American Elephants

So Long, Goodbye, and Good Riddance! by The Elephant's Child

The 111th Congress if officially over, and according to Gallup, it is officially the worst Congress in the history of polling.  A 13% approval rating is not exactly a badge of merit.  Those who still hail its accomplishments are those who voted for those “accomplishments” in the first place.  Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) says she is proud of the legislation she has passed.

So just what were those accomplishments that she finds so satisfying?

1. ObamaCare was supposed to be the remedy for everything wrong with American health care.  There wasn’t much wrong with American health care, which was widely recognized as the best in the world.  They tossed around figures like the infant mortality rate, ignoring the fact that Americans count every baby born alive — as a live birth, and try to save the baby, no matter how small.  Other countries have cut-off points — too small, or too early and it’s not a live birth, nor deserving of  expensive care.  Nothing about the bill promises to work.  Costs will increase sharply, wait times will skyrocket, seniors will lose access, and the legislation that nobody wants will mean trillions of dollars of new spending.
2. The Stimulus The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was promised to create 3.5 million jobs by the end on 2910.  Economists have shown that it accomplished nothing at all.  The money paid down some debts, but the unemployment rate is still 9.8% , and Obama has admitted that there weren’t any “shovel-ready” projects.  It was a waste.
3. $3.2 Trillion of New Debt. $10,429.64 for every American man, woman and child who was counted in the census.  That’s more debt than was created by the previous 110 Congresses combined.  The total debt by the last day of  the 111th Congress: $13,859 trillion!
4.Wall Street Reform. Democrats weren’t about to accept the idea that the financial crisis was caused by government actions.  The most convenient target was Wall Street. The Dodd/Frank bill created 243 new rule makings by 11 federal agencies, a bonanza for lobbyists and lawyers, and failed to address the real problems of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the real problem of “too big to fail.” It does nothing to prevent future government bailouts, and makes a TARP like bailout system permanent.
5. Government Union Bailouts: Union management has been hugely supportive of Democrat candidates, but the extent of the payback at $2.6 billion in the summer of 2010 for government unions and profligate states was excessive at $26.1 billion.  These funds were theoretically going to “save” jobs, but jobs weren’t actually at risk.

Last year’s Omnibus Bill contained over 9,287 earmarks for such as a tattoo removal program in Mission Hills CA.  Cash for Clunkers cost taxpayers $3 billion, or $24,000 per car.  Cap-and-Trade was intended to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide in the hope of curbing global warming. Fortunately failed, but would have raised gas prices by 58% and average household electric rates by 90% by 2035, while accomplishing nothing.  Obama hopes to accomplish it by EPA regulation.  New START seems to be an ill-advised give-away to the Russians, damaging our missile defense, but much remains to be seen.  The Russians understanding of the bill seems to be at odds with what Obama claims for it.

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