Keeping our eye on the ball

Thoughts from Behind the Pressline

Last week President Obama lamented that Congress has taken its eye off the ball. In my opinion the President is both right and wrong.

In terms of bills enacted, the current Congress is on pace to shatter the record as the most do nothing Congress in modern history. The 113th Congress has completed roughly seven months of their two year session and thus far has enacted 21 bills and resolutions. At their current pace they will enact about 72 pieces of legislation. By comparison the 112th Congress, which was not known for congeniality nor diplomatic skills, passed 284 bills. The 111th moved 385 while the 110th enacted 460 pieces of legislation.

If you like less government rather than more this trend might be a welcome sign. Unfortunately we have a host of serious problems facing the country that absolutely need to be addressed and our government has become so dysfunctional they are nearly useless at solving problems.

The President unfortunately has never learned that if you live in a glass house you shouldn’t throw stones. Instead of staying in Washington and demonstrating some leadership he has gravitated to what he does best, barnstorming around the country, wasting money we don’t have, campaigning.

The president is also trying to encourage us to take our eye off the ball by declaring a number of the high profile scandals that have rocked his administration as “phony” scandals. I guess he would like us to forget the death of four Americans in Benghazi, or the IRS fiasco, which he later called “A genuine abuse of power” and then was apparently so upset he fired the administrator of the IRS just days before he was set to leave office anyway.

Take it from someone who publishes free newspapers; freedom has a heavy price. To continue as a free society we must make certain our elected officials toe the line, and preserve our rights as citizens to assure the continuation of our democratic nation for future generations.

Dan Alexander is associate publisher of New Market Press and publisher and CEO of Denton Publications. He may be reached at dan@newmarketpressvt.com or dan@denpubs.com.

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