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Reelection Security: How Self Interest Disregards Poor Approval Ratings

Tuesday, October 7, 2008 0 comments

Congress has a low approval rating, even lower than President Bush. Yet people hate President Bush, but don't complain about Congress that often. Congress is unproductive and usually pushes controversial issues onto other branches. For instance, Congress could stop funding for the war in Iraq, but they would rather the executive branch handle such a hot issue. They also push social issues such as abortion or homosexual marriage onto the judicial branch.

How can Congress have an approval rating around 20% and still reelect incumbents? The answer is self interest. Everyone blames Congress, but doesn't always blame their Congressman or Congresswoman. That is because most likely they are bringing back earmarks for their congressional district. Take for instance the recent bailout. It passes when you add about $250 billion of earmarks. Everyone mocks the bridge to nowhere, but that was just one case.


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