The Good News: Congress Has Enacted Record-Low 52 Laws This Year. The Bad News? Congress Has Enacted 52 Laws This Year.

USA Today
reports that

Congress is on track to beat its own low record of productivity,
enacting fewer laws this year than at any point in the past 66

It’s a continuing slide of productivity that began in 2011,
after Republicans recaptured the House majority in the 2010
elections, and the ability to find common ground has eluded the two
parties while the legislative to-do list piles up.

The 112th Congress, covering 2011-12, emerged as the least
productive two-year legislating period on record, while 2013 is on
track to become the least productive single year in modern

The horror, the horror! Rarely does a news story unmask the
problem with simplistic tallies of efficiency or productivity.
Given the thousands of laws and hundreds of thousands of
regulations on the books already, why exactly should we egging
Congress on further? There’s certainly been no shortage of landmark
legislation that has passed this century, almost all of it awful
from virtually any perspective. The PATRIOT Act, Sarbanes-Oxley,
Medicare Part D, TARP, Obama’s stimulus (as distinct from Bush’s
smaller yet equally awful 2008 legislation), Dodd-Frank, The
Affordable Care Act – these are ginormous laws whose lasting
effects seem to be bankrupting the country and eviscerating all
remnants of limited government.

The USAT story quotes an analyst who doesn’t see much hope for
gridlock to dissipate anytime in the next few years. Which is, I
guess, some small crumb for which to be thankful.

from Hit & Run

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