• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Morning Bell: Top Ten Reasons America Won't Miss the 111th Congress

    The 111th Congress is officially over, and according to Gallup, it’s also officially the worst Congress in the history of polling. Yet despite its 13% approval rating there are those who are hailing the 111th Congress for its myriad legislative “accomplishments.” Not surprisingly, many of those touting those “accomplishments” are the very members of Congress who voted for the legislation in the first place. Starting at the top with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), you find a woman who is not at all ashamed of the legislation she has passed, despite the disastrous poll numbers. Pelosi says she is “very, very proud of the work that was accomplished by this Congress.”

    The American people, though, think differently, and they have already issued their verdict on the 111th Congress by way of an earthshaking election in November. If you take a look at some of Congress’ big-ticket “accomplishments,” you might understand where they’re coming from. Here’s a look at 10 major pieces of legislation coming out of Congress the last two years and why Americans might not be so pleased:

    1. Obamacare: Billed as the panacea for America’s health care woes, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as “Obamacare,” is a 2,700-page behemoth that “portends a massive transfer of power, dollars and decision making to the federal government,” says Heritage’s Nina Owcharenko. Heritage also finds that under the law, workers and families will face increased costs, seniors will lose access to care, and American taxpayers will take the hit for a trillion dollars in new federal spending. (3/2010)
    2. The Failed Stimulus (a.k.a., the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act): President Obama promised that his stimulus would save or create 3.5 million jobs by the end of 2010. The result? America saw a bunch of orange and green “ARRA” signs sprout up like dandelions all over America, touting the slogan “Putting America to Work,” but here we are in December 2010 with a 9.8 percent unemployment rate, a national debt of $2.9 trillion, and 7.3 million jobs shy of President Obama’s promise. Some stimulus! (2/2009)
    3. The 9,000-Earmark Omnibus Bill: Never mind the $1.4 trillion budget deficit facing America in 2009. Congress went ahead and passed an omnibus spending bill containing 9,287 pork project earmarks costing $13 billion. Included in the earmarks were a $200,000 tattoo removal program in Mission Hills, Calif., and more than a million dollars to combat Mormon Crickets in Utah. (3/2009)
    4. Mountains of Debt: You can’t pin it on one piece of legislation alone, but the 111th Congress has piled heaps upon heaps of new debt — a massive $3.22 trillion. That comes out to $10,429.64 for every man, woman and child counted in the 2010 census. That’s more debt racked-up than in the first 100 Congresses combined, according to CNSNews.com. The total national debt as of the 111th Congress’ last day? $13.859 trillion.
    5. The Government Union Bailout: As if one massive bailout weren’t enough, President Obama and the 111th Congress delivered another $26.1 billion bailout in the summer of 2010. The beneficiaries? Government unions and big-spending states that wouldn’t know a balanced budget if it smacked them in the face. The bill was supposed to “save” jobs, but the reality is that most jobs were never in jeopardy. (8/2010)
    6. Wall Street Reform? Think Again: While President Obama touted the Dodd-Frank bill of 2010 as a reform of Wall Street and America’s financial rules, the resulting law is a boon for lawyers and lobbyists, thanks to its creation of 243 new formal rule-makings by 11 different federal agencies. What’s more, the bill “does nothing to stop future government bailouts,” makes a TARP-like bailout system permanent, and does nothing to reform two of the biggest culprits behind the financial crisis: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. (7/2010)
    7. The “Neighborhood Destabilization Act”: Speaker Pelosi would refer to it as the “Helping Families Save Their Homes Act,” but in reality the law does the opposite by “putting millions of homeowners or potential buyers at greater risk of an unstable credit and housing market and creating high interest rates in the future.” And if you’re a responsible homeowner, you lose big time.
    8. Cash for Clunkers:  Stuck with an old car or truck? Under this plan, the U.S. government would have paid you $3,500 to $4,500 to trade it in for a new, more fuel efficient vehicle. Though the program boosted sales for the two months it was in place, a study showed the clunker program was a clinker. It didn’t bring new buyers into the market; it merely accelerated purchases. The cost to the taxpayers? $3 billion. (According to an Edmunds analysis, it came to $24,000 per car.) (6/2009)
    9. New START: President Obama sold this nuclear arms treaty between the United States and Russia as an effort to reduce nuclear weapons. Conservatives, though, criticized it for being “useless in limiting proliferation, detrimental to missile defense, and counter to the purpose of defense treaties — defending and protecting America from her enemies.” (12/2010)
    10. Cap-and-Trade: The Waxman-Markey climate bill that passed the House was intended to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions with the goal of curbing global warming. Were it enacted (which it wasn’t), the plan would have increased gas prices by 58%, and average household electric rates would increase by 90% by 2035. (Passed House in 6/2009; stalled in Senate)

