Thursday, July 18, 2013

Productivity in Congress

House Speaker John Boehner today gave a press conference in which he declared that it was just "nonsense" that the 112th Congress was one of the most unproductive in history. Anyway, Boehner went on to say, "most Americans think we have too many laws. And what they want us to do is repeal more of those." [These are actual quotes. Click the link to watch the video. Fake quotes follow.]

I imagine catching up with the Speaker to get some clarification:

   Q: I understand your point that a lot of people think we have too many laws. But don't we still have to define productivity by the amount of work that gets done?

   A: You are using an outmoded definition of productivity. If people don't want us to do anything, then the less we do, the more productive we are.

   Q: I never thought of it that way. So if productivity according to your new definition is the goal, why not just tell all the members to stay home altogether? Then you could claim to be doing more of what the people want than any Congress before you.

   A: Hey, don't you think I'd rather be sitting back on my shady porch in Ohio pulling down a few cold beers on a hot afternoon? But I'm here in this miserable city in the middle of summer to demonstrate to the American people the sacrifices we in Congress are making; showing up day after day to do nothing just like the people elected us to do.

  Q: So tell me about all the laws you are repealing then.

   A: I'm glad you asked me that. We just repealed Obamacare for the 39th time I think. Actually I might have lost track of the number. It really galls me that people say Congress is doing nothing when we have that kind of record.

  Q: But you know that the Senate will never repeal Obamacare while the Democrats are in the majority. And even if they did, President Obama would veto that bill before you could say "nine million Americans are getting rebates from their insurance companies because of Obamacare." So what's the point?

  A: You just don't get it, do you? How are we going to distract people from paying attention to all the benefits they are getting from Obamacare unless we keep reminding them how bad it is? This is just another example of the hard work we are doing in Congress that is going unappreciated by people spouting nonsense about how unproductive we are.

   Q: I see you are a busy man, Mr. Speaker. Where are you off to now?

   A: We're having another meeting about how to prevent immigration reform from coming up for a vote in the House. You have no idea how much work is involved in not passing any legislation.

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