The most successful Obama campaign meme–repeated ad infinitum by the mainstream media–is the idea that the country is saddled with a “do-nothing Congress.”
The implication–brilliantly conveyed, though completely untrue–is that we have a “do-nothing Republican Congress,” though in fact the Republican-controlled House of Representatives has been extremely active.
It would be more accurate to say that we have a “do-nothing Senate“–by design, since it’s clear that the Demcorats’ leaders in the Senate believe that legislative gridlock works to their political advantage. It’s been nearly 1000 days since the Demcorat-controlled Senate even passed a budget–a violation of the Congressional Budget Act.
With tomorrow’s official unemployment number looming, and with today’s ADP employment report for December 2011 suggesting some improvement could be on the way, it’s worth asking what happened to Obama’s “Jobs Bill”–without which, he warned, “there will be fewer jobs.” Voters wanted Washington “to do something big and something bold,” Obama said–even if it was a stimulus packed with boondoggles and bailouts, much like the “Porkulus” that launched the Tea Party.
Lo and behold–there is a little bit of life in the job market; manufacturing is improving moderately; and consumer confidence, while still shaky, is up significantly from where it was when Obama was demanding his jobs bill.
And no jobs bill was enacted.
The American economy, fueled by the irrepressible energy of American entrepreneurs and workers in our still-free economy, is beginning to rebuild–as it likely would have, if it had been allowed to do so.
No doubt Obama will try to take credit for whatever improvement takes place–though the only parts of his jobs bill that passed were approved by the Republican-controlled House, as Democrats in the Senate delayed bringing it to a vote.
The truth is that Obama never cared about passing a jobs bill, and that the legislation was designed to fail. What he wanted–and achieved–was a campaign-worthy confrontation with Congress that has continued to the present day.
But by stopping the jobs bill (a.k.a Porkulus II) in the midst of a debt crisis, and preventing Democrats from raising income tax rates in a weak economy, the “do-nothing [Republican] Congress” created the (relatively) more stable fiscal and economic conditions that have allowed the American economy to regain a bit of its strength and confidence.
The economy is still in awful shape–thanks partly to the damage done by Democrats in the last Congress through ObamaCare and Dodd-Frank; and by hyper-regulation in every domain in which Obama has tried to circumvent the legislature. The Senate’s intransigence on House-approved economic bills is also a major legislative impediment to growth.
But aside from the Democrat-controlled Senate, the “do-nothing Congress” has worked out fairly well. It is certainly better than the “do-everything Congress” that ruled from 2007 to 2011 and which presided over massive job losses, enormous deficits, and expanding regulations.
No more bailouts + no new taxes = better economic prospects.
Two cheers for a “do-nothing Congress”!
UPDATE: The Labor Department reported this morning that the economy added 200,000 jobs in December. While some of these jobs were related to the Holidays and are temporary, it was still a good report overall. Funny how the economic data keep improving the longer Obama’s latest policy proposals languish.