    Americans should expect better results from the 112th Congress, that is, if the newly-elected representatives heed their electoral mandate: less spending, lower taxes and limited government. But Americans should also be aware that even if Congress stays in line, President Obama can still pursue a big government agenda with more regulations from unelected bureaucrats. As the president said when the Democrats lost the House and failed to enact cap-and-trade, “I’m going to be looking for other means to address this problem.” America, look out.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Obamacare, Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    59 Responses to Morning Bell: Top Ten Reasons America Won't Miss the 111th Congress

    1. Howdo, Niagara, WI says:

      Thanks Heritage for all the good work in informing Americans of the truth about the state of the nation, our elected politicians, and all the issues that concerned citizens care about.

      Thanks also for showing us how to remedy the misery caused by the present leaders in charge – meaning Obama and the Democrats in congress.

    2. gene white says:

      DUMB AS A STUMP> ESP THEIR LEADERS. EITHER THAT OR TRYING TO RUIN OUR COUNTRY

    3. Kevin, GS0 says:

      The absolute worst thing the 111th did was the sham "Deem & Pass" of Obamacare. Completely and totally unethical at its best and at worst an illegal procedural move to bypass the Constitution requirements of bills

    4. Susan, DallasTX says:

      Time to de-fund all these attacks on the American economy and attempt to re-distribute income to people who stand there with their hands out waiting for the next one.

      Defund, dismantle and reverse or repeal all the damage of the past 2 years.

    5. Darrell Hoskins, Lex says:

      Yes, Pelosi and her cabal are proud of their accomplishments… just as the Bolsheviks who murdered Czar Nicholas II and all of his family were proud of THEIR accomplishments. I think the American people do not yet ( and may never ) grasp the dimensions of assault of evil that we are under. Unless people internalize this threat to our freedoms soon, the battle will be lost before it is joined.

    6. DAVE, NAPA CA says:

      What happens to politicians who are elected by their constituents to do a job for the people, and end up working against the wishes of the people? Who has so much power in Washington DC that the so called intelligent law makers become relatively brain dead and vote like they have only one master to please? Did Pelosi have all the political money available to finance each Democrats reelection costs?

      It seems that the Federal government is no longer doing the job that the Constitution

      specifically identified, and has overstepped its bounds. No wonder Obama says that the Constitution is a block to his "Progressive" socialistic approach to his take over of our government.

    7. GenEarly says:

      The Obama quote,“I’m going to be looking for other means to address this problem.” is going to apply across the boards. PS He has already implemented the Cap&Trade results (quotas) on Utilities and Manufacturers banned oil drilling in the Gulf and put "federal lands" off limits to oil shale or oil exploration. "Other Means" are extralegal and certainly unconstitutional; as if anyone in DC has read that antiquated,historical document in 100 years.

      So what to do? Don't rely on government at any level, you are on your own. Scary but liberating at the same time. You are responsible for you,your family, and as much of the environment around you as you deem fit. .Food,Security,Real Money: GET SOME, quickly.

