Congressional Capers


June 28, 1992|By DAVE BARRY

Being an ordinary citizen, you are, no offense, way too stupid to understand the complex problems involved in trying to balance the federal budget. This is why you are very fortunate that you have the U.S. Congress gnawing away on the deficit problem for you, like a colony of busy beavers who have somehow obtained suits, ties and checking accounts.

The federal deficit is creating a monstrous, crushing burden of debt that will be placed on the shoulders of future generations. This has a certain appeal. It could be seen as revenge for all the times that our future generations failed to pick their possessions up off the floor even after we asked them 62,000 times. If you walked into the future generation's room in my house, you'd think a 15-megaton garment bomb had exploded in there. And I still occasionally get a ringing in my ears from the time, several years ago, when I fell in the bathtub after stepping on a missile from a Voltron robot left there by the same future generation.

So it's tempting to pass along a crushing burden of debt. It's tempting to make the deficit even worse by dreaming up wasteful federal programs such as establishing Dairy Queens in space. But this would be wrong. We need to eliminate the deficit, which is why we're so lucky that we have Congress.

One member of Congress working on the problem is Sen. Dennis DeConcini, D-Ariz., who by the way was a member of the Keating Five group of lawmakers who did so much to resolve what could have been a serious savings-and-loan problem at a cost to the taxpayers of only 973 bazillion stomptillion dollars, not that there is any need to dredge that up here. Senator DeConcini recently held a news conference on the deficit, during which he said -- I am not making this up -- "We're going to finally wrestle to the ground this gigantic orgasm that is just out of control."

So we see that the root cause of the deficit, like the cause of so many other national problems, is sex. This is also true in the case of urban unrest, as was pointed out last month by Vice President in Training Dan Quayle, who observed that the Los Angeles riots were caused by Murphy Brown's having a baby. The vice president took a lot of heat from the bleeding-heart-liberal-Democratic-communist- lesbian-pervert-pro-death-anti-family-Satan-worshiping media for saying this, but the evidence backs him up. Consider the sequence of events:

April 30 -- Los Angeles had riots.

May 18 -- Murphy Brown had a baby.

As we can see, this sequence clearly proves that Murphy Brown caused the Los . . . Wait a minute! Upon further review, we see that this sequence proves that the Los Angeles riots caused Murphy Brown to have a baby. Quick, somebody inform the vice president!

But getting back to the deficit: If there is one lesson that history teaches us, it is that a nation that has federal officials promising to wrestle gigantic orgasms to the ground is a nation that needs to take the cold shower of budgetary restraint while wearing the condom of fiscal responsibility. This is where Congress comes in.

Let's play a little game: Let's pretend that you readers are the Congress, and you wish to do something about the deficit. Bear in mind that:

1. You have the power to balance the budget.

2. You have always had the power to balance the budget.

3. So any time you want, you can balance the budget.

4. Legally, nobody can stop you from balancing the budget.

OK! So what would you do? Did you answer: "Balance the budget"? You did? Ha ha! This is why you are lowlife working scum, as opposed to a member of Congress.

Congress is not balancing the budget. What Congress is doing, amid much fanfare, is talking about passing a constitutional amendment requiring itself to balance the budget. Really. This amendment will become effective in a few years, if three-fourths of the states ratify it. Meanwhile, this year Congress will produce the largest deficit ever.

Everybody got that? Congress is like a doctor who finds a knifing victim lying in the street, bleeding to death, so the doctor opens his medical bag, takes out a scalpel, stabs the victim a few hundred more times, then writes himself a stern note that says: "Do something about this bleeding! By 1997 at the latest!" Then he goes and builds a Dairy Queen in space.

But I'm not worried. I'm confident that three-fourths of the states will ratify the balanced-budget amendment.

And the really smart states will secede.


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