Archive for February, 2006

Just Vote on Everything

February 1, 2006 Opinion: Michael Barone: Barone Blog: The case for pork Barone’s argument is that spending our money together on their own trivial interests makes Congress happy enough that they can manage to pass laws that many members believe to be unconstitutional and a budget that can only be considered close to ‘balanced’ by pure chicanery. Somehow I find myself less than thrilled.

Here’s what I want. An up or down vote on everything and no amendments to unrelated budget items. You want to ask the rest of the country to pay $3 million to study the mating habits of transgendered albino wombats? Go for it but make it a separate piece of legislation so that everyone involved is on the record for or against. Also, no voice votes. You want the job, you do the work on record.

We pay these people somewhere just south of $200k with tons of allowances for actual expenses of office. Their job is to represent the people who can’t be there to protect their own interests (a broad generalization but one I’m willing to debate). Aside from purely ceremonial measures (recognition of left handed anglers week?), the output of real legislation tends to run fewer than 50 pieces in a year. I don’t think I’m asking too much.