The 113th Congress is the Least Productive Congress Ever. Libertarians Rejoice?

November 23rd, 2013

Politico reports, somewhat breathlessly, that the current congress is the “least productive” congress in history. How is this metric calculated?

So far, this Congress has only enacted 49 laws, the fewest since at least 1947, when the Congressional Record began tallying legislative activity on a yearly basis. In fact, the 80th Congress — famously dubbed the “do nothing” Congress by President Harry Truman — enacted 388 public laws by July 1947.

In the last 66 years, there are just four occasions in which fewer than 100 laws were enacted by a similar point in the legislative calendar. And two of those instances were in the last two Congresses, with the previous Congress making just 62 laws through November 2011.

From a libertarian perspective, in many respects, intractable gridlock result in no new laws could be viewed as a best case scenario.

To quote Mark Twain, “No man’s life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.” Or when they aren’t doing stuff.