    8. Tom Eddy, Grampian P says:

      Sad to say our country is in dire straits, thanks to the people in DC. It's not just this administration, but past several in my eyes. Our representatives have NO concept of what their jobs are. Representative government and our present system of checks and balances is dead in the water. Far too much reckless spending and far too few jobs let, China and all the other countries fend for themselves, I am so sick and tired of seeing "Made in China" and elsewhere in our shopping areas. To make a long story short let's put AMERICA back to work.

      thank you

    9. Tim Farnham, Centre, says:

      The national debt is not $13.859 trillion, that is only the "cash accounting" debt for the fiscal year only. Future obligations are not included! That is like saying I only have a debt of $30,000 yet I am obligated to pay 15 more years at $1,2000 a month on my house and another $18,000 on cars in the futurre.

      The $10,000 debt per citizen is perhaps not the most assurate way of stating the debt obligation since it is taxpayers that will have to pay off the debt, then it might be better to state the debt per taxpayer (around 100 million people). The accural debt is estimated to be around $80 trillion which represents approximately $800,000 per taxpayer. I don't know about you but I can't pay much more than I already do. Certainly can't write a check for $800,000 which is my share.

    10. Monica, Slatington P says:

      I'm no economist, but how can you call a jolt to car sales here, and a bailout to banks, there, a project here and a grant there stimulating the economy? That's all short term stuff and an illusion, really, when it comes down to it.

    11. William Downey, JD L says:

      I think we have already seen the advent of "government by decree" in the United Sates. We have the EPA over reaching on E15 even though it is known to cause damage to engines, as well as potential environmental problems in UST's designed for E-10. Look also at the EPA's usurption of state rights in Texas, and potential action in Arizona and other states. Or the Agency's eforts to regulate hydraulic fracturing in the search for natural gas. The practice is regulated by states, who are best able to understand the unique operating requirements of natural gas production.

      Examine the FCC's decision, despite a court ruling and legislative opposition to implement "Net Neutrality".

      Or we can look at the decsion by the DOI to place a moratorium on oil exploration and production off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, eastern Gulf of Mexico and Alaska. We can also look at the related "pemitorium" on E&P in other areas of the Gulf in both deepwater and near shore environments.

      These decisions run roughshod over the rights of the people, legislative and judicial decisions and contrary to the Constitution. One might think we are devolving into the land of Hugo Chavez.

    12. Carol says:

      It is clear that Ms. Pelosi is not all there. When she sees Black as White, up as down, in as out, and does not see the truth of any thing. She clearly makes her own reality.

      "Neurotic people build castles in the sky and Psychotic people live int them."

      Ms. Pelosi clearly builds and lives in this fantasy castle.

    13. Patrick Henry, NY says:

      Don't forget the new homebuyer real estate tax credit. In case no one's noticed, the real estate market is sliding right back where it came from after "the crash" of 08. All the tax credit did was actually create a false rebound in the market which will actually produce the coming "double dip" real estate market recession. Oh well, better a double dip than one long single dip, I guess.

    14. george seaver, catau says:

      The repeal of "Don't ask, don't tell" is perhaps the worst effect of this Congress…because it undermines public virtue and poisons factions, the classic factors in destabilizing republics. These work faster than economic destabilities.

    15. Mary............WI says:

      Good Riddens to bad politicians!

    16. laurie, Hawaii says:

      Once all Americans stop and comprehend how much a trillion actually is…..the math….the eyes will be open and there will be a massive firing of these drunken spenders in the White House and Congress. To put it in visual terms, guess how many years you would have to have in your life to obtain one trillion minutes. When you do the math, you will discover it is approximately 19,000 years! So we can see how staggering 13 trillion is……we, our life-time savings and our country as a whole will become worthless as a piece of paper very soon (it's not a grandchild thing), it is NOW….with these caviar,champagne, private jet programs, printing money programs and Santa Claus distributions of all of our assets to those who did NOT put anything into the system. Simple basic computer or math economics. You must create something or put something IN to get something OUT. If you put nothing in (illegals, come get the free-stuff creatures) or the person who never worked, does drugs, etc. and expects to get the freebies from someone else…….The well will be drained…..and it is more than drained….it is gone and we are at the mercy of the Chinese and all of our terrible debts. STOP IT NOW….IT IS PAY BACK TIME, PIGLOSI, BOMBER AND BLEEDER-REIDER. We, honest Americans who have struggled all of our lives to care for our families, gave up time with our babies are sick and tired of you stealing our savings. DO THE RIGHT THING AND RESIGN TO RELIEVE US OF OUR TORTURE. By the way, Mr. Thug in Chief, not only have you not created jobs……You have DESTROYED THOUSANDS. One example. not allowing the permits for drilling in the gulf…..the poor men with the rigs have to give up and move them to Egypt and Africa and will never be able to afford to return. What about the poor farmers in Central California where you turned off the water and are destroying our produce production for the whole country. Could that be why an apple cost $2.50 now? Don't think we are dumb like the poor Czechs who lost all hope with the Russian Czars dictators who promised that all will have equal wealth, while the stole their money, dictated every move they made with "protection regulations." In Prague when it was under Communist rule, I visited there and saw all the people smoking and drinking all day long….they had given up all incentive or hope. Meanwhile the ones in Government power were living the high life with their caviar and champagne. WAKE UP, EVERY AMERICAN NOW!!!!

