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OK, CONGRESS, LISTEN CLOSELY TO AMERICA'S CONTRACT WITH YOU

THE HOUSE HAS passed the GOP's "Contract With America" and knocked off for three well-earned weeks of recess.

The contract, as you'll recall, was proposed last fall "to restore the bonds of trust between the people and their elected representatives."The Republican House members and candidates stood on the steps of the Capitol and solemnly signed a document that promised that, if elected, they would vote on various bills within 100 days.

They were elected and did, or tried to do, all that they promised.

The very least that we, a grateful and newly trusting people, can do is to sign a pledge of our own.

Herewith, America's Contract With Congress:

First, upon signing this declaration, we average Americans will cut the size of our personal and committee staffs. We will cast no more proxy votes on important national issues.

Second, we will insist that all laws that apply to Congress also apply to us. If that means we get preferential parking at airports, are immune from traffic tickets in Washington, D.C., and get free medical treatment at Bethesda Naval and Walter Reed hospitals, we will make those sacrifices.

We pledge to get people off the backs of government. We will not write our congressman, mob the halls of Congress to seek special favors or participate in phony grass-roots campaigns designed to stampede Congress into giving us stuff we don't deserve.

To restore America's place in the competitive global economy, we will not give money to politicians or political campaigns but instead invest our PAC contributions in plant and equipment.

The House has done its part, and now we will do our part to live up to The American Dream Restoration Act of 1995. We will purchase sports cars, beach houses, yachts and ski condos with down payments from our American Dream Savings Accounts. We will treat the balance of the purchase price as unfunded mandates and pay for them out of block grants.

We will quit making fun of Congress, even if that entails giving up C-SPAN. We will make no more jokes about House Speaker Newt Gingrich, his hair, his weight, his gabbiness, his book deals, his off-the-wall ideas, his opinion of Hillary Clinton, his voice, his reading lists.

We will make America a better place. We pledge to begin calling radio talk shows - Rush Limbaugh, Gordon Liddy, Oliver North - to urge them to chill out, to cool down, to take long walks.

When we are faced with an intractable problem, messy situation or unhappy choice, we pledge to do what the House did: Send it to the Senate and let them worry about it. If the senators don't like it, they can sign their own contract.