Friday, December 28, 2012

Number of laws passed as a measure of Congress' productivity?

From the WSJ today:

Following the tea-party wave in the 2010 election, the 112th Congress looks set to be the least productive in recent history. By the end of November, the House had passed 146 bills over the previous two years, by far the smallest number for any Congress since 1948. The Senate passed fewer bills in 2012 than in any year since at least 1992.

 Damn, only 146 bills.

And the fat lady hasn't begun to sing quite yet.  We might yet get a tax increase without any spending cuts.  Imagine, the automatic spending cuts set to kick in are $110 billion...on a GDP of $15 trillion.  I will save you the math...that is less than 1%.

Note added:  The cuts of $110 billion are only 1% of GDP, which is relevant when thinking about the (possible!) impact on spending and hence GDP.  The cuts are a bit more than 4% of the total Federal budget, and of course more than 4% of discretionary spending.  Still, to refer to the cuts as "draconian" as is customary, seems a bit of an exaggeration...especially when the Federal government is clearly living beyond its mean.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Robert,

I recently came across your blog and have been enjoying reading through it. You post some great news on the current state of economics.

I was wondering if you would be interested in sharing your blog on Glipho? Glipho is a new social blogging network that aims to promote the writing of its users and help build their audiences. We are trying to establish a creative community at Glipho, and your blog is just what we are looking for.

As your blog is powered by Blogger, you can simply import all your old posts to Glipho without affecting your existing blog at all. You can use your Glipho account to connect to any other major social network accounts you may own, so you can spread your blog as far as possible. We also use our own social media accounts to promote your content.

If you're interested check out our website at and have a look around. Please feel free to ask me any questions, and if you would like to receive an invite to set up an account!

Have a great day,


Glipho Limited
14 Suite 3 D
Docklands Business Centre
10-16 Tiller Road
London E14 8PX