Saturday, August 13, 2011

The greatest elected body that money can buy

Stephen M. Walt-Foreign Policy

Just when you think your contempt for Congress could not get any higher, our elected representatives manage to do something to ratchet it up another notch. After congressional shenanigans helped spark a major market sell-off and sparked fears of a double-dip recession, you'd think every single one of them would be heading back to their districts to figure out what their constituents wanted and to try to explain how they were going to help make things better. Or maybe a few of them would even spend the recess taking a crash course in macroeconomics and public finance, so that they could start exercising their public duties more responsibly.

But what did 81 of them decide to do instead? You guessed it: they are off on junkets to Israel, paid for by the American Israel Education Foundation, an AIPAC spinoff that has been funding such trips for years. That's right: during the August recess nearly a fifth of the U.S. Congress will visit a single country whose entire population is less than that of New York City.
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But Mr. Walt!! They've been paid for! It's time to deliver!!


  1. 81 members of Congress out of the country when we have a crisis. Tone-deaf dolts.

  2. Actually VZA, Congress should spend most of its time outside of America trying to convince international business to do business with America. But they should go to economic superpowers such as Japan, China, India, Europe, Brazil, Turkey, South Korea, Indonesia. Israel for all its high technology has a small economy.

    However I don't like the way Israel does what it wants without considering American interests enough.

  3. This is the worng time for them to be anywhere else, anan.

  4. 100% wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The US congress needs to facilitate more rapid global growth. That is what the American people want them to do. The income of Americans depends enormously on what foreigners do. Congress needs to meet up with foreigners so that they can better understand foreigners and collaborate with foreigners on facilitating business development, product development, process improvement and technological innovation.

    The Congress doens't understand foreigners enough. Without understanding, how can the US Congress understand how to facilitate growth?

    Ideally there should be electronic voting and Congress people should continually travel around the world and try to convince foreigners to do business with Americans. The Congress should bend over backwards to facilitate international business people succeeding in America.

    That is unless we want to become a socialist communist basket case, such as Cuba. If you want America to become a has been, then by all means have the Congress people remain insular and out of touch with global business and global innovators.

  5. Anan, all that is quite true, in an ideal sort of way, except right now we need Congress to work on pressing issues that must be dealt with NOW so that the uncertainty is removed. Businesses are sitting on an awful lot of money that should be invested into new ventures and expansion, right here. They will not make any moves until these characters either make up their minds or get the hell out of the way.

  6. Going abroad and seeing how foreigners deal with these questions and being told to their face that their stupidity is slowing the US economy . . . how can that be bad?

    VZA, why do you think many international businesses would rather invest outside the US? Why do you think Americans aren't exporting more? These two questions should dominate Congress' mind. They don't have to physically travel. Their minds need to travel. This can happen electronically and by meeting international business people and innovators in person in the US.

    Note however, that business investment in the US is growing. Exports are growing. The last 8 quarters of growth are because of these two parts of the economy.

  7. <span>"</span><span>The US congress needs to facilitate more rapid global growth. </span><span>"</span>

    <span></span>Hey retarded one.  The congressmaen aren't in Israel to facilitate anything but campaign fundraiser for their reelection. From the article:

    "Why do Congresspersons do this, especially at a moment when it is obvious that they ought to be worrying about conditions here at home? Mostly because such junkets burnish a legislator's ‘pro-Israel' credentials and facilitate campaign fundraising. Such trips also expose these visitors to the policy preferences and basic worldview of Israel's leaders, which is of course why AIEF pays for them."

  8. BTW, haven't I asked you to bugger off? You are a waste of time for every one.