Partisan Gridlock or Common Sense?

March 2, 2010 at 12:18 (Congress, Economy, News)

Most people can see that there are larger issues at stake than just ‘partisan gridlock‘. We have two competing sets of ideas (sometimes with less difference between the two than we like). One set of ideas increases spending almost haphazardly and grows government to a size that would horrify and offend most Americans in history, and then uses simple minded emotional pleas to justify it if ever called on it (I guarantee you we will hear sound bytes about how this lone senator is trying to hurt the poor people for no reason at all, and some obligatory poor people will be trotted out to boot). The other idea is one of smaller government and decreased spending. A simple logical look will tell you which is superior, but logic has nothing to do with this idiocy.

The fact that this is a big issue at all actually says more about the mind of America than it does about anything else. Apparently, America is incapable of seeing the big picture, or seeing the deeper meanings inherent in the increase in government size and spending over the last few decades. People see individual, specific cases and do not seem to know how to apply that to the larger picture. So the issue now will be ‘a lone senator being mean to jobless people’ rather than looking at the deeper and more fundamental truths. That of course is encouraged by the left, who know that mindless emotion and dependency on the government are their keys to the halls of power. If those fundamental truths were examined and acted upon, there would probably be much less need for jobless aid to begin with anyway, but that also will not occur to most people. Sad, really, and doesn’t offer much hope for the future.

The Senate tied itself in knots Monday as it tried to get around a single lawmaker’s objection to a spending bill, a showdown that has become emblematic of capital’s partisan gridlock.

Sen. Jim Bunning (R., Ky.) again blocked a $10 billion bill that would have extended unemployment benefits and other programs after halting its progress last week. And on Monday, the impact of his blockade started biting, with the expiration of benefits to 100,000 people and the suspension of 41 transportation projects across the country.

Mr. Bunning is holding things up by objecting to a “unanimous consent” request to advance the bill quickly, a routine maneuver for moving legislation forward that requires all senators to go along.

As the $10 billion measure foundered, Senate leaders began debating another, more than $145 billion bill that would achieve some of the same ends, including prolonging unemployment insurance until year’s end. A vote on that bill is expected by Friday, and lawmakers hope to make it retroactive so that jobless workers would still get their benefits, albeit delayed.

Even so, those who lost benefits might have to reapply, resulting in delays from three weeks to two months, according to Andrew Stettner, deputy director of the National Employment Law Project, a left-leaning advocacy and research group.


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