It’s that time of year again, folks. After 15 months of basically getting nothing done, the 111th United States Congress has realized it’s election time again, and that the citizenry is (rightfully) hacked off.
So with every member of the House of Representatives, and one-third of the Senate up for reelection in 2012, our Congress is about to embark on the one thing they hate even worse than standing in front of a town hall of voters asking “why haven’t you gotten anything done?”
Gritting their teeth and making a show of playing nice with the other side.
It’s evident to anyone with eyes that the House can’t get along with the White House, the White House can’t get along with the House, the House can’t get along with the Senate, and the Senate can’t get along with the House. But heading into this fall’s elections, they all need the same thing:
Some legislation they can point to when voters ask why they can’t work together and get anything done.
Traditionally, this has been legislation that goes to fix our crumbling infrastructure, like money for bridges and roads. And anybody who doesn’t own a body shop would agree that there are plenty of roads and bridges that need fixing. But this Congress can’t even seem to agree on the most basic job they have: figuring out how to spend our tax dollars.
Instead, we are going to get some small-ball legislation that enables our elected officials to do the grip-and-grin photo ops that they can haul out during this fall’s campaigns to show the voters, see, by golly, we can get along.
Take the two most recent bipartisan and named-for-November’s-elections pieces of legislation, the JOBS act and the STOCK act.
The JOBS act has been roundly criticized as window-dressing for weakening investor protections, which is pretty much the last thing we all need after the pillaging of our savings accounts and portfolios by Wall Street in 2008. And the STOCK act is supposed to protect us against something that’s already illegal: Congressional insider trading.
If you’re interested, you can read more about them here:
WSJ: Investors’ Prying Eyes Blinded By New Law
But what you really need to know is that when Congress starts to do its election year shuck-and-jive, keep your hand on your wallet.