    17. Erik, Utah says:

      As me and my daughter face troubling economic challenges, it's hard not to feel angry and betrayed by the Obama administrations lack of control and wisdom. We are scraping pennies as Washington continues to play with Billions of dollars to line the pockets of their ignorant agenda. I was under the impression that the greatest institution in the world was overflowing with wisdom and leadership at such a degree as to be able lead this world,let alone it's own people, to victory in all things. The iron minds of our leaders, in United States of America's 111th congress, has corrupted and lost all guidance from our true leader, The Alimighty God, and through him alone we will re-gain control of our country, re-establish the conduit of guidance and revalation needed to rule with prudence and truth. Thers is just too much to say. Why is all wisdom lacking? We The People must find leaders that will re-establish our heritage and our values back into the high places of office, even unto the office of the President of the United States of America. Our new elected officials shall serve from their knees unto God and his will alone shall lead us.

    18. Ben, Greenville, SC says:

      The worst would be: Republicans CAVING!! I know, that's not an act of Congress from the list; but I wonder, would the list look different (START TREATY!!) if we had people on our side who could STAND (as in NOT kneel).

    19. Robert Hemet,Ca. says:

      These people have done grave damage to America.

      It will take years to fix or reverse the damage they’ve done.

      America needs to stand strong and together to fix what they’ve done and make it so this can't happen again.

      The Conservative @ http://www.vote-4-america.org/

    20. Rod, Georgia says:

      Worst thing this congress did: convene!

    21. Lloyd Scallan (New O says:

      Does anyone really think the members of this 111th Congress gives a hoot in hell whether or not their opinion polls show them as the worst ever? They got

      a whole bunch of Obama's socialist agenda passed despite the American people's objections. That's all they care about and they are proud of it. How many times must it be said, "they will do or say anything to pass Obama's agenda" (including sacrificing their own). I really feel the majorty of the American people still cannot understand that our country is, and has been, under attack by socialist and communist for generations. They finally got the last piece in place, Obama in the White House.

    22. Ken Jarvis - Las Veg says:

      12-31-10 FROM – Ken Jarvis – LVKen7@Gmail.com

      Happy NYear.

      ===

      The Rich don't need Consumer Protection -

      therefore, MURDOCH and the GOP Oppose it.

      Elizabeth Warren SHOULD HEAD IT.

      ====

      A Report from the RICH.

      "While the United States has suffered the worst recession in living memory, I find that I have very few financial concerns. Many of my friends are in the same position:

      Most of us attended private schools and good universities, and we will be able to provide these same opportunities to our own children.

      No one in my immediate circle has a family member serving in Afghanistan or Iraq."

      And they had NO TAX INCREASE.

    23. Don H. Reuben, Ranch says:

      If the Republicans act intelligently we will be rid of Obama, his munchkins and his programs. If the Republicans act stupidly as did those who voted for the one sided Russian treaty for reasons not apparant the US will become a third world ineffective and broke country.

    24. Joanne Walczak Gulf says:

      As this year comes to a close,I ponder what 2011 holds for

      our country? I will continue to PRAY and plead with those elected to do the job of returning to the Constitution.To quote George Washington"its only keepers,the people.Any chance of that??

