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Latarski: Congress has returned to work
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As we leave the Labor Day weekend behind we are greeted with the grand news Congress is returning to work.

As the good ol' boy says: don't that make you feel better.

The five-week hiatus the folks from Washington have been on was not officially a vacation; it was a return to their various states and districts to assess how people feel about the job they are doing. That's like asking the people of Libya if they would like to see Moammar Gaddafi get a pension for his years of service.

For everyone not a member of Congress this five week period away from work would have been called a furlough without pay.

As for evaluating their job performance, it would rate just behind Captain Smith steering the Titanic and General Custer's battle plan at the Little Big Horn.

Right now it would be easy to argue the most legitimate work being done in the halls of Congress are by the folks who mop the floors and empty the trash cans.

Naturally, one of the big issues on the agenda of everyone in Washington is the unemployment issue.

Given what has happened thus far one can conclude that making speeches and poking holes in the air with your finger has not been successful in dealing with the problem.

Right now it appears one of the biggest things that can be done to help the unemployment situation is to make certain a lot of the folks in Washington are unemployed after the next election.

This will also be the first chance for the so-called super committee to meet and develop a plan for long-term deficit reduction. This group of august leaders has until Nov. 23 to make recommendation. Given the alacrity with which Congress works we must assume somewhere in the fine print the date is actually Nov. 23, 2019.

According to every poll, if you put stock in such things, the general approval rating of the job Congress is doing rates slightly above the management of Enron. This is a case where the polls are not wrong.

There is blame aplenty for the view the public holds for Congress but the truly astonishing thing is that the folks in Washington don't seem to care or give the disdain with which they are held much regard.

They act like the woman watching the parade and commenting on how her son is the only one in step.

Personalities and egos always play a role in how government operates. The idea of having to stand up and admit you don't have all the answers or that after a careful and fair analysis your idea may stink is not something most people in elected office are willing to do.

The sad fact is most had rather run a truck into a ditch than have to admit they can't drive.

Even worse, there are some who either choose to do nothing or are so inept when it comes to understanding how government operates they simply disengage in the governing process.

And they do this with a demented certitude that they and they alone are the ones serving the people. Conscience is not the guide of these individuals but an accomplice in crime.

So Congress has returned to work and we can look forward to the next round of speeches with the air being poked full of holes and ego-maniacal legislators confidentially telling us they have the answer. And the real election season is just getting started.

Don't that make you feel better.

Freelance writer Ric Latarski can be reached at