Congress swings into inaction

Editor’s column

Mr. Average Citizen: Tell me, Mr. Capitol Hill Observer, what is Congress doing about this $4 a gallon gasoline? It’s killing me. Memorial Day Weekend we stayed home and ate raw hot dogs. We couldn’t afford gas or charcoal lighter fluid.

Mr. Capitol Hill: As a long-time observer of Congress, I’d 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. Hit’em 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 “I’d LIKE to tell you.” Unfortunately, I can’t tell you Congress is forming OMAC, because it’s not.

Mr. Average Citizen: What are they doing?

Mr. Capitol Hill: Calling as many recesses as possible because it’s getting hot in Washington, it’s 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 he’s 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. It’s doubtful he’s 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 aren’t 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 I’ll ask my boss if I can have the right to vote against my next pay increase, if I ever get one. We haven’t used the company smelling salts in a while.

Mr. Capitol Hill: Don’t complain. It’s an election year, so they won’t raise your taxes until at least January.

Mr. Average Citizen: So, there’s no hope for me? I’ll never be able to afford gasoline?

Mr. Capitol Hill: Don’t 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 isn’t quite low enough to qualify for those programs.

Mr. Capitol Hill: Don’t worry, it will be.

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