The WasteWatcher: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

Gridlock is Good

The WasteWatcher is the staff blog of Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) and the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW). For questions, contact blog@cagw.org.


Last week, the NBC News and the WSJ released a poll on Congress’s and President Obama’s approval ratings.  The Wall Street Journal states, “Rising frustration over partisan gridlock in Washington has damaged faith both in President Barack Obama and lawmakers on Capitol Hill, with disapproval of Congress hitting an all-time high.”  According the results, some 56% of the adults polled believe that Congress has been too inflexible in dealing with the president.  But in the same poll, some 48% of the participants believe that Congress should take the lead in setting policy and only 38% believe the president should.  Hmmm, doesn’t this mean that the president should cede to Congress on policy?  (Maybe the public cannot reach agreement either.)

In any case, I think it is time to argue that gridlock can be good, particularly when the nation is dealing with big spenders in Congress, a president who continues to reject any further spending cuts, a budget that is hovering around $3.5 trillion, the deficit at about $845 billion, and the debt clock ticking away – now at $16.8 trillion and climbing.

Let me remind you dear reader how much just $1 trillion dollars is.  If I was to give you a dollar every second, it would take 32,000 years for me to reach $1 trillion.

Some in Washington want to spend and tax more and create more government programs and some in Washington want to spend much less, reduce the size of government, and return the money to the taxpayers, allowing them to spend their money as they see fit.  The politicians who hold these views control different parts of the government and cannot reach agreement on how to go forward, thus GRIDLOCK.

It is unlikely that the Republican-controlled House and Democrat-controlled Senate will be able to reach agreement on this year’s spending (appropriations bills) so we will have GRIDLOCK just before the end of the fiscal year, which is September 30.  That means Congress will probably pass another continuing resolution (CR) that the president will sign into law that will keep the government functioning at about the current spending level.

Would I'd rather have appropriations bills passed and signed into law that will cut spending and reduce the size of government?  Absolutely.  But until then, I need to be satisfied with GRIDLOCK.

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