Congressional Christmas

Christmas tree made from dollarsChristmas came early in the hallowed halls of the Capitol Building. They lit the Christmas tree, passed a Christmas Tree bill, exchanged tax breaks with a few friends, and then went home for the holidays.

A Christmas tree bill is one that everyone and their mother-in-laws (who all seem to work at Citicorp) can hang a special interest “ornament” on (John Stewart tutorial). The bill itself – in this case a budget – was so important that all of these ornaments, like an increase in campaign contribution limits, could be supported. (This Christmas tree even had shiny presents underneath for each of the Congressmen from their “secret” Santas!)

I can only assume that the Congressmen voted out in the last election were saying one last “FU” to the voters while those who survived the election were saying a big “FU, now you’re stuck with me”.

Congress christmas card
Christmas Card from Your Congressman

It seems like Congress has this budget thing backwards. I don’t know about you, but last time I made a budget for myself, I was cutting back on things. When I’m flush, I don’t need a budget; I just go to the shops and flash the credit card around. I guess that’s what you get when you vote in all the rich kids – they’ve never had to learn how to budget their cash (their nannies always did it for them).

To be fair, Congress did cut back on a few things – like banking regulations. As any good parent knows, when a child has been bad (I mean really bad and crashed the world economy), slap the child on the wrist, ground the child for a couple of years, and then make the child pinky promise not to do it again. Congress all agreed that the banks have been punished enough (the voters who bailed out the banks obviously haven’t).

Actually when I look at the bill a little closer, there seems to be more “don’ts” in this budget than there are budgets. Don’t legalize marijuana in DC. Don’t apply EPA standards. Don’t pay Joe Biden more money. And don’t even think about taking off on Saturday, you lazy postal workers.

In the end, this budget bill was a good thing…. Right? Even Grandma Pelosi and Grandpa Reid voted for it.

Boehner godfather
John Boehner – As the Godfather

So why does this feel like a good old fashioned shake down “Pass this bill, or we’ll shut down the government”? Again. Maybe this is why we don’t see as much organized crime in the cities, it has moved to the Capitol. I guess that makes Boehner the Godfather.

But don’t blame your Congressman if he or she voted for it. The bill is 1600 pages long and riders were being added right up until the last minute (this is always what happens when you procrastinate. You think you have all sorts of time to pack for your holiday and then the plane is leaving in 2 hours and you grab everything without even looking and stuff it in a suitcase – or a budget bill.) There’s no way your Congressman even read bill. That’s ok, all your Congressman had to do was read the ransom note on the first page – “Pass this or else….”

I’m Jae and this message was originally 100 pages long and contained sections on the electoral college, internet stalking, school prayer, and vegetarianism.


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