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If Congress won’t act on jobs and the economy, President Obama promises that he will—a message he’s expected to push in Tuesday’s State of the Union. The problem is, there’s not much the president can do his own. 
Despite a brief detente over the budget, Congress remains paralyzed on almost everything else, big and small, that has the greatest potential to help the economy: tax reform, immigration reform, an infrastructure overhaul. 

(Photo by Brendan Smialowski/ Getty)

If Congress won’t act on jobs and the economy, President Obama promises that he will—a message he’s expected to push in Tuesday’s State of the Union. The problem is, there’s not much the president can do his own. 

Despite a brief detente over the budget, Congress remains paralyzed on almost everything else, big and small, that has the greatest potential to help the economy: tax reform, immigration reform, an infrastructure overhaul. 

(Photo by Brendan Smialowski/ Getty)

We live in historic times—an epoch during which previous records measuring human achievement have been broken again and again. Alas, in the case of congressional approval ratings, these records are historic lows. Variations on the headline, “Congressional Approval At All-Time Low” have appeared, successively, in April 2006, July 2008, October 2011, August 2012, and (as MSNBC reported) twice during the past two weeks. How low can Congress go?
To know that, it helps to know where we’ve been.
(Photo by Evan Vucci/AP)

We live in historic times—an epoch during which previous records measuring human achievement have been broken again and again. Alas, in the case of congressional approval ratings, these records are historic lows. Variations on the headline, “Congressional Approval At All-Time Low” have appeared, successively, in April 2006, July 2008, October 2011, August 2012, and (as MSNBC reported) twice during the past two weeks. How low can Congress go?

To know that, it helps to know where we’ve been.

(Photo by Evan Vucci/AP)