Our Venerable Congress

Make no mistake—I appreciate the type of government our Constitution created. I do believe in representation. Never would I opt for any kind of one-man rule from the top. Yet what if our system of representation gets so skewed that it’s no different than a top-down tyranny?

We’ve had glimpses of tyranny at times: Woodrow Wilson during World War I; FDR’s New Deal; LBJ’s Great Society. We’re working on a new version in our day. As a historian, I can point out the times that Congress has spun out of control. Our current Congress, though, may be able to claim the prize as the most over-the-edge of all.

While we concentrate on the black “ink” in the Gulf, there’s a greater threat spreading throughout the entire nation. Congress needs to see the connection.

You will hear a lot of howling from the majority party in Congress about fiscal responsibility, but their actions make a lie of their professed concern. For instance, the proposed bill to regulate the banks, etc., seems to have one glaring omission.

In case you need a reminder, it was the government entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that started this downward economic spiral. Of course, what led them to do so were the government mandates on who should be allowed to obtain loans. We stopped caring about fiscal responsibility in the housing sector as soon as we decided that everyone should own a home regardless of ability to pay.

Yet the congressional solution to all economic woes never seems to be tilted toward the free market. Control has become the watchword.

Farfetched, you say? Well, isn’t it now illegal to decide not to have health insurance? Congress is very concerned about that type of illegality—not so much about illegal immigration, though.

Is it any wonder approval ratings for Congress are in the tank?

While we can make fun of the current state of affairs, it’s a sad testimony for what was supposed to be a model of representative government. I still believe in the model. I continue to hope that Congress can redeem itself. In order to accomplish that, however, new people will have to be in charge.

Remember November.