Bad Economic Cliché #3: Congressional Soapboxing
Mar 26th, 2009 by scaredpoet

I’ve seen congress huff and puff over the aftermath of 9/11, the Enron crisis, the Basbeball Steroid scandal, and now this new Economic Mess. There’s one thing I’ve learned from watching these things: Damn, these congressional windbags can talk!

Ostensibly and nominally, a congressional hearing is “the principal formal method by which committees collect and analyze information in the early stages of legislative policymaking.” Presumably, this means that lawmakers are supposed to obtain testimony so that they can be informed about the issue at hand and take some kind of action. So, why the hell are these pompous asses talking so damned much?

C-SPAN brought the television camera into congress, and they believed they were doing the citizens of the US a favor by casting sunlight onto the machinations of government and letting us all see how it works. Unfortunately, it also means that some of our elected officials are using the same medium to grandstand, expound, rant and show off their bellicosity, wondering aloud with their ill-informed opinions, and showing off their feathers like the ugly old turkeys they are. They also use these opportunities badger and berate witnesses, cashing in on public anger and fostering demagoguery, having already formed their own opinions and judgements about the people who are presumably there to help them form those opinions and action plans.

It’s a waste of time. Nothing new has been exposed from these hearings that haven’t already been made known via the numerous media outlets that are picking at shreds of information on these scandals 24/7. Frankly, I’m disgusted, and I don’t know who to be more mad at: the AIG execs who got huge bonuses, or the old codgers we’re paying $151 per hour EACH to sit there and flap their gums and get nothing done.


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