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Current views on Congress show American naivety

by Greg Belfrage


Congress has adjourned for its August recess and the reviews aren't favorable. Headlines across the web this weekend blasted Congress as one of the most unproductive in history.

In fact, Americans are so angry with Congress that they want to throw out every single member and replace them. Americans are great at playing the blame game.

These types of childish ideas might make for interesting poll results and heated conversation, but they bring us no closer to solving the country's problems.

Americans are apparently upset that Congress isn't getting their work done.

The fact that Congress is unproductive shouldn't anger anyone. By design, it is supposed to be difficult to get pieces of legislation passed.

If you define work as raising taxes, increasing regulation, spending more money and growing the size of the federal bureaucracy then I'm grateful Congress accomplished so little.

It's easy to throw rocks at Congress. They're even easier to hate than Justin Bieber.

However, there are some important underlying reasons Congress has become unproductive.

Political differences in Congress mirror the divide in the rest of the country. The chasm between left and right is growing. Those differences are going to be magnified in Congress where the nation's policy is being made.

Washington's obsession with comprehensive pieces of legislation is another problem. Instead of identifying things on which members of Congress agree, we get bills totaling hundreds of pages. Each side packs far more into it than their political opponents will tolerate.

Congress could accomplish a lot more if they identified things on which they agreed and passed those items in clean bills.

Finally, there's a serious unwillingness to compromise on nearly every issue.

Our country is facing serious problems. AndCongress can't begin solving them as long as Americans are so divided on the best path to posterity.

Greg Belfrage @belfrageshow is heard 6am-9am on KELO 1320 AM and 107.9 FM. Greg can be contacted at greg.belfrage@mwcradio.com

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Teaser photo credit: KELO staff photo