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Can't argue with results!

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by mc mark, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. mc mark

    mc mark Contributing Member

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    On this momentous morning when President Obama signs repeal of DADT, it's with noting how much got done in the 111th congress. Say what you will, the Pelosi/Reid lead congress did more for America in the face of constant obstruction since the the Great Society legislation of the 1960s!

    Way to go Democrats!

    No Congress Since 1960s Makes Most Laws for Americans as 111th

    However history judges the 535 men and women in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate the past two years, one thing is certain: The 111th Congress made more law affecting more Americans since the “Great Society” legislation of the 1960s.

    For the first time since President Theodore Roosevelt began the quest for a national health-care system more than 100 years ago, the Democrat-led House and Senate took the biggest step toward achieving that goal by giving 32 million Americans access to insurance. Congress rewrote the rules for Wall Street in the most comprehensive way since the Great Depression. It spent more than $1.67 trillion to revive an economy on the verge of a depression, including tax cuts for most Americans, jobs for more than 3 million, construction of roads and bridges and investment in alternative energy; ended an almost two-decade ban against openly gay men and women serving in the military, and is poised today to ratify a nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia.

    For all of its ambitious achievement, the 111th Congress, which may adjourn this week, also witnessed a voter-backlash driven by a 9.6-percent unemployment rate that cost Democrats control of the House and diminished their Senate majority.

    “This is probably the most productive session of Congress since at least the ‘60s,” said Alan Brinkley, a historian at New York’s Columbia University. “It’s all the more impressive given how polarized the Congress has been.”

    As lawmakers wrap up the session, Wall Street firms such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. are positioned to complete their best two years in revenue, General Motors Co. has emerged from bankruptcy with more than $23 billion repaid to the U.S. Treasury, and American International Group Inc. was able to sell $2 billion of bonds in its first offering since the company’s 2008 bailout.

    Market Performance

    The S&P 500 Index has gained 38.9 percent since Congress convened in January 2009, the biggest increase for a two-year congressional session since 1997-1998, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The S&P 500 Index reached 1254.60 yesterday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average 11533.16.

    Stimulus money created and saved jobs across the country, helping strapped state governments retain their workforces, according to government analyses. President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers said that in Ohio, for instance, the legislation created 122,000 jobs for teachers, police officers and construction workers.

    “These policies carried the economy along during a period when the private sector was not engaged,’ said Ethan Harris, head of developed-markets economic research in New York at BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research.

    Election Results

    The careers of many lawmakers didn’t fare so well. Fiscally conservative Tea Party activists channeled their frustration with government spending and debt into political campaigns, most often to the benefit of Republicans challenging Democratic incumbents. In the Nov. 2 elections, Democrats lost 63 House seats, costing their party control of the chamber in next year’s Congress. In the Senate, the Democratic majority was shaved by six seats; the party will have 53 votes in next year’s session, Republicans 47.

    “What we did was work, and our reward was, ‘Get out of here,’” said Representative Louise Slaughter, a New York Democrat and outgoing chairwoman of the House Rules Committee. While Slaughter won re-election, five of her New York colleagues were among Democrats defeated.

    Party-line votes on most of the major measures engendered ill will among Republicans and helped stall in the Senate initiatives requiring significant bipartisan support. Blocked legislation included limits on greenhouse-gas emissions that scientists blame for global warming, a bill the House passed in June 2009, a measure offering undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship and the administration’s attempts to curb growing income inequality with tax increases for higher earners.

    Republican Agenda

    Those are unlikely to be tackled next year, when the House’s Republican majority will turn its attention to dismantling the health-care law and cutting domestic government spending by $100 billion.

    Congress this year was also unable to approve a single one of the 12 annual appropriations bills that fund the government.

    “I think it was a disaster,” said Senator Jeff Sessions, an Alabama Republican, of the congressional session.

    Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois, the chamber’s No. 2 Democratic leader, saw it differently: “This whole two-year session has been dramatic in terms of its achievement and the changes that it’s brought about.”

    End of Era

    The policies embraced by the 111th Congress suggested the end of an era in Washington, as Democrats pushed to reverse three decades of deregulation that began under President Ronald Reagan, say economists.