    25. Mike from Long Islan says:

      The Obama White House is an "Obama nation"!

    26. Jim-MN says:

      We should give the Repubicans & Tea Party Reps 90 days to undo and redo the direction of this congress, the administration and repeal and restore the Health Care Debacle.

      If unsuccessful or if it turns into nothing but about re-electing Obama spin 24/7 on new coverage, it will be time to shut the goverment down by cuts and funding battles.

      This is it folks. The next 90 days will tell all if there will be a functioning Republic form of goverment in the once great USA or we will be witnessing the end of this country as we know it. The tipping point is at hand.

      Violence will not be the answer. Martial Law is just what this Marxis crew is hoping for. It is their only chance to maintain the corrupt and unconstuitional gains of the past two years and the last 40 years.

    27. john arizona says:

      Great article, HF! Perhaps the likes of Ken Jarvis, Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann could sit up and take notice, instead of claiming Obama has been a superstar because of programs like Cash for Clunkers and the TARP.

    28. serendipity says:

      Serendipity: a propensity for making fortunate discoveries while looking for something unrelated.

      I hope 'We The People' have made the fortunate discovery we were sold a bill of goods by Obama and party. Maybe it isn't too late to rectify the situation and vote them out in 2012.

    29. Terry,GA says:

      Serendipity: a propensity for making fortunate discoveries while looking for something unrelated.

      I hope 'We The People' have made the fortunate discovery we were sold a bill of goods by Obama and party. Maybe it isn't too late to rectify the situation and vote them out in 2012.

      There might be still some hope for us if 112 Congress does its job as we tried to tell them in November.

    30. Bob Marren, Pigeon F says:

      How many persons in the 111th Congress are Communists or at least Communists sympathizers? This has been the absolute worst group of persons, to ever walk around the halls of Congress. They border on Treason. George Soros has used his money well, molding Obama into an absolute Dictator. This Congress had no intention of following the Constitution and all the laws etc. they have enacted, should be reversed. How many persons have died fighting to keep this Country free?

      We have all the dead in the Armed Forces, being mocked by the way Obama and his radicals, befriend our enemies. God Bless America

    31. Dr. Bill Smith (ARRA says:

      Mike,

      Your article is an an excellent wrap-up of the burden levied on America by the 111 Congress.

      Thanks for your work at The Heritage Foundation with social networking strategy and online media outreach. You and others at Heritage provide documented content which those of us on the front lines of new media welcome and use to advance the conservative message to our readers.

      Cross posted your article on the ARRA News Service.

      Dr, Bill Smith, Heritage Member and National New Media Activist

      Twitter @arra

      Editor, Several New Media Sites

    32. R. Richards says:

      Do Not Forget BIG GOVERNMENT TAKEOVER of the food industry..Stealthy named "The Food Safety and Modernization act of 2010" This bill will push the small farmers out of business as well as regulate seeds that reproduce over and over as GOD intended also It will become illegal to sell produce from your garden….The Monsanto Company is behind this as well as George Soros..Remember a step in the Communist Manifesto .. Control the FOOD Sources .GO TO NATURALNEWS.COM..Some RINO Republicans were behind this bill also..like Senator LLamar Alexander..

    33. P. Justin Robicheau says:

      This was the worst congress I had ever seen. Thank God they're gone. They totally ignored what the people wanted, but that is what progressives do and they paid the price for it. Too bad that Nancy Pelosi is still there. That district of San Francisco needs to wake up. Our fearless senate majority leader Harry Reid got re-elected by a state that has last I checked 14.4 percent unemployment. Nevada wake up! Massachusetts where I live hasn't woken up yet either. I am very pleased and happy for the rest of the country. I believe the 112th congress will do the right thing.

    34. Cheri - IN says:

      I cannot pick one – EVERYTHING they did was HORRIBLE!!!!!!!!!!! They acted like they were elected to rule over us! And, our president is the worst of all of them! If he had really told his true agenda during the campaign, I don't believe he would have been elected. Our new Congress really MUST begin to destroy the heinous laws and regulations enacted by this bunch (and previous congresses), and return our country to its roots! LIMITED FEDERAL GOVERNMENT! Let us have self-determination!!!! Make them read and abide by the Constitution!

