Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Republican incompetence

Republicans control every branch of the federal government. They control the White House and the Executive Branch, they control both the House and Senate in the Legislative Branch and they have seven of the nine seats on the Supreme Court appointed by Republicans.

And yet they are so incompetent when it comes to running the government that they have allowed unfinished bills to pile up in Congress with no prayer of passage before the year is out. This is causing some major headaches for some small business owners as illustrated in a story in the Sept. 7 Wall Street Journal, page A4. The story tells about a CEO of a shoe company in Wisconsin who has seen his import duties more than double to 19 percent this summer as Congressional leaders have dithered with tax changes needed to comply with international trade rules.

The story goes on to show the huge backlog of legislation facing lawmakers:

“As lawmakers return from their national conventions, the pile of unfinished bills - and warnings from frustrated voters - is mounting. No budget has been approved for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, and only one of 13 annual appropriation bills has been enacted (Defense). Amid high oil prices, energy legislation is stalled, and an entire construction season has passed without action on highway funding.”

Of course, the Republicans are trying to blame this on Democrats, but the WSJ story is quick to dismiss this nonsense as just “a calculated strategy to motivate conservative voters...”

“The majority (Republicans) has become so unyielding at times that it seems more devoted to tagging Democrats with the obstructionist label than to getting legislation passed. Bills have been abandoned rather than let Democrats have the votes on amendments they demand, such as on minimum-wage increases or rules protecting workers’ rights to overtime.”

Republicans feuding and turf battles are the real culprit. That and the general incompetence of Republicans in government.

“The complaints about Democrats ignore the fact that internal Republican differences also cause delays...
The Highway Bill, for example, is hung up in a dispute between Republican Senators and the White House over its cost. In the energy debate, oil-state Republicans, led by House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas, are in a dispute with Northeastern Republican Senators such as Judd Gregg of New Hampshire.”

These are the same Republicans who have squandered the record surpluses left by the Clinton administration and left us with a record $422 billion deficit.

So what do Republican leaders plan to do during the final months of the year with all this critical work still left undone? Well let’s see.... Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist wants to vote on a Constitutional amendment to ban flag burning for the umpteenth time, and House Majority Leader Tom DeLay is pushing to bring up a vote on a Constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

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