Identify some advantages to the nation that might follow when one party controls the House, the Senate, and the Presidency.  

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mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In 2009 and 2010 President Barack Obama had a Democratic Senate and a Democratic Congress, yet he was unable to pass a budget.  Even his own party rejected his proposed budget. So, just because the branches of government have a majority of one party, there is no guarantee that legislation can be passed.

The fact that the current president has been unsuccessful in passing a budget and avoiding the "fiscal cliff" points to other issues than that of party.  Conservative President Ronald Reagan reached across parties to Majority Whip in the House of Representatives, Tip O'Neill, a liberal, and they were able to make legislative progress. Likewise, Democratic president Bill Clinton was able to accomplish things with a Republican Congress.  So, whether all one party controls the government does not necessarily mean progress or success. Also, when one party controls the government, democracy in that country is greatly threatened.

President Harry Truman had a plaque on his desk that read "The Buck Stops Here."  Perhaps, this plaque should be revived so that blame cannot be continually put upon the opposing party when leaders do not get their way.  Reason may be a better guide than partisanship.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

There would be one major benefit that the nation would enjoy if all three of these parts of the government were to be in the hands of one party.  This benefit would be that it would be much more likely that the government would be able to take action to solve the problems that the country faces.  This situation would also have the added, if smaller, benefit of allowing voters to know who to blame if things went badly.

In our current situation, it is very difficult to get anything done at the federal level.  We have seen this in the recent conflict over the “fiscal cliff.”  Even in this most important of instances, the three parts of the government had a very hard time agreeing to make any changes needed to avoid economic disaster.  It seems very unlikely that anything of substance will be made into law in this Congress even though the US badly needs things like tax reform and entitlement reform.  If one party were in control, it would be much more likely that something would be done.

If nothing gets done, it will be difficult in the current situation for voters to know whom to blame.  Both sides will be able to claim that the other side was the cause of the gridlock.  If one party were in control, it could get its agenda passed.  If the agenda proved to be harmful to the country, people could easily place the blame on the party in power and vote it out of office.

Thus, if we no longer had divided government, our government would be more likely to accomplish things and we would know which party to blame in the event that things went wrong.

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