A Glimpse of Congress’s Confusion About Its Job

In my home email box tonight I have a communication from the U.S. congressman from my district. I won’t say “my” congressman because he does not represent any of my political or ethical values.

In the communication is this remarkable sentence: “Congress never used to leave Washington without attending to critical deadlines that affect the basic functions of government – such as passing a transportation bill or a farm bill or an FAA reauthorization.”

Take that in: “…the basic functions of government – such as passing a transportation bill or a farm bill or an FAA reauthorization.” ?! Passing a farm bill is a basic function of government? Would American farming disappear without help from Washington? I see nothing in the Constitution that allows Congress to have anything to do with farming.

The basic function of government is to protect rights. It’s not to subsidize light rail or the corn industry, or to manage air traffic control. (Canada’s air traffic is managed by a private sector [non-profit] corporation, not a government agency such as the FAA, and Canada’s aviation has improved since they privatized air traffic control.)

I try not to respond to communications from politicians. Indeed, I try to avoid them because they upset me, as now. But to this one I responded tonight. I vented some frustration at Congress’s officious meddling where they have no business or competence, as follows:

Mr. … ,

Lest I write something rude, let me just say that my reaction to this communication is very negative. It’s precisely this kind of … I can’t find a word for it … that justifies the low opinion—perhaps it’s contempt—in which most of America holds Congress.

Don’t misunderstand me; the Republicans are just as bad.

If I could, I’d fire all of you and make you get useful jobs.

Sincerely,

Howard Baetjer

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One Response to A Glimpse of Congress’s Confusion About Its Job

  1. Elan says:

    Dr Baetjer,

    Lets not forget that many politicians say “my district”, “my constituents”. Gee, since when did politicians ever view their “constituents” and their “district” as their property? It is unbelievable. I might also add that it is typical for them to think of certain things as “critical” only because they have never bothered to work in real jobs.

    Hayek was right. The worst really do always come in to power.

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