Why is the government that passes the fewest laws the least productive?

November 30th, 2013

USA Today covers a point Politico wrote about last week: that the current Congress has passed the fewest laws in the last 60 years.

Congress is on track to beat its own low record of productivity, enacting fewer laws this year than at any point in the past 66 years.

It’s a continuing slide of productivity that began in 2011, after Republicans recaptured the House majority in the 2010 elections, and the ability to find common ground has eluded the two parties while the legislative to-do list piles up.

The 112th Congress, covering 2011-12, emerged as the least productive two-year legislating period on record, while 2013 is on track to become the least productive single year in modern history.

According to official legislative statistics, 52 laws have been enacted through early November. It is the lowest record of legislative activity since at least 1947, when the data collection began. The lowest prior year was 1995, with a new Republican House, when only 88 laws were enacted.

I’ll repeat my sentiment from my earlier post. This is bad?

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

From a libertarian perspective, as Thomas Jefferson probably didn’t say, the government that governs least governs best. Or, 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.