Congress is so divided it can't even pass a highway bill anymore

Discussion in 'In the News' started by Chuck, Apr 7, 2012.

  1. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    [​IMG] "Do we really want to live in a country where we have to stop and count how many barnacles are on your bridge before you decide whether to rebuild the bridge?"

    [FIMG=RIGHT][/FIMG]David Lightman - MCCLATCHYDC - April 5, 2012

    At one time, both parties could find common ground on things like highways. Is partisan bickering on everything better for our country? --Ed.

    Washington — Providing money for highways and infrastructure historically has been one of Congress' easiest tasks. After all, it gives every lawmaker a chance to go home, stand in front of a bumpy highway and explain how he or she is making life better.

    Not anymore.

    When Congress returns to Washington in mid-April after a spring recess, it plans to resume one of the fiercest and most consequential battles of this year: funding highways and infrastructure.... [RM][/RM]
  2. ALS

    ALS Super Moderator Staff Member

    It isn't the funding for the highways that gets the fighting going it is all the useless stuff these idiots try to fund by hiding it in these appropriations bills. Like all of us remember the bridge to nowhere up in Alaska? This is the problem in Congress there is so much garbage getting hidden in these bills, if the average constituent realized what the elected moron in his or her district was wasting money on they would be voted out at the next election.

    We had one of those in my district at the state level. He was one that pulled the old 3:00 am on Sunday morning, lets vote ourselves a nice fat pay raise. Well once it got out the next week almost all of the elected officials involved gave back the raise. This guy said he deserved it and wasn't giving it back. Well Mr. I've been in politics over twenty years and they would never vote me out was replaced by a twenty something four years ago. Ask the Republicans in 2006 and 2008, ask the Democrat's in 2010 and in November if this type of arrogance towards the public and their unbridled spending doesn't have ramifications.
  3. wick1ert

    wick1ert Well-Known Member

    The more the majority continue to vote extreme on both ends, the more commonplace (if it could even get more) this is going to become. The government and politics has become so much a disagreement with anyone but your own ideas and party that doing what is best for the country has totally disappeared. In the past, the parties were able to do something extremely unheard of: compromise. Those in congress had disagreements about how they felt things needed done and what needed done, but they would each give a little and come to an agreement. This has become so much a bickering contest, that sometimes I wish I could legally go up and punch them all in the face. I unfortunately don't sense that this is going to change anytime soon, and then we'll all be pointing the finger at each other as to the cause.
  4. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    ^ Well said!

    If I could, everybody on Capitol Hill would be sent home.
  5. GaryG

    GaryG Well-Known Member

    I've seen the problem for years now. Even my brother has demonstrated the serious problems by wanting the government to build the bridge to nowhere. It's too his property and he doesn't care about his own family. It's a brain malfunction that causes a son to screw his mother and father and their other kids to get ahead. Don't tell me it's both sides, it's the Republican brain set:

  6. wick1ert

    wick1ert Well-Known Member

    I'm not to the point where everyone would be sent home. However, anyone that's served over 8-10 years, absolutely. What really gets me, is those in DC are supposed to be looking out for the country as a whole, but they're each too worried about what each bill is going to bring to their backyard. Their goal is to make sure the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. I feel like they've lost their way over the years, and need to get back to what their purpose was intended to be.
  7. Ophbalance

    Ophbalance Administrator Staff Member

    I think the point of kicking them all out and starting fresh is to send a message. "Play nice, our every one of you bums is out on your keister". These folks need to be taught that they're working for the good of the American people and NOT the highest bidder.
  8. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Super Moderator Staff Member

    No, it's not the earmarks. Earmarks are an inefficiency, but they're a small slice of the pie. Here there is general agreement that there is not enough spending on infrastructure. The fighting is about transportation policy, taxation and oil.

    Democrats don't want more US oil production, want to raise fuel taxes and want fuel taxes also to pay for public transportation, cycle lanes and sidewalks because they want to see reduced dependency on oil and cars.

    Republicans want more US oil production, don't want to raise fuel taxes and don't want fuel taxes to pay for anything except pavement for cars because they think that it would be better for the economy and personal freedom.

    Now add unwillingness to compromise in a political system that requires either consensus or compromise (either of manifesto or principle) to pass a bill and you have stalemate.
  9. Blackbelt

    Blackbelt Well-Known Member

    Sorry, but that's the mindset that has gotten us where we are today.
  10. GaryG

    GaryG Well-Known Member

    I was on my computer and the TV was on when I started hearing this interview with the author of "The Republican Brain". As questions went back and forth, I seen many of the answers to why Republicans have a completely different mindset than me. Later I googled The Republican Brain and read more. Here are some of the links I found:

    The future doesn't look good!

  11. worthywads

    worthywads Don't Feel Like Satan, I am to AAA

    Thinking that any group can be defined as some singular and simplistic characteristics is the definition of stereotyping. I consider myself a libertarian republican but don't espouse most of the things on that lame brain chart, nor do any other republicans I know.

    If you take that chart serious, yes the future is indeed not looking good for the liberal brain.
  12. WriConsult

    WriConsult Super Moderator

    I agree that we have terrible polarization and can't get anything done, but to paraphrase Edward R. Murrow, I don't think there are two equal sides to this story.

