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Saturday, March 2, 2013
The U.S. Constitution clearly lists powers relating to fiscal, monetary and tax policies as congressional responsibilities (some duties specific to the House of Representatives), and further, does not even require an executive budget. Congress went along with the sequestration without smart cuts. But a weak Congress always shifts blame to a president to mask its own failings.
Ironically, if a president does engage Congress — what lawmakers claim they want — members quickly howl “dictator,” ranting that he tramples their precious legislative authority. They cannot have it both ways. They must actually govern. Clearly, this Congress cannot.
Name-calling, posturing, obstructing, can-kicking and finger-pointing yields lots of toxic drama, but not good governance. Congress hopes grandstanding will fool most while mature, sensible politicians face marginalization even from their own party. Those who remain often retire, largely out of frustration.
Only some, like Sen. Mark Warner, attempt to quietly do the nation’s business. Republicans have given in on taxes? Barely. Democrats reform entitlements? Hardly. Common sense and a balanced approach demonized? Sadly.
But we did elect this illustrious, but failing, body, which now mirrors our own uncivil dysfunction. Perhaps Congress needs a get-real session with Dr. Phil.
E. A. PAULL
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