The GOP losing control of the House of Representatives completely changes the course Washington DC will take over the next two years or more. For whatever reason, most Americans don’t seem to understand the repercussions. Most know this means the Democrats can start doing more things against President Trump even if they don’t quite understand the power of subpoena. They know this will slow down the President’s agenda, but probably don’t understand the degree of deadlock this creates.
Democrats won’t be able to get legislation through because of the Senate, and even if they could they’d be blocked by veto. Republicans can’t get any legislation through because of the House. Anything that is not bipartisan such as infrastructure will not even be attempted for at least two years. Since there are very few possible pieces of legislation that can be considered bipartisan, we can expect very little to be done.
That’s the good news.
There shouldn’t be much done. That’s how DC is supposed to operate. It’s supposed to be slow and methodical. The founders envisioned a federal government that could basically only push forward legislation that both sides of the political aisle agreed to, at least in part. Remember, the didn’t like a party system and they definitely didn’t want a two-party system, but that’s how our government has evolved. Perhaps it was inevitable for two parties to split power incessantly, but the founders hoped we would avoid such a mess.
While it’s good for things to move slowly in DC, there are two big problems with it and we’re about to face both of them. The first can best be described as half-measures. The solution to a problem that can get bipartisan support is almost always loaded with political backscratching. One of the reasons the bureaucracy is so big is because politicians have been packing things into their bills for decades. It’s like a bribe – “We’ll include a sugar subsidy in the bill in exchange for your support of our tax hike, Mr. Florida Senator.”
The second problem is the tendency for bipartisan projects to be gargantuan and expensive. The aforementioned infrastructure fix is the perfect example. President Trump, Senators Schumer and McConnell, and possible future Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi have all discussed infrastructure at one point or another in the past couple of years. Rumors and leaks have indicated such a bill would cost over a trillion dollars. There’s also much talk about attempting a public-private partnership to make it work.
As we face a trillion dollar deficit next year, any thought of spending more money is ludicrous. However, it’s appealing to politicians on both sides because it would create jobs and represents a tangible benefit people can actually experience in their daily lives. It’s not a question of whether both sides can come together on it. The only question is how they’ll divide up credit for it.
In the end, taxpayers will feel the pain. The budget deficit will rise. The national debt will continue to grow at an untenable pace. All the while, Mr. President and Madam Speaker will be giving each other fist bumps.
We don’t need bipartisanship. We need nonpartisanship. The real solutions America needs all point towards limiting government, cutting spending, and pushing more power to the state, local, and individual levels.