The Spectacle Blog

Gridlock Good?

By on 10.31.06 | 8:28AM

I hate to take issue with my friend Bruce Bartlett, but his column today arguing in favor of a Democratic takeover of Congress misses the mark. In particular, this paragraph seems off:

I believe that the good economic times of the late 1990s resulted largely from gridlock -- Democrat Bill Clinton couldn't get his plans through a Republican Congress and he blocked its initiatives. So for a blessed six years government was basically on automatic pilot. The result was budget surpluses instead of deficits, low unemployment, high wages and a skyrocketing stock market. Who wouldn't go back to those times if we could? Bringing back gridlock could to the trick.

The economy isn't exactly in the doldrums right now. Unemployments is low, the Dow has reached a record high, wages don't seem to be increasing but total compensation is, and the deficit is shrinking. On that point, going back wouldn't yield huge improvement.

Furthermore, do we really want to go back to a period when the growing threat of Islamofacism was largely ignored? But that's where we are headed should the Dems win. A Representative who says this election "shouldn't be about national security" and a Senator who boasts about killing the Patriot Act? Giving the keys to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid is a surefire way to take a drive down Not-Serious-About-Fighting-Terrorism Street.

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