My Irish Up: Bureaucrats and Lobbyists and Congressmen, oh my!

Mike Corrigan

Mike Corrigan

By Mike Corrigan

BN Columnist

In Washington D.C., that noble city where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once stood and proudly proclaimed that he had a dream about a large group of albino buffalo that was always chasing him, our federal government goes about the important, cash-intensive business of not functioning worth a damn.

I see three main reasons for all the waste and gridlock: (1.) Bureaucrats (from the French, “bureau-,” meaning “employed” and “-crats,” meaning “Democrats”); (2.) Lobbyists (from “lobby-,” meaning lazy, and “-Ists,” meaning “s.o.b.s”); and (3.) The gridlock effect of (1.) and (2.) pulling in opposite directions. And, oh yes, because Washington couldn’t function without at least a 33% cost overrun, there’s also: (4.) our Congressmen, who spend 99% of their time raising money to get re-elected, and who the remaining 1% of the time demonstrate all the higher brain function and good judgment of heroin addicts.

Take Social Security, a program we are told has to be cut, or privatized, or something. Why? Unlike most things in Washington, Social Security actually works, and with the lowest overhead costs of any such system in the world today. Imagine! Also, Social Security provides millions of lifetime workers with mostly-minimal pensions, needed more than ever now that fewer and fewer companies are providing any at all, or are welching out on old promises. After four or five decades of work, many people depend on Social Security. After buying a house, and sending a few kids to college, and all those years of provendering vital food products such as fried pork rinds and beer, most folks have as much as $41.78 in the bank at the end. But $41.78 doesn’t go as far as it used to.

Let’s face it, most couples want to be able to retire while still being able to afford at least some beer. But, alas, that’s not what happens, as the husband usually dies of fried pork rind poisoning pretty much straight away.

Still, to hear Washington policy-makers carrying on, Social Security is “bankrupting the country.” This, for a self-sustaining program that adds not a penny to the national debt? That with a little strengthening, instead of cutting, would basically run forever? Oh, you evil, evil, greedy Social Security people who drive so slow! Go back to work, why don’t you? Wal-Mart needs more greeters to drool on customers on their way out of the store with their prescriptions.

For sure, everything costs too much in Washington. Clearly, the first problem is all those bureaucrats pulling down G-11 wages and pensions to rule that a canister of dental floss, say, should contain no fewer than ten linear feet of string, and the dispenser must have no sharp edges and feature a warning that you shouldn’t eat the dispenser, or the floss either. And the second problem is all those lobbyists, who are there to make sure that, for example, the vital cattle prod manufacturing industry gets a 15% cost-of-prodding subsidy boost next year. (— ZAP! — “Okay! All right! Here’s your money!”)

Sure, it’s the American Way. But in the meantime, there’s a Big Bank-collapsed housing market, unfettered Wall Street casino capitalism sending money and jobs offshore, a carbon-based economy polluting the planet and heating the atmosphere, an unfunded war or two making new enemies for America around the world, and the list goes on. But do we try to solve these problems and save the country’s soul, and its economy? No. Instead, Congress funds its pet “essential” nonessential programs, like the $45 billion dollar X-687 Attack Canteen, a weapon that the Army actually doesn’t want at all, but that the canteen lobbyists from Senator Featherdumpster’s district thirst after, or they’ll lose their lobbying jobs.

With all these problems and more, what do you think we should tackle first? Oh, how about let’s cut Social Security? Come on it will be fun! Even though it contributes nothing to the federal deficit. Even though the program is good to go, as is, until at least 2035. In fact, SS is one of the few public entities left in America that is actually solvent. (Definition of solvent: “A substance that can dissolve anything, even the $45 Billion X-687 Attack Canteen”).

Amazing as it may seem, every word of this Epic Story Explaining How Our Federal Government Doesn’t Work For Crap is true. Except for the part about Dr. King’s dream, of course. History records that Dr. King’s actual dream was about albino Congressmen, not buffalo. But at least he got to wake up from his nightmare.

Mike Corrigan intensively lobbies his cat in Lewiston to clean out its own stupid litter box. The cat is holding out for a government subsidy.

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