Chart of the Day

(via Maddowblog)

In his second term, President Harry Truman condemned the snail’s pace at which lawmakers actually got some work done, labeling it a “Do-Nothing” Congress. After all, the 80th Congress (1947-1948) only passed 906 bills over its two-year period.

The current Congress, by comparison, has passed just 196 bills, easily the lowest total since the U.S. House Clerk’s office started keeping track.

Considering that the House of Representatives will have virtually the same leadership structure during the next session of congress as it did during the current session, there’s no reason to expect the House will be any more productive in 2013 and 2014 as it was in 2011 and 2012.

John Boehner, Eric Cantor, and the Tea Party will still be calling the shots.

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  • i_am_allwrite

    I think Bob’s post a week or so re: progressives being willing to go over the cliff was off the mark. Economic growth will slow, and we MIGHT have a quarter or two of negative growth–which doesn’t constitute a recession, but that’s only if the lower rate isn’t restored to the lower 98% in January, which it will be. If we go over the cliff, teabaggers aren’t going to vote against restoring the Bush cuts to 98% of Americans in January.
    The risk of a minor recession is real, but the upside of not blinking is ENORMOUS.

    All recessions are not created equal. If the last one was Chris Christie’s ass, the double dip would be Kate Moss’. And it would leave Republicans on the defensive for years. After failing their overlords on maintaining tax rates for the wealthy, they would be in the awkward position of advocating spending INCREASES to undo sequestration on behalf of military contractors. And they’ll get it, but they’ll have to give way more than they get.

    • BD

      What do you believe will happen when foreign debt holders believe our economic system to be insolvent and no longer rollover T-bills? Attempts to appreciate such foreign debt either results in honoring such payments with trillions rushing into the monetary base or not honoring promises to pay in full with a complete rejection globally of the dollar. In any case, the interest rates will need to increase, sooner or later, from near zero to higher (potentially much higher) levels. It was only a little over three decades ago when interest rates went to 20% and if you can imagine such a scenario within the next 1-5 years, I would argue that the rhetoric of a “minor recession” is complete nonsense, as the true term today and tomorrow is a “depression”.

      • muselet

        Bullshit.

        First, foreign investors hold less than 34% of total US debt. China (Be afraid! Be very afraid!) holds less than 8%. Sources:

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/jul/15/us-debt-how-big-who-owns
        http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2011/07/21/who-owns-america-hint-its-not-china/

        Second, foreign investors have no better place to put their money (sure as hell they’re not going to invest in the Eurozone—austerity makes investors very nervous, and I doubt you grasp the irony). You doubt? Interest rates on US Treasuries are effectively negative and the US has no trouble selling them. Unless the Rs do something apocalyptically stupid in order to blame Barack Obama for something, investors aren’t going to be dumping Treasuries. The only other way that might happen would be if some other economy started booming, and that’s not going to happen unless the world economy booms (which isn’t going to happen unless the Rs pull the finger out and begin to act as if they care about the United States and its economy).

        The sky isn’t falling and it’s not likely to fall for quite some time if we as a nation don’t listen to idiots and charlatans.

        Please go away, BD. You’re boring and you’re stupid and you have nothing whatever to add to the conversation. Any conversation.

        –alopecia

        • muselet

          Damn. Nearly forgot.

          Third, US indebtedness is valued in US dollars. If we didn’t care about destroying the economy of the rest of the world, we could simply devalue our currency and pay off our debt with (relatively) worthless dollars. Doing so would be unspeakably stupid, but we could do it; no matter what, we could pay off our debt, foreign and domestic.

          Go away.

          –alopecia

  • i_am_allwrite

    You supply siders are so fucking obtuse. You’ve been crying wolf (inflation!) for four years! Your economic theory is the modern equivalent of alchemy. After 30 years it’s time to admit that you can’t turn lead into gold, and that lead exposure has permanently brain-damaged your children.
    Dumbass motherfucking douchebag!