Commentary: Remember When Lawmakers Made Laws?

The failure of the Super Committee reveals the problem of inactivity as the new norm in Washington.

Posted: 11/22/2011 06:20 PM EST
Filed Under Congress, election

For Congress, setting and missing a new deadline has become the new norm in the nation’s capital. The debt ceiling debacle, which jeopardized the credit-worthiness of the federal government over the summer, was only a prelude to the activity or rather, inactivity of so-called super committee this week.

 

The select group of 12 members of Congress was charged with the task of coming to an agreement about slashing $1.2 trillion in government spending over the next decade. But classically partisan disagreements over taxes and entitlements produced the type of stalemate that rendered the effort impotent.

 

It appears that this defeat has come without consequence to the august body hand-picked to deal with this matter. To use a school analogy, they gave their final exam back to the teacher incomplete. So when will their failing grade count against them?

 

Even the president has become increasingly agitated when he believes Congress has failed to act.  Think of all the times he’s tried to threaten Congress into action. He’s even gone so far as to urge the public to bombard their members’ phone lines when he needed to enlist the masses to prompt members into action.

 

Countless surveys have underscored the country’s persistent displeasure with the way Congress is doing its job. A recent CBS/New York Times poll found that only nine percent of Americans approved of the job Congress is doing.

 

Yet time after time, legacy members are allowed to stay in office. Voters have the ultimate power but somehow their displeasure and outrage does not seem to materialize in a manner that prompts lawmakers to actually make laws.

 

From the vantage point of many, it appears that Congress has shirked its responsibilities and is turning a deaf ear to all the criticism that bombards the hallowed halls of the Capitol as of late. 

 

How long will it take the electorate to truly use its power of influence and breathe life into the politicians they put in office? That chance will come on Nov. 6, 2012; at the polls.

 

The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of BET Networks.

 

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(Photo: KEVIN LAMARQUE/LANDOV)

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