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Springtime At Christmas ?

12/12/2015

It is probably too early to find long-lost hope, but there is something good going on in Washington.  With all the drama of the stock market and the pressure of the holiday season, you may not have noticed that two significant pieces of legislation have passed and been signed by the President, plus the predicted government shutdown next week has been avoided.

First, a five-year transportation bill was approved.  Not only was more money committed to infrastructure, but it was committed over a five-year period.  Imagine you’re a road-builder with only a one-year contract, knowing your contract will almost certainly lapse every year for lack of funding.  Better yet for taxpayers, just imagine more and better infrastructure!

Second, an updated “no-child-left-behind” education bill was approved.  It still required annual testing, which teachers hate, but delegated remedial solutions to the state level, which Republicans love.  Nonetheless, the President signed it.

I’m sure there are enough details that everybody can find something to disagree with.  The point is that both pieces of legislation passed anyway and were signed.  For years, I’ve referred to Congress as “elected-children.”  What caused this change of season, from bitter Wintertime to pleasant Springtime.  Could it be Republicans want to prove they can govern?  Could it be that Democrats are embarrassed and tired of low approval numbers?

I suspect much of the credit for this improved legislative climate goes to the new Speaker, Paul Ryan.  Certainly, there are no fewer Tea Party members in the House, but Ryan has found a way to corral them and harness their anger.

Attaboy, Paul !!

Nothing could help the stock market more than a functional fiscal policy, reducing the lop-sided need for stimulative monetary policy.

Go, Paul, Go !!!

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