William D. Hedges: Congress behaving badly


Published: Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 5:07 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 5:07 p.m.

If you or I performed in our jobs as poorly as the men and women we send to the Senate and the House, we would be fired in short order and deservedly so. Let's briefly examine what those approximately 600 adults in Washington have been doing and are doing.

But first let me say that as a sort of an old fashioned guy, I am inclined to think one endeavors to be quite clear as to what his or her job is and then endeavors to get that done with the hope, that if he or she performs well, he or she will not only remain employed but perhaps may even get a raise.

It seems evident to me that the congress has turned that concept upside down. Their position apparently is, first and foremost, to concentrate on keeping the job and then, if there is any time left, try to accomplish something. This means groveling before the various vested interests

whenever any legislation is being considered and carrying out the wishes of those vested interests in order to obtain the funds necessary to persuade the constituents that something is being accomplished and thus that they should be re-elected.

I honestly believe most of our elected representatives initially go to Washington to do good, but, with few exceptions, they very soon find themselves being bought. This applies to Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike.

Is there a solution? I am not sure, but think one partial solution might be to impose strict term limits on each house, eliminate most of the perks, pay living expenses only, and in effect send the message, "Go thou to D.C. for a fixed period of time, suffer some hardship as a good

citizen, and do what you think is best for the nation. Then come home, keeping in mind no vested interests are going to be able to keep you in office so you cannot be influenced by them and are free to vote your conscience.

William D. Hedges

Gainesville

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