    Sorry this isn't one of those "oh, there are problems on both sides" peacemaking posts, but it's not. Post a story on the front page about Congress being polarized, and I'm going to offer my opinion on why.

    It's pretty clear to me it is the Right that's has been unflinchingly unwilling to compromise, and they keep pushing the country further and further rightward, using irrelevant wedge social issues to divide us and distract from their economic agenda. Many Democrats are now taking positions to the right of Reagan and Nixon, and many Republicans are where the fringe John Birch Society was when I was growing up. Where we get polarized is only when liberals finally say "ENOUGH!!" and start pushing back.

    When the Republicans controlled the Senate (but with less than 60 seats) under Bush, they kept screaming "Nuclear option!" and threatening to change the rules of the Senate if Democrats dared even suggest a filibuster. And guess what ... the 'Pubs got bill after bill passed. Then in the first term under Obama, the Dems with 59 seats couldn't get anything done because the Republicans set a new record for actually filibustering. And guess what ... they stopped almost EVERYTHING, and the Dems haven't gotten jack-squat passed except for the horrible Obamacare corporate-Welfare compromise (how ironic that the Supremes just hinted that if we had instead passed ACTUAL socialized medicine, THAT would clearly have been constitutional! Got me crying in my beer over that one). If anything the Dems in Congress weren't the polarizers -- they were the wishy-washy compromisers, and those of us CITIZENS on the left were screaming "You're finally in charge, you wusses! Get a backbone and stand up for what you claim to believe in already!"
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2012
  13. ALS

    ALS Super Moderator Staff Member

    I'm going to have to get my hip waders on after that rant.

    The problem with have in congress is one nasty old man from Nevada.

    Harry Reid REFUSES to put up a Budget in the Senate. How long has it been since Harry and his democrat run Senate put up a budget? Oh that's right it's been 1044 days or over three years since Harry put up a budget or allowed a vote on any of Houses budgets.

    And your buddy Barack's latest budget was laughed out of both the House and the Senate with 100% of the Democrat's in the House and 100% of the Democrat's in Senate voting against the Presidents Budget. The Democrat's couldn't even stomach the wasteful spending he was proposing.

    The only ones not compromising is the members Democrat Senate and the President.
  14. GaryG

    GaryG Well-Known Member

    Agree with everything here including the change that the Dems need to stop being wusses. The voters are going to toss the Republican Congress for not allowing Obama to put the Country back to work. This assault on women was the last straw for the Republicans for this next election.

  15. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    this is good, and we still have quite a ways to go. Its refreshing that you use the word Liberals instead of Progressives. I am tired of so many years of RINOs.
  16. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    I see a big train wreck ahead.

    We have to change Social Security.

    We have to provide health care, but without it becoming a fiscal blackhole - i.e. wellness ... if you let yourself go, you pay.

    We have to reduce defense spending - i.e. get out of Iran and Afghanistan without losing ASAP. And not get into another war unless we are clearly in danger.

    Congress has to listen to Main Street more than Wall Street.

    I see a good chance of America becoming a 2nd-rate power while partisans bicker in a blame-game.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2012
  17. ILAveo

    ILAveo Well-Known Member

    Did I understand the article right? It seemed to say that Rand Paul sponsored "pig in a poke" legislation. That is, he wanted to end requirements to study projects before deciding to build them.
  18. Blackbelt

    Blackbelt Well-Known Member

    That sums things up rather well IMO.
  19. JusBringIt

    JusBringIt Be Inspired

    I moved here ten years ago, so I haven't really had the chance to be influenced by one particular party. I consider myself independent. There are things that the current president does that I don't agree with, however, this is miniscule compared to the ridiculous actions of the politicians on the republican side of the fence. It started with the war in Iraq...That never made any sense to me then as a 17 year old, it still doesn't make sense to me today. Their commercials against the dems prior to the election of President Obama. Reminds me of the "My name is Ram and my tank is full" commercials. It just makes you boil when people say and do things that are just obviously ridiculous. Their lies that comfort the minds of those too frustrated to think, the apparent lack of humanity, the...I'll stop there before I get in trouble.

    There are people on the right who are still sane...but for the most part, that party has taken a nosedive into oblivion. How then can one say my thoughts are irrational, when:

    American citizens be damned....
  20. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Super Moderator Staff Member

    Actually, it was all tactical. The Republicans stripped out the guts of the budget detail and brought it to a vote in an attempt to trap the Democrats into voting for a budget that looked like tax-and-spend. To avoid that the Democrats all voted against it.

    The simple fact that the Republicans publicly oppose returning the top tax rate to the level it was at before two trillion-dollar wars, in the face of rapidly rising healthcare and energy costs and economic statistics indicating a sharp contrast in fortunes across the earning spectrum tells me that the Republicans are not compromising.

    They could have publicly offered a temporary deal to help cover the total costs of the wars (which weren't included in budgeting at the time the taxes were reduced), but no, they stick to cross-your-fingers trickle-down economics, ignoring the last 10 years of trickle-up and survival-of-the-cheapest, 50 years of short-termism and demand austerity measures that will have a greater effect proportionally on people on lower incomes.

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