Two contrasting columns published in the Denver Business Journal over the past several weeks have argued the role of the U.S. Senate in regards to efficiency in policymaking. As the country attempts to emerge from recession, which opinion will prove healthiest?
The first column, written by John Dill and printed in the January 29 edition of the Journal, argued that the Senate, while designed to be slow moving to prevent wild policy changes, has become too inefficient, particularly during a time of economic crisis.
Dill believes that political posturing on the part of many senators in order to gain reelection is clogging the legislative process, to a point where nothing can be accomplished. Dill also contends that the minority filibuster has grown out of control from its original purpose, essentially blocking any progress.
The rebutting column, written by Steve Schuck was printed in the February 12 edition of the Journal. Schuck disputes that gridlock in the Senate is the very thing protecting U.S. citizens from the sweeping and often unwise decisions of their elected officials and that the market should be allowed to right itself.
According to Schuck, it was those very decisions that pushed banks into making subprime loans, initiating the subsequent financial meltdown. Schuck reasons that if senators, most of whom have little real-world fiscal experience, would stay out of the way of the free market and individual Americans, it would all be for the better.
As our nation strives to climb from recession, create jobs and invigorate the economy, what should we expect from our Senate? Does a well-functioning Senate take action and pass corrective policies? Or does it allow the collective intellect of free Americans to steer the market?
Both columns are available to subscribers in the online edition of the Denver Business Journal: