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THE ROLE OF CONGRESS IN THE 21ST CENTURY.

Not that simple. 

 

Beyond serving the constituents who elect them, the members of Congress have responsibilities to the whole nation.  The political party that they associate themselves with should assist each of the members, first of all in carrying out these basic nationals responsibilities.

 

Because the Congress makes laws for the whole nation, the overall objectives of the Party are secondary to the basic obligations to the nation.

 

One of the reasons for superimposing a government on a people is to bring an overall organization to those things that need to be done in common and collectively.   

 

Representatives of the people in a democratic system come from the people and are chosen by the people, yet these representatives once within government gain the power to rule over the people.

 

Each member may now have a loyalty to a set of promises given to his or her constituency, a loyalty to Party ideals, a loyalty to nation and what are referred to as national interests and a loyalty to ones principles. 

 

Most politicians want to remain in office and seek re-election.   They must choose which of these obligations or combination of obligations are going to guide them and keep them in office.

 

One of the most important functions of government both on the local and national basis, once a responsibility primarily of the churches is the obligation taken on for care of the needy, the sick, the poor and the welfare and development of the people.  Hospitals and schools were operated as church functions.

 

There are various factors that led to government involvement in social welfare, the main one being the ability to tax on a broader basis than the churches could.  And the differences between parties on these matter becomes the issues of taxation and who pay these taxes.

 

The two parties in the United States are mainly formed around the issues of taxation, the portion that is to go to welfare, payment of these and on what basis. 

 

Business and upper income people feel that they carry an unfair share of the burden.  One of the parties then represents these interests.  The other party is inclined to represent the interests of the so called “welfare recipients,” claiming that the upper income groups must of necessity pay the largest share.

 

So we have two political parties mainly in opposition on the issue of the welfare state or economic socialism versus capitalism.

 

It appears that members of congress have joined one or the other party based on where they stand on the issues of the welfare state.

 

Societies for decades have shifted the role of human welfare from church to government.  “The poor shall always be with us” calls for a response and societies seem to have taken on the responsibility.

 

It appears that both parties are now going to have to lead on the resolution of this issue.  It is not going away.  Battles over taxes, debt, budgets and government regulation is not going to do it.

 

Both parties are going to have to come together on the issue of the role of government as a welfare state within a capitalist system.  Democracy cannot be based on a system of developing a moneyed-aristocracy.  Equality, perhaps a mere dream requires less disparity among the classes.

 

Managing welfare and lessening class disparity has become the role of Congress, at least for the early decades of the 21st century.

 

 

 

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