Tom Purcell, 8/25/2008 [Archive]

Grateful For A Do-Nothing Congress

Grateful for a Do-Nothing Congress

By Tom Purcell

"That's it. I'm running for Congress. Where else can an adult accomplish so little and get paid so well?"

"Ah, yes, you speak of a recent report in the Wall Street Journal. According to Taxpayers for Common Sense, the 110th Congress has passed fewer public laws -- 294 -- than any session of Congress in 20 years."

"What the heck has the Congress been doing?"

"Passing lots of decrees and resolutions -- public pronouncements that mostly don't mean much. So far, the 110th Congress has passed more than 1,900 of those."

"What kind of resolutions?"

"Take Senate Resolution 440. It recognizes soil as an essential natural resource. It also praises soil professionals for playing a critical role in managing our nation's natural resources."

"That's fair enough. America's dirt has been underrated for years."

"Then there is Senate Resolution 262. It designated July 2007 as National Watermelon Month."

"If our Congress is going to praise dirt, it ought to praise the stuff that grows in it."

"That brings us to Senate Resolution 180. It recognized the 70th anniversary of the Idaho Potato Commission. It also designated May 2007 as Idaho Potato Month."

"If Congress is going to praise watermelon, why not the potato? You can't make fries out of watermelons. Surely the Democrat Congress passed the key spending bills that keep our government running."

"You refer to the 13 separate appropriation bills that Congress must pass and the president must sign to fund all the departments and activities of the federal government. Our Congress didn't pass even ONE of the 2009 appropriation bills -- even though that is one of its primary responsibilities."

"How will the Democrats running Congress fund the government then?"

"They'll likely wait until the last minute, then combine all 13 spending bills into one massive bill -- what they call an omnibus bill. Politicians love omnibus bills because they can sneak in all kinds of goodies before anybody notices."

"Surely the Democrats running Congress passed important legislation of some kind."

"Well, they passed the largest expansion in college aid in 60 years, increased the minimum wage, extended unemployment benefits, passed a $168 billion stimulus package and also passed a $300 billion mortgage bill to bail out individuals and finance companies that made boneheaded decisions."

"They're even better at spending dough than Republicans. But surely they tackled some of the really important stuff. How about allowing more drilling where we know the oil is so America can produce more of its own oil and gas? What about doing something about the nutty ethanol policies that are driving up food costs?"

"They didn't get around to such things, but they did designate June 30th as National Corvette Day."

"Hey, guys with toupees should have their own day, too."

"To be fair, the Democrat Congress is up against a Republican president who is blocking its efforts to pass the Democrats' ideas into law. Back in 1995, when Clinton was president and the House and Senate were Republican, not many bills got passed into law, either. That session of Congress was almost as unproductive as our current one."

"What are you suggesting?"

"It's generally a good thing when Congress is unproductive -- gridlock is good. The Democrats in Congress have lots of ambitious ideas to grow the government, increase regulation and increase taxes. God help us if the voters give them a Democrat president to pass their ideas into law."

"That doesn't sound good. So what should we do?"

"We should celebrate the fact that the Democrats in Congress have got so little done. We should be grateful Congress is limited to passing meaningless resolutions, such as decreeing May 5-9 as National Substitute Teacher Recognition Week."

"But we SHOULD praise our substitute teachers. How'd you like it if your career choice involved spitballs in your hair and laxatives slipped into your coffee?"

© 2008 Tom Purcell. Tom is a humor columnist nationally syndicated exclusively by Cagle Cartoons. For more info contact Sales at (805) 969-2829 or email sales@cagle.com. Visit Tom on the web at www.TomPurcell.com or e-mail him at Purcell@caglecartoons.com.

RESTRICTIONS: 'Tom Purcell's column may not be reprinted in general circulation print media in Pennsylvania's Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, and Westmoreland Counties. It may appear only in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and its sister publications.



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