Friday, July 13, 2012

A Circus of Incompetence

In reading Ezra Klein's post today about why the current Congress is probably the worst one in recent history, I was struck by one particular thing. House Republicans have voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act 33 times now. I realize this was one of their promises in 2010 and all, but seriously? I can understand a symbolic vote or two to show that they were serious, but over thirty times? That's just overkill. Not only that, but most Americans want Congress to just move on to other issues.

Case in point:


That isn't really the main reason I think they should stop this repeal nonsense, though. The main thing that gets me is that for all of their talk of repealing and replacing, they've not once put forth a bill that would do both things. So far, all I've seen is a whole lot of repealing. "But Andre," you say, "they need to repeal it first to replace it!" I don't buy it. If they were actually serious about replacing it with something that Americans wanted, they would craft a bill that would both repeal the ACA and implement their new law. At the very least, they'd tell us what their alternative entails. They haven't even hinted at what their replacement would be. Any proposals I've seen involve bad ideas or irrelevant ones that wouldn't work

What's more, these pointless repeal votes take up time that could have been spent on something more productive, like, say, the economy? Remember that old chestnut? I haven't seen a whole lot of compelling ideas there. Eliminate all of those terrible regulations and that health care law, because they create uncertainty, right? You know what else creates uncertainty? Continuously trying to repeal a massive health care law and failing. Oh, and nearly breaching the debt ceiling to prove a point. That makes people pretty uncertain, doesn't it?

Oh, and another thing! If whenever a recession comes around your only idea is to permanently cut taxes, cut spending, and eliminate regulations, what happens when you run out of taxes to cut, spending to cut, and regulations to get rid of? Are you going to hold a ritual to the gods of aggregate demand and hope they're feeling generous during that particular business cycle?

Riddle me that, why don't you?