    “We’ve been in a trend toward an attempt to deregulate the economy,” said Harris. “You’re turning back the clock to an earlier period.”

    The scope of regulations approved since Obama took office has made business hesitant to expand and hire new workers, he said. “Business is overwhelmed,” said Harris.

    Congress scored its first big accomplishment weeks after Obama’s inauguration with passage in late February 2009 of a $814 billion stimulus bill. It has created or saved 3.3 million jobs, according to the Congressional Budget Office, while also steering more funds to road construction, broadband technologies and renewable energy ventures.

    New Customers

    The health-care legislation approved last March provided insurers including WellPoint Inc. of Indianapolis and drug- makers such as Pfizer Inc. of New York millions of new customers by requiring that all Americans have health insurance. These industries, as well as medical device-makers, will also face billions of dollars in new fees, and hospitals face a host of new standards designed to help curb soaring costs.

    The health-care law is facing legal challenges, with the insurance provision a key dispute.

    An overhaul of the rules governing the financial services industry, approved in July, aims to prevent a repeat of an economic collapse that led to the failures of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and Washington Mutual Inc. It included $4 billion in aid to help thousands of unemployed property owners avoid foreclosure, while the program has fallen short of its goals.

    Congress also passed laws to help ensure pay equity by enabling women to pursue lawsuits claiming they were underpaid, and to empower the federal Food and Drug Administration to regulate the tobacco industry, which includes restrictions on cigarette marketing.

    New Justices

    Additionally, lawmakers expanded state programs for health insurance for children, and they confirmed two Supreme Court justices, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. Sotomayor became the first Latino to serve on the court, and the pair increased to three the number of women among the nine justices.

    Following the November elections in which voters handed Democrats what Obama termed a “shellacking,” Congress in a lame-duck session made significant additions to its accomplishment list. Lawmakers approved an $858 billion measure that continues for two years Bush-era tax cuts for all income levels, extends aid for 13 months to the long-term unemployed, provides estate tax relief and cuts by two percentage points worker payroll taxes during 2011.

    Congress in its last days also voted to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” ban on military service by openly gay men and women. Yesterday it cleared the biggest food-safety overhaul in more than 70 years, giving the FDA more enforcement power. And the expected Senate ratification today of the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty will give Obama a key foreign-policy victory.

    “What we’ve been able to do in the lame duck has been not just bipartisan by a fingernail, but bipartisan on a broad basis,” said Senator Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat.

    ‘Cherry on Top’

    From a market perspective, Congress’s biggest accomplishment was probably the tax cuts, with the estate tax breaks the “whipped cream, fudge and cherry on top,” said Ethan Siegal, president of the Washington Exchange.

    Investors responded to the health-care and financial- services measures largely negatively, with health care viewed as “big government gone nuts,” he said.

    Democrats say it will take years before the public recognizes their achievements. Many of the measures that passed were designed to forestall a bleaker recession, an argument that’s little comfort to many Americans as the nation’s unemployment rate has remained at 9.5 percent or higher for more than a year.

    “It was hard to tell people that we accomplished anything important when their lives are so difficult,” said Representative Henry Waxman, a California Democrat and outgoing chairman of the House Energy and Commerce committee.

    Changing Direction

    The Tea Party movement, which worked to elect lawmakers advocating a new era of fiscal authority, has already begun to shift the direction of Congress.

    Shortly after the election, Senate and House Republicans announced a voluntary ban on earmarks, the funding for pet projects added to bills by lawmakers. The incoming House Republican leadership has promised to turn the focus of the Appropriations Committee from funding government to identifying spending cuts.

    Many of those efforts will likely fail in the Democrat- controlled Senate. And the party split between the two chambers is likely to bring the record of congressional productivity to an abrupt end in January.

    “There’s just nothing that’s going to be accomplished,” said Brinkley. “What really is disturbing is that this is a period in which there is a lot to be done.”
     
    #1 mc mark, Dec 22, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2010
  2. justtxyank

    justtxyank Contributing Member

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    I don't really think the quantity of laws passed should be how we judge a Congress personally, particularly if a lot of the laws are controversial/contested/hated,etc.

