Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Guest editorial: Nation needs functioning Congress

4:44 PM, Oct. 3, 2013  |  Comments
  • Filed Under

This past week may have been a low point for the United States Congress.

If ever there was a time when the nation needed a steady hand from the legislators who set the course for its national government, it is now.

The five-year anniversary of the worst recession since the Great Depression was observed, yet the economy is still struggling to get out of the doldrums. The jobs that once powered the engine of America's middle class have been replaced by low-paying jobs in the service industries that do not come with benefits or any meaningful prospects for a bright financial future or a secure retirement.

Meanwhile, Congress has sunk into a morass of partisan feuding and appears incapable of doing anything to deal with any of these critical needs.

Perhaps one of the most pathetic examples was the vote in the House of Representatives on a resolution to keep the government funded. The resolution was necessary because, otherwise, the government would shut down. That is because Congress has failed to pass a budget for years. This something that every state, city, school district and well-managed company must do. But not our national government.

The House Republicans could not see fit to pass even the continuing resolution without sticking a thumb in the eye of Democrats and the president by refusing to appropriate enough money to pay for the new national health care reform law that will repair America's broken health insurance system.

This will not be the end of the budget wars.

Next, Congress must pass legislation raising the limit on the amount of debt the federal government can issue to pay its bills. Republicans have threatened to push the nation into default before, and they are threatening to do it again.

Do not expect a thoughtful debate over what to do about deficit spending, however, because that would require members of Congress - in both parties - to admit that the issue is not just spending at the margins, on discretionary programs, but the big-ticket items like the Pentagon, interest on the debt and entitlements for health care for the elderly and the poor.

The battle over the budget is simply the latest and most visible sign of the failure of Congress to perform its constitutional duties. Lawmakers in Washington seem incapable of doing anything anymore. Some of it is owing to the radical elements within the Republican Party that see bringing the U.S. government to its knees as a sign of glory. Some of it is the filibuster rule in the Senate that prevents either party from moving essential legislation without a supermajority vote.

Why do Americans put up with this?

It is time to stop the insanity. Voters should hold politicians to account. If lawmakers will not fix this broken Congress, they do not deserve our votes.

What's your take on the Packers Family Night change?

Retrieving results.
Watching practice is fine.(Your vote)
15%
576 votes
I'd rather watch a scrimmage.(Your vote)
23%
856 votes
I don't want to pay to watch practice.(Your vote)
27%
1017 votes
It doesn't matter to me.(Your vote)
34%
1271 votes

Catch up on the latest in our pregame show every game day.

Football fans

If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports

ORDER YOURS

Football fans

If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports