The 112th Congress is about to get started. As always, it is accompanied with hope and aspiration that the right issues will be handled in an effective way. What is important this year? Is it the same thing as last year? Or the year before?
This year will be different. The Republicans will be in charge of the House of Representatives. Already, the Democrats are asking the new speaker of the house, John Boehner, where are the jobs? Yes, job creation is probably the biggest issue facing the country today. And yes, we need results now. But, what were the Democrats doing for the past two years? Weren't they swept into office with an assignment and an agenda to get America out of the recession? Even though the recession has technically ended a year and a half ago, most consumer behavior reflects that of still being in the recession. So, whatever happened to hope? What happened to the change that we wanted to believe it? The time came for change again.
The Republicans are going to charge into office with a quick agenda of their own. In an early expected vote, the Republicans will bring up a bill to repeal Obamacare. Being the crown jewel of the first half of Obama's term, a full repeal is not expected. But it should send a signal. It should send a sign that Americans still do not like this behemoth of an overhaul bill. The liberal opposition to the repeal is based on circular logic. The Democrats will argue that the congressional budget office scored this bill originally as being a bill that will reduce annual budget deficits in the long run. The Liberals will look no further. People argue that if this bill is repealed, the Republicans, who are currently the party of reduced federal spending, will be voting to increase the deficit. This is certainly shortsighted.
The health-care reform bill came with many taxes and assumptions. It also came with $1 trillion of spending. So, by repealing the bill, you will also repeal the spending. Isn't this how it should be looked at? The CBO score is also based on the assumption that the Bush tax cuts would be let expire. This way, Democrats can increase taxes without having to fight direct tax increases. But it backfired on them. And not having a new CBO score to go by, but Democrats argue on last year's rhetoric.
The Republicans know that they are on probation. If they do not deliver on commonsense solutions that are acceptable to the American people, they will be thrown out of office in two years just like they were in 2006 and 2008. It will be back and forth, back and forth. If we stay polarized as a nation, every election cycle will be a pull in the other direction.
Then there is the bright idea that things should be made easier to get through Congress. Get rid of the filibuster rule. This is the stupidest idea that progressives come up with. We are supposed to make it easier to shove through a bunch of regulations and unpopular laws that are going to cost us a lot of money both short-term and long-term that will be made more difficult to get rid of? This is progress?
It should be an interesting couple of months. We'll see how a split government will get things done and move forward. If we move forward. And after things start to get boring, it will be time to kick off the presidential election. In case nothing gets done, there will always be anticipation of someone who might.