    That said, as someone who criticized Obama for his lack of action on DADT and gay rights in general, I salute him and this Congress for finally taking action on it and ending the stupid policy.

    Kudos Mr. President and Mrs. Speaker. (Is Pelosi married?)
     
  3. Major

    Major Member

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    <object width="420" height="245" id="msnbc927b84" classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=10,0,0,0"><param name="movie" value="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640" /><param name="FlashVars" value="launch=40774380&amp;width=420&amp;height=245" /><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="wmode" value="transparent" /><embed name="msnbc927b84" src="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640" width="420" height="245" FlashVars="launch=40774380&amp;width=420&amp;height=245" allowscriptaccess="always" allowFullScreen="true" wmode="transparent" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" pluginspage="http://www.adobe.com/shockwave/download/download.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash"></embed></object><p style="font-size:11px; font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; color: #999; margin-top: 5px; background: transparent; text-align: center; width: 420px;">Visit msnbc.com for <a style="text-decoration:none !important; border-bottom: 1px dotted #999 !important; font-weight:normal !important; height: 13px; color:#5799DB !important;" href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com">breaking news</a>, <a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032507" style="text-decoration:none !important; border-bottom: 1px dotted #999 !important; font-weight:normal !important; height: 13px; color:#5799DB !important;">world news</a>, and <a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032072" style="text-decoration:none !important; border-bottom: 1px dotted #999 !important; font-weight:normal !important; height: 13px; color:#5799DB !important;">news about the economy</a></p>
     
  4. DonnyMost

    DonnyMost clean your room bucko

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    Quantity means nothing.

    Let's not celebrate for the sake of celebrating.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. bigtexxx

    bigtexxx Contributing Member

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    Yes, the democratic president and democratic congress were great! That explains why they got OBLITERATED in the mid-terms

    but hey, thanks for my tax cut, brahs! BWAAAAHAHAHAHA

    have ya balanced the budget yet? BWAAAAHAHAHAHAHA
     
  6. Granville

    Granville Member

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    The OP failed to mention that biggest piece of legislation that was rammed down the public's throat by the Democrats pissed off so many people that it cost the Dem's dearly in the last election.
     
  7. tallanvor

    tallanvor Contributing Member

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    "can't argue with results"; what results?
     
  8. RedRedemption

    RedRedemption Contributing Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  9. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member
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    Your boy David Frum has uncorked a fine cask of Extra Special Bitter:

     
  10. mc mark

    mc mark Contributing Member

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    Doing what is right is not always doing what is easy.
     
  11. mc mark

    mc mark Contributing Member

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    please pay attention
     
  12. bigtexxx

    bigtexxx Contributing Member

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    like giving me my tax cut? Thanks again brahs!
     
    #12 bigtexxx, Dec 22, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2010
  13. BetterThanI

    BetterThanI Contributing Member

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    When one side of the aisle is screaming that Obama "hasn't done anything" and/or hasn't fulfilled his campaign promises, I think that the amount of legislation passed during his tenure as President becomes extremely significant, especially since it's happened in the face of opposition that is unprecedented in the history of the United States of America. Having said that...

    I do agree with this statement. It's a bit premature to be worrying about places in history. The only reason I think it's important to note is as fuel for the campaign fire in 2012.
     
  14. bigtexxx

    bigtexxx Contributing Member

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    BWAAAHAHAHA

    you mean the democratic house and the democratic senate, that had to play dirty tricks just to pass the turd of a health care bill with less than the normal number of votes needed.

    BWAAAAHAHAHAHA
     
  15. tallanvor

    tallanvor Contributing Member

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    When people say he hasn't done anything they mean he hasn't accomplished anything. passing laws (forcing morals on citizens) is not an accomplishment. Keeping unemployment at 10% after spending a trillion dollars is not an accomplishment. As far as the opposition Obama faced; it came directly from the American people. Republicans had very little power to stop anything.
     
  16. mc mark

    mc mark Contributing Member

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    Again, please pay attention

    Republicans used the threat of filibuster in unprecedented ways during the 111th congress and yet look at what Democrats accomplished.


