Congress swings into inaction
By JIM LARSEN
Whidbey News Times Editor
July 3, 2008 · Updated 10:52 PM
Mr. Average Citizen: Tell me, Mr. Capitol Hill Observer, what is Congress doing about this $4 a gallon gasoline? Its killing me. Memorial Day Weekend we stayed home and ate raw hot dogs. We couldnt afford gas or charcoal lighter fluid.
Mr. Capitol Hill: As a long-time observer of Congress, Id like to tell you that our Congress people are planning to hit back at the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, better known as the OPEC oil cartel. Plans are in the works to create the Organization of Manufacturing and Agricultural Countries. The OMAC cartel would tie everything the oil producers buy, such as food, cars, machinery and jewelry, to the price of oil. Since most of them produce little else except sand, that would even things out: We pay $4 a gallon for gas, they pay, $4,000 for an iPod, $2.5 million for a Mercedes sedan, $32 a pound for Lamb Snacks, and they pay FULL PRICE for Kmart jewelry. Hitem where it hurts.
Mr. Average Citizen: That sounds like a great idea! Americans are tired of getting kicked around and seeing our political leaders do nothing but whimper. Finally, Congress is showing some backbone!
Mr. Capitol Hill: Sorry, but you misunderstood. What I said was Id LIKE to tell you. Unfortunately, I cant tell you Congress is forming OMAC, because its not.
Mr. Average Citizen: What are they doing?
Mr. Capitol Hill: Calling as many recesses as possible because its getting hot in Washington, its an election year and they need to raise more money than ever. Do you know what the price of oil has done to the cost of flying from one corporate donor to the other, begging for money?
Mr. Average Citizen: But my congressman says hes feeling our pain. Why, he came to town just last week to tell us that.
Mr. Capitol Hill: Guess who paid for his gas? You did. Its doubtful hes feeling much pain. Even the lowliest Congressman makes $169,300 a year, more than four times what the average working stiff makes. And the benefits arent bad either. Full medical, generous retirement, etc. Every year he gets a pay increase unless he votes not to accept it.
Mr. Average Citizen: Say again?! He has to vote NOT to accept a pay increase? Geez, I guess we know how that election will turn out. No hanging chad controversies there. I think Ill ask my boss if I can have the right to vote against my next pay increase, if I ever get one. We havent used the company smelling salts in a while.
Mr. Capitol Hill: Dont complain. Its an election year, so they wont raise your taxes until at least January.
Mr. Average Citizen: So, theres no hope for me? Ill never be able to afford gasoline?
Mr. Capitol Hill: Dont be surprised so see taxes increased so the government can issue Gas Stamps to the needy, so they can get to the store to use their Food Stamps.
Mr. Average Citizen: But my income isnt quite low enough to qualify for those programs.
Mr. Capitol Hill: Dont worry, it will be.Contact Whidbey News Times Editor Jim Larsen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-360-675-6611 (ext 5050).