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Has This Been a ‘Do-Nothing’ Congress?

But if so, is that such a bad thing?
 Listen to streaming audio of this column | MP3

  • Man Storms Capitol, Shuts Down Facilities
  • We have heard a lot lately about this being a “do-nothing Congress.”

    The phrase is meant to say that Congress and the Bush administration have failed to pass significant pieces of legislation.

    What the critics really mean is that this Congress hasn’t created any new, expansive and expensive government programs.

    But is that such a bad thing?

    Our Founding Fathers knew that government could be a negative as well as a positive force. And so they intentionally put in numerous checks and balances to keep the process slow and deliberate.

    In other words, it’s supposed to be hard to get legislation through.

    So in calling it a “do-nothing” Congress, critics may be saying, unwittingly, that the system is working just as the Founders planned.

    For more on fiscal policy, visit ipi.org.

    Written By

    Merrill Matthews is a resident scholar with the Institute for Policy Innovation in Dallas, Texas. Follow him on Twitter: @MerrillMatthews.

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