybe the number he gave came from his frustration.  But I know him well, and he knows how to count.  I am certain if he missed the number, he didn’t miss by 210.

So what is going on?  BIIIIGGG Washington — it’s plain and simple.  I am now of the belief that it matters not to our Legislators if they are Republicans, Democrats, or Independents, the fundamental objective they are guided by is to maintain status and power.  “Status and Power” are first in all they do:  meetings, legislation, voting, and negotiations.  There is no real divide in actual legislative actions between political philosophies there.  It’s as if they all know that even though Republicans control both Houses and the White House, the pendulum will swing soon and the balance of power will shift back to the Left.  When that happens, the Republicans want only to maintain as much of their status and power as possible so they can continue to stay at the table at which they really do some legislative work — enough to keep Republican voters from tossing them out of office — but they primarily must find ways to do their work symbolically as conservative legislators, but with very little or no substance at all.  None (or very few) will take the chance of losing their spot at the table by making waves and bucking this system that is deeply embedded in the fabric of Congress.

Let me ask you this:  can you name a single former member of the U.S. Senate or House of Representatives who is not wealthy, even though many went to Congress without wealth or with very little?  If you can think of any, please reply with that list in the comment section below.  If you have a list, I’ll bet it doesn’t take too long to read it.

I wish I was 25 years younger.  If I was, here’s what I’d do:  I’d start a new political party and call it simply “The American Party.”  It would from the get-go be structured to support true American conservative ideals with no compromises.  Examples?  Right to Life:  if a person truly believes that a baby in the womb is alive, there is absolutely NO way to justify abortion…period.  If you feel that way, you’d be eligible to be am “American Party” member.  Our forefathers created the House of Representatives to fill with local people who would commit 2 years of their lives to go to Washington to represent people in their towns.  After two years they were to be replaced by other local people who would do the same thing.  Senators were originally appointed by governors to each represent their state in government for 6 years.  The “American Party” would have a strict policy of term limits….period.  If you support term limits for House and Senate members, you’d be eligible to be a member.  Much of the graft and corruption — especially financially — in D.C. is initiated or perpetuated by lobbyists who basically buy legislative votes with favors of all kinds and campaign contributions.  The “American Party” would support the ban of lobbying and lobbyists totally from D.C.  It would be illegal for anyone to lobby a legislator.  That means no junkets, no lunches or dinners, no vacations, no scholarships for kids, no private jet use, and no contributions to legislators’ favorite “charities.”  If you support the ban of lobbying, you’d be eligible to be a member of “The American Party.”

There are many more pure conservative issues that based on their support of those issues, many of those 240 Republican House of Representatives campaigned and won their election.  Those issues would be fundamental foundation blocks (along with those above) in “The American Party.”  They include healthcare reform, income tax reform, income tax slashing for both corporations and individuals, strict immigration law enforcement, strict enforcement of all federal laws including statutory sentences, massive tort reform to slash predatory lawsuits perpetrated by attorneys that for years have included unrealistic financial rewards to litigants that much of are gobbled up by greedy lawyers.  The list goes on and on.

But the biggest and most important fundamental of “The American Party” is federal campaign finance.  You know the little box on your federal tax return that asks if you want to donate $2 to campaign funding?  Those $2 contributions would total ALL of the money candidates can use in campaigning for federal office.  “The American Party” would support formation of a non-partisan committee who would determine the split of those dollars between Presidential and Congressional and Senate races to be used for campaigns.  NO OUTSIDE CONTRIBUTIONS FOR THOSE RUNNING FOR OFFICE WOULD BE ALLOWED.

I don’t know if such a plan would work.  There are those who would say that the Tea Party tried this and though marginally successful threw in the towel.  They did make a difference and could have moved forward.  But politics took over and did what politics always does:  it protects politics with no regard (or very little) for voters except to make enough promises to win votes.

I must say, if we are going to right the ship on Capitol Hill, it will have to begin in Smalltown, America.  Capitol Hill is in this “thing” for one thing and one thing only:  “Capitol Hill.”  Yes, they listen to voters from their districts….sometimes.  Yes, they propose and vote on legislation like voters in their districts want….sometimes.  “Our” problem in D.C. is D.C. itself.  And D.C. is NOT going to fix D.C.  If it gets fixed, you and I will have to do it.

I’ve said this to you before, I’ll say it here, and you’ll hear me say it again:  “If not Us then Who.  If not Now then When?”

 


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