    35. Sam Adams Ohio says:

      I wanted to end 2010 with a most sincere prayer, you all may join me if you're not some athiest or some radical leftist, here it is:

      Dear Lord, please save all of us from the ravages of the Obama Administration. Save this beautiful and free America for which so many have fought so valiantly to protect and preserve and may the US Constitiution be forever the Supreme Law of this Land, second only to yours.

      I pray this fervently for all of us who love you Lord, who love our Country, and love our precious freedom and want our Country back, we ask this of God the Father Almighty through Jesus Christ His Son.

      Amen

    36. RennyG MD says:

      I watch MSMBC to see what is going on. The latest is the O is the most successful on this earth for all his accomplishments in two years.

      I thought about this for a little while and it reminded me of playing football.

      It doesn't take much to win if only one team is on the field!!!!!

      How sad, but guess what, IT WILL WORK!!!!!! ALINSKY THEORY!!!!!!

    37. Pingback: COACHEP » Blog Archive » News about Nancy Pelosi is a failure issue #56

    38. Hilda Moustakas Mont says:

      even though the 111 congress is gone, this nation will continue to suffer,. because it has committed one of the biggest mistakes…they have left GOD OUT…we have a president that thinks he is god…and other people who think they can change the grounds on which this country was formed…

      but, if you read your Bible, this has been for-told… just ck the book of Revelation…

      I only pray that we can survive the horror that will come to visit this nation…you can't move away from God and not suffer…

    39. Bobbie says:

      I won't miss their anti Americanism, their distortions, their immature behavior, their insubordination, their degradations, their unconstitutional dealings, their weak representation of Americans, their intrusions of everything American, their recklessness of their rightful duties and their total ignorance of the will of the people. Audios, non-amigos.

      Can't wait to see you in the private sector! Oh wait, that's right, you made sure you wouldn't have to work again as you retire off everyone elses money… selfish you, silly me.

    40. kimkey says:

      I have read somewhere on the news that something like "Wise Health Insurance" is offering lowest health insurance rate for low and middle income families so search online and find them.

    41. Jim, Virginia says:

      The neoconservatives at Heritage continue to present the old false left-right, repub-dem, conservative-liberal boxing paradigm which is as boring as it is wrong-headed. The anti-repub view of the article is indicated bytThe picture of the 3 Dems at the top of the article makes it look like the problem was all because of the dems. BOTH the dems and the repubs in congress stink to high heaven, with very few exceptions, Ron Paul being one of them.

      Start listening to Ron Paul, Rand Paul, and others who are arriving in congress who not only talk about limited government, but live and vote that way, both domestically and in terms of foreign policy. Remember Geo. Bush's election rhetoric of "a humble foreign policy; no nation building"? Did he follow through on this? Obviously not. Do you think Ron Paul would follow through on this?… I think so!

      Republican war-mongering at the Heritage Foundation is one of your trademarks. You all need to check in with the LORD above and our founding fathers regarding the morality of interventionism and get your heads screwed back on straight and repent of the incredible blood on your hands!

    42. RWilske, California says:

      Note that all this debt and financial obligation will not be paid for by "every man, women and child". It will be borne by every taxpayer, a significant distinction. My children will carry the tax load for at least three others.

    43. Doouble Ace says:

      IN repponse to Sam Adams from Ohio. AMEN!

    44. gerald skey, princet says:

      Although I am a conservative by nature, I have been disappointed by the hard right's villification of everything that the Obama Adiministration has attempted to do. First, as to the stimulus – have we forgotten that George Bush – prior to his leaving office – initiated the stimulus? True, Obama increased the magnitude of it and it is equally true that we saw nothing much in terms of its success in reviving the economy. But on the other hand Paul Krugman has argued long and hard – from day one – that the stimulus was doomed to fail because it was too little – too meak. Now it is easy to dismiss Mr. Krugman as just another liberal, but he is a Nobel prize winner in economics and it is a little difficult to dismiss someone who is not arguing principle as much as he is arguing necessity.

