Do we have a one-party system of government?

Supposedly we have a two party system of government. Republicans and Democrats noisily bad mouth each other and struggle over the spoils of electoral victory. But with government spending at stake, they play together pretty well.

Consider the recently passed Water Bill, WRRDA. WRDDA is said to have no earmarks, but the project known as the “Great Wall of Louisiana” is specifically funded; how is that not an earmark? Rep. Miller (R-MI) assures her constituents that there is money in the bill for “Great Lakes State” projects.  Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, both Democrats, as well as Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) assure us that there is money to dredge little used NYS harbors. Have our representatives, Republicans and Democrats, conspired to help each other out? Earmarks–no way–that word is taboo for both parties.

ImageThe recently passed 2015 Defense Appropriation Bill, NDAA, supposedly provides for defense. In fact, it has more to do with stimulus. Our representatives from both parties, supposedly opposed to wasteful spending, strive mightily in unison to protect defense appropriations that they favor. According to Defense News: “The floor process left intact the general crux of the House Armed Services Committee-crafted bill: It protects a slew of weapon programs. It does so mostly by raiding accounts used for service contracts and other non-weapons accounts.”  Rep. Miller assures us that the A10 airplane operated by the Michigan National Guard will not be defunded.

Rep. Tom Reed says that government spending is the nation’s most pressing problem, that government spending isn’t necessary for economic recovery, and that government can’t create jobs. But when the spending is in his district, he quietly votes in favor.

© William Hungerford – May 2014


About whungerford

* Contributor at where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
This entry was posted in Congress, Dept of Defense, Economics, Political, Reed's Views. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Do we have a one-party system of government?

  1. josephurban says:

    We don’t have a one party system. We have a one party and one religion system! The GOP is slowly becoming a religion, not a political party.


  2. whungerford says:

    Charles Haynes, writing in today’s Gannett papers, says that the Supreme Court may have opened a can of worms with the Greece decision. Haynes writes: “…how will local governments practice non-discrimination in the selection of prayer givers? Must the policy allow all comers…” Haynes suggests a better decision might have been to allow only silent prayer.


  3. Deb Meeker says:

    Does the US citizenry settle for mainly two parties because the majority of people can’t mentally process more than that, or possibly because others get drowned out by the established “Democrat” and “Republican” parties? Have these two parties convinced voters that splitting their votes off from the main two choices, will wreak havoc with getting someone they can at least stomach elected? The Working, Green, Socialist, Communist, and Libertarian parties are all striving to become relevant, as the two well known – Democratic and Republican –
    themselves split off into factions: Liberal, Progressive, Conservative and Tea Party. Mind boggling.

    Rep. Reed, no stranger to hypocrisy, manages to cite the rhetoric of which ever party’s policy will earn him the desired effect at the moment. Two years ago, Rep. Reed crawled up on the Tea Party hay wagon, and adamantly verbalized how he would – defend our 2nd Amendment rights, that were being abused by a tyrannical government over-reach. Within that same time period he voted to restrict the Constitutional right for women to choose. No over-reach there, right?
    And then, when he realized his radical views were being outed and not accepted, he turned into Mr. Moderate, joining the No Labels, ” let’s all be bi-partisan and get stuff done” kind of guy.

    Sometimes it I think it would be better to have only just two distinct parties, with well defined and practiced policies and platforms. At least that might help the uninformed to better assess what would be in their own interest.


  4. whungerford says:

    Our form of Government with winner-take-all elections makes two parties inevitable. A third party that fails to win a plurality ends up with nothing. Conservatives won’t run a candidate in NY-23 because there is nothing to gain. Countries with parlementary systems often have multiple parties because minor parties can hope to play a part in a coalition government. The NYS Senate, where dissident Democrats, essentially a third party, have formed a coalition with Republicans is an example of that.


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