Governing is all about compromise and priorities, and 2013 was a historic year for the do-nothing Congress.
The fact that they accomplished less than any Congress in history is certainly historic, but it’s not because they didn’t introduce bills. The Tea Party Republicans in the House of Representatives introduced bills to eliminate the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) 47 times. In fact, they spent more hours trying to kill Obamacare than they spent working on any other problem that America faces.
Here are some of the problems that they did nothing about:
The fact that 20 million Americans can’t find full-time work.
The fact that America now has the highest inequality of wealth in history.
The fact that our military expenditures are roughly equal to that of every other country combined, even though we face no conceivable threat of invasion, and we spend approximately $50 billion annually spying largely on ourselves.
The fact that the Arctic ice cap is disappearing, the release of methane greenhouse gas from tundra is snowballing (‘snowballing’ — hah!), and global temperatures may rise by 10 degrees by the end of the century.
The fact that there are so many corporate income tax loopholes that corporate tax revenue is at its lowest in 50 years.
The fact that according to some tests, American students have the lowest math scores in the entire developed world.
The fact that the federal minimum wage buys less today than it did in 1968, and the bottom 20 percent has a far lower household income today than it did in 1999.
They say, “After we repeal Obamacare, we’re going to do something.” But nothing about the 50 million Americans who can’t see a doctor when they’re sick.
So it may seem that these self-described “Tea Party Republicans” are doing nothing about nothing. But they’re actually doing nothing about everything.
Will that work?
No. All of these problems have solutions, but none of them is going to solve itself.
Whatever happened to the congressmen (and women) who understand that only compromise and working together solves problems?