Opinion: What else is wrong with Congress?

Bruce Walton

Bruce Walton

Bruce Walton is a sophomore news major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].

One of the other factors of the 112th Congress I’ve wanted to talk about is the Republican Party’s personal vendetta against the Obama administration. Although many times the party out of office is not very compliant with the executive branch’s agenda, this has been excessive. Congressmen who publicly undermined Obama are revered and celebrated by conservatives. Many made plans for 2012 revolving around repealing all things laid by the Obama administration. Even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell stated the Republicans’ single most important job was to make Obama a one-term president.

Another example was when Republicans signed Grover Norquist’s “Taxpayer Protection Pledge,” in which they pledge to “oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rate for individuals and business; and to oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.”

The audacity of holding tax decisions hostage — in exchange for power in the government, which they did not earn because their party was not favored — is something that you’d see on the playground from a spoiled child. Democrats were not always perfect congressmen, but the lengths to which most Republicans went was not acceptable.

Another example was the boosted influence by the rich that changes the overall direction of Congress. This was done by wealthy individuals funding campaign contributions for favored politicians by the use of super PACs, which allows politicians to still collect an unlimited amount of money, despite acts trying to restrict the amount of campaign contributions. With the use of super PACs, politicians could gain unlimited contributions from anyone. With this, the rich are able to make politicians adopt them as more important than voters when campaigning.

The last example I’d like to bring up is one that has determined the very makeup of Congress: the people, or voters to be exact, because we chose these people. We all know how democracy works when the people vote for a politician, but we also must expect them to listen to us and know what people want, or we will not vote for them again. The 112th Congress had a hard time hearing us, but I don’t think we helped.

What are congressmen supposed to do when they are told by their constituents that they want better roads, schools, security, more funding and lower taxes? It’s the same as having a company being told by its consumers they want more stores, better products and more services provided faster, and they want all this done without gouging us for more revenue. Congress is a reflection of the American people; that means Congress is so divided because America is so divided.

That is why the 112th Congress sucked more than any other. But with some of these factors still existent in the 113th Congress, we all should expect similar results for the next two years. Maybe the third time will be a charm.