    Enacted

    * January 29, 2009: Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, Pub.L. 111-2
    * February 4, 2009: Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (SCHIP), Pub.L. 111-3
    * February 17, 2009: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), Pub.L. 111-5
    * March 11, 2009: Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009, Pub.L. 111-8
    * March 30, 2009: Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, Pub.L. 111-11
    * April 21, 2009: Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, Pub.L. 111-13
    * May 20, 2009: Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009, Pub.L. 111-21
    * May 20, 2009: Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009, Pub.L. 111-22
    * May 22, 2009: Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act of 2009, Pub.L. 111-23
    * May 22, 2009: Credit CARD Act of 2009, Pub.L. 111-24
    * June 22, 2009: Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, as Division A of Pub.L. 111-31
    * June 24, 2009: Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2009 including the Car Allowance Rebate System (Cash for Clunkers), Pub.L. 111-32
    * October 28, 2009: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010, including the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, Pub.L. 111-84
    * November 6, 2009: Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009, Pub.L. 111-92
    * February 12, 2010: Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act, as Title I of Pub.L. 111-139
    * March 4, 2010: Travel Promotion Act of 2009, as Section 9 of Pub.L. 111-145
    * March 18, 2010: Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act, Pub.L. 111-147
    * March 23, 2010: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Pub.L. 111-148
    * March 30, 2010: Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, including the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, Pub.L. 111-152
    * May 5, 2010: Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010, Pub.L. 111-163
    * July 1, 2010: Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010, Pub.L. 111-195
    * July 21, 2010: Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Pub.L. 111-203
    * August 10, 2010: SPEECH Act of 2010, Pub.L. 111-223
    * September 27, 2010: Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010, Pub.L. 111-240
    * December 8, 2010: Claims Resolution Act of 2010, Pub.L. 111-291, H.R. 4783
    * December 13, 2010: Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, Pub.L. 111-296, S. 3307
    * December 17, 2010: Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, Pub.L. 111-312, H.R. 4853
    * December 22, 2010: Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010, H.R. 2965

    pending: START Treaty ratification
     
  17. justtxyank

    justtxyank Contributing Member

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    This post is perpetuating myths.

    1) Unprecedented opposition: Obama had majorities in both the House and Senate, and at one time had the full majority in the Senate to override any veto. While the Republicans were obviously in unison in their opposition to much of the President's agenda, it was his own party that was hamstringing him on many issues. Refusing to vote on the tax cuts, delaying health care votes, delaying a vote on DADT, etc. There was Republican obstructionism to be sure, but I highly doubt it was the greatest opposition in history, especially considering his majorities at the beginning of this presidency.

    2) "one side of the aisle" is screaming he hasn't fulfilled his promises: Baloney. Democrats, Republicans and independents alike are attacking him for failing to fulfill campaign promises. Democrats and civil libertarians have attacked him for continuing the Bush wiretaps he said he would end, independents, some republicans, Civil libertarians are attacking him for the TSA thing and it being a continuation of "police state" laws, dems are attacking him for extending Bush tax cuts when he promised he wouldn't...


    The idea that all opposition and dissatisfaction with Obama is coming from the right is bogus. Heck, on this very board you have independents (like myself) who have been dissatisfied with his failure to follow through on some of the things we did support him on, you have dems (like Rhad) who attack him for some of the things he promised he would end. I think the FCC thread on this very page has dems dissatisfied with him.
     
  18. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member
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    It's the only time in history that the filibuster has been consistently applied on an industrial scale...it's the greatest use of it in exponential terms, numerically....All political scientists who specialize in analyzing legislative votes have categorized this era as unique in its use of the filibuster.

    An effectively deployed filibuster stops all legislative action. No matter what, no matter who. End of story.
     
  19. tallanvor

    tallanvor Contributing Member

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    Republicans had/have 39/40 senators exactly enough needed to filibuster thus they had very little power to stop anything. Please pay attention (what a d-bag response). What type of brain dead logic do you view passing any laws as an accomplishment.
     
  20. da Whopper

    da Whopper Member

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    In October 2006, just before the Democrats won the 2006 elections, the unemployment rate was 4.4%. Now it is 9.8%. So, yes, let's give the Democrats a hardy round of applause for all this great legislation!
     

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