Tag: U.S. Congress

H.L. Mencken Knocks Congress Out of the Park

Occasionally you come across a piece of writing that is timeless in its message. The below column by H.L. Mencken is such a piece of work.

He expounds all the faults of Congress in his time, but his message is just as applicable to Congress today.

As everyone focuses on the presidential election in two days, many forget the elections of 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and 33 members of the U.S. Senate are at least as important to the future of the country.

For example, we wouldn’t have a 20 trillion national debt if Congress had not passed the funding legislation and continuously raised the debt ceiling to pay for all the wars, social programs, corporate welfare and pure pork that makes up the federal budget each year.

Congress is where most of our problems lie and where voters know very little of what goes on. Yet, 400 or so of these incumbent Congressman and 25 or more of the incumbent Senators up for election will be sent back to Washington with little thought by the voters.

The problem with Congress has been with the country for a very long time as the column below demonstrates.

H.L. Mencken was one of the most influential journalists of the first half of the 20th Century. I don’t know the date of the below column, but Mencken suffered a stroke in 1948 and did no writing thereafter. This would make the column nearly 70 years old at least.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

H.L. Mencken: Choose Legislators Like We Do Jurors

Our Dysfunctional U.S. Congress

This week’s vote on raising the federal debt ceiling again demonstrated the U.S. Congress is totally dysfunctional.

It is important to remember that raising the debt ceiling only allows the U.S. Treasury to pay bills Congress has already authorized.

The real work of cutting federal spending must be done in the budget process and Congress passed on that in December 2013.

“Big Talk” Viewers on Tom Rice

Seventh District Representative Tom Rice has received mixed reviews from viewers of the television political talk show “Big Talk.”

One e-mail sent to the show criticized the handling of social media by Rice’s minions. According to the viewer, anyone attempting to put a critical comment on Rice’s Facebook.com page is quickly blocked from the site. Only praise of Tommy is allowed on the site. Sounds like a weird interpretation of Dr. Pangloss to me.

Another viewer e-mail, however, praised Rice’s resolution to have Congress sue President Obama for overstepping his presidential authority by liberal use of executive orders.

The Military and the Fiscal Cliff

As 2012 winds down, we are hearing hourly about the fiscal cliff that the U.S. economy is approaching if our current do-nothing Congress can’t reach a deal on taxes and expenditures.

While much of the present focus is on not raising any new tax revenue and cutting entitlement spending, an overall concept of a budget for the entire U.S. government seems to be seriously absent.

The current fiscal cliff crisis, if you wish to call it that, is two philosophies, left and right, banging heads while no one in Washington attempts to see the bigger picture.

One area which I believe needs further investigation, as well as a reasonable long term plan for what we wish to accomplish, is defense spending.