Monday, March 1, 2010

Why Government Doesn't Work, Part 7,351

Republican Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky (right), whose sanity has been questioned on a number of occasions by people who are sane, has singlehandedly stopped the extension of unemployment benefits for 400,000 Americans and laid off 2,000 federal road workers by stopping a jobs bill because of simple pig-headedness. (In addition, he helped block Medicare patients to physicians with this move.)

Bunning objected to the bills because it is apparently not fully clear how they will be paid. As Sen. Harry Reid pointed out on the Senate floor, Bunning didn't raise the same objection when George Bush was funneling billions of dollars into the Iraq war--with no clue where we'd get the money and with the double whammy of not even putting it in the budget.

Two problems here: First, Republicans blame this action on the Democrats. We'll repeat: Bunning is a Republican. But what would expect? Second, one Senator can gum up the works on a whim, even one whose sanity is as uncertain as Bunning's.

Regardless of how you feel about the funding of these two bills, the fact that the Senate doesn't work outweighs any philosophy. What difference is a philosophy if you can't apply it?

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