Imagine, Gentle Reader, that rather than talking to one another about how much of your money to spend, Congress is a single individual, and he’s talking directly to you, hoping to win your approval for his spending bill. Your exchange might go thus:
CONGRESS: So you see, this $[insert insane spending amount here] appropriations bill will actually leave you better off!
CONGRESS: Well, no, but…it will relieve all these [insert undesirable social conditions here] so greatly that you’ll be glad we spent the money!
YOU: Those social conditions don’t bother me.
CONGRESS: What? Don’t you care?
YOU: Frankly, no, I don’t. Other people’s problems are for them to solve. But let’s imagine for a moment – strictly for the sake of this discussion, mind you – that I do care, I approve your bill, and the conditions you’ve mentioned don’t improve. Would you then pass a bill that refunds my money?
CONGRESS: Well, no, we’d probably—
YOU: Don’t tell me: You’d pass another, even bigger appropriations bill, wouldn’t you?
CONGRESS: Oh, not necessarily…
YOU: It’s what you’ve done in every previous case. So, perhaps you see why I don’t approve your bill?
CONGRESS: [drawing himself up in injured dignity and disapproval] I can see there’s no point in talking to you. I’ll simply proceed without your assent.
YOU: And that, too, is what you’ve done in every previous case. So: see this? [Holds up coil of 3/4-inch hemp rope – the scratchy kind.]
CONGRESS: Uh, yeah?
YOU: Pick your preferred lamppost.
That’s how I see it going, Gentle Reader. What about you – and what does the unwillingness of Congress to deal with the American public on an honest, evenhanded basis, admitting its past failures and its inability to guarantee the results it perpetually assures us will spring from its profligacies – in 2 years or your money back! – say to you about our so-called democracy?