      Why necessity? The answer to that is the domino effect that was in the process of destroying our financial system as we know it. forgetabout who was to blame for the disaster,, it was happening. Major financial houses – and some not so major – were failing and the ripple or domino effect could have destroyed our bankiing world. For instance, I would appreciate a conservative's explanation of what would have happened if AIG had defaulted. AIG, as I understand it, held crdit default swap liabilities into the billions if not trilllions so if it defaulted, then those obligations it had guaranteed would have caused untold damage. President Bush understood this and so did Obama.

      Second, I doubt that anyone can truly make a case for anyone "promising" a given unemployment rate. All anyone can do is rely of statisitcal information and what the projections tell us. To hold any one person responsible for not meeting those projections is just silly.

      As for the Helath Care legislation, the President and especially Ms.Pelosi, shoudl hang their heads in shame. First, that piece of massive legislation was not passed by Congress – it was passed through Reconciliation which, to my layperson's perception is a back door way of sliding something thorugh Congress without a vote on the merits. Secondly, I believe the reason why the Administtration chose to enact the legislation through Reconcilliation was because noone had read the legislation and, furthermore, so much of it was nothing more than empowering Admiinistrative Agencies to write the rules that noone actually knew anything more than the broadest of outlines in terms of what would actually happen.

      As to Pork – this has been with us for a long, long time. I do not mean to diminish or marginalize this again back door approach, but as long as our Congresses – both Republican and Democrat – refuse (they do not just fail – they refuse0 to make such earmarks illegal, the practice will continue and it is difficult to "blame" any one President.

      The Cash for Klunkers program was simply a bad idea – I agree – all it did was accelerate the purchase of new cars for those who were going to buy new cars within a couple of years anyway. Of course, the net result of that program was to create soft purchase numbers for the next several years once the program ended.

      My point in all this is that I sincerely hope we can return to basics in requiring people in general to be responsible for themselves but I cannot agree that demonizing the President is an appropriate or accurate reflection of the responsible way to do it.

    45. Doouble Ace says:

      R Richards, Check the Holy Bible. Revelations 13: 17, "And that no man might buy or sell, except he that had the mark, or the name of the beast;

    46. Doouble Ace says:

      Jim MN. If violence isn't the answer then slavery will be. We must never rule out any form of action that is required to maintain our freedom. I am sure there were people in the 1770's who thought we could not take on nor defeat the King of England, but with God all things are possible. We must not allow our freedoms to be taken from us. I agree we should use the ballot box, and any other means but never rule out anything. One other note: I am not sure the ballot box reflects the will of the people any longer. I think the computer has allowed even more corruption in the voting process. Anyone familiar with programming can tell you how easy it is to rig the system.

    47. Pingback: Must Know Headlines 1.1.2011 — ExposeTheMedia.com

    48. Eddie G. Henderson,N says:

      Formula for failure: Re-electing the same candidates over and over again,

      expecting different results. The multi termers become so corrupt and so arrogant

      that they end up as the inept 111th Congress. These same drunk with power

      brain dead fools have along with an inept inexperienced socialist idealogue for a President have financially crippled this country to the extent that it will take years to mend. The unholy trinity of Obama/Pelosi/Reid remain to continue their dirty work. We owe the voters of the states of Illinois,California,and Nevada a huge Bronx cheer for saddling this country with such corruption never before seen in the annals of history as bad as these turkeys are. Let's hope the new members of the 112th congress stand firm on their beliefs that got them elected and not become Democrat butt kissers. Bi-partisanship is a lot of baloney and the newly elected Republicans should stand solidly partisan against Obama and his lap dog followers. Laws need to be enacted to stop any federal agency from doing their own thing while circumventing the congress. This would effectively strip Obama of a good deal of his corrupt power. Question is,will they have the cojones to do so?

    49. Brent, CO says:

      Don't you understand people, we hold the power. If every taxpayer decided this very instant to stop paying taxes, we would shut down this corrupt government in an Obummer second. Just like deciding to stop giving drugs to a drug addict. But no, we blindly abide by the tyranny set before us and do nothing. Remember, half this country vote in the very representatives that are causing all this damage. You voters know who you are… voting for the likes of Reid, Coons, Obama, and yes, Murkowski… you know who you are. You have NO reason to complain. People, go in your bathroom and stare into the mirror… and then repeat: "I am the problem…" "I am either too ignorant, too stupid, or too stubborn to do what I really need to do." Then slap yourself and say "WAKE UP!!!"

    50. toledofan says:

      This Congress, the 111th, has done more harm to America than any other group of legislatures in my life time and who said the Carter years couldn’t be beat. Anyway what is really sad is that they still continue to get cover from the main stream media. It’s amazing to me to listen to all the pundits talk about how great of a job Pelosi and Reid have done and echo the accomplishments of Obama and his administration, it’s like every disaster is a success because it wasn’t worse. Sometimes it seems like we are living in on a parallel plain. Thanks to Heritage for keeping the record straight and our sanity in check.

    51. Pingback: » Sunday Weekly Summary MySquawk

    52. azidjaclin says:

      If we expect this nation to survive , Congress must change, I refer readers to the book "The Ruling Class" By Eric Felten. The directions to accomplish change are in this little book. 5" X 8" soft cover a scant 100 pages . an easy read. If everyone reading this book would act on it and hand out 10 copies of it, the People will get it.. This Congress thinks it can spend itself into prosperity. Our great grandchildren are going to pay a horrible price for the mischief this self serving legislative process has done to us. We, (current taxpayers ),have to start by making a down payment and turning these proffessional politicians out to pasture, sending the message loud and clear to the replacements we have to send for the "Royalty" we have created.. and we have to get real We cannot hand this mess off to our .children and beyond.. We are broke, as a nation, we might be able to save the country but the time is now, not tomorrow…

    53. Mark Washington, Sta says:

      I would like to see a list of "good" legislation that was passed in the 111th Congress. That would become the Worlds Smallest Book of all time and the least appreciated.

    54. Xanderzone, Seattle says:

      You forgot number 11! Secure our borders and enforce our immigration laws, period! My number 11 should have been number 1 on your list!

    55. Mark Rosamond, Ca 1- says:

      I must say that it is very reassuring to read the reponses to an article such as this. If the Obama presidency and the 111th congress have had any positive effect, it is that it has awoken the "Sleeping Giant". There are more people now than two years ago that know what the Constitution says and means to our Nation, or freedoms and their continued exsistance.

      I also want to point out that the people like Pelosi and Reid do get it and the were and still remain on a mission to destroy our country through the implementation of socialist-marxist ideals and agendas. It was only because of their "Rush to finish" that they tipped thier hand. You only need to study the last 50 years to see that there has been a push to control us and the dislodge our Constitution as the supreme law. They hate that document because it doesn't give them anything. It tells them what they can't do, and that bothers them greatly.

      To all you wonderful people: Keep it up, stay awake, and God Bless America!

    56. Joe, US says:

      Fortunately, with this new congress we have many more committee heads that have ties to the very businesses they should be investigating. I wonder how many more massive ecological disasters folks like Joe Barton will have the gov't. apologize to big oil for.

    57. Denver, Oklahoma says:

      The best we can hope for is that this house investigate the legislators responsible for disasters like the Fannie & Freddie realestate debacle. The whole practice of self-serving legislating for a campaign kick-back is nothing but embezzlement, and it's time that it's called what it is. A good result would be the guilty lose their position, do prison, AND LOSE THEIR RETIREMENT and ALL BENEFITS! That would set an appropriate precedent and raise the bar on legislative behavior…and it might send a meaningful message to thePOTUS The whole issue of Czars must also be addressed from the constitutional perspective. This should be a top priority for this congress.

    58. Pingback: The American Dream Is In Jeopardy | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

    59. Pingback: Why is the American Dream in Jeopardy and How Can We Save It? | Tennesseans Watching Federal & State Government

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×