Paper #2 – The ethics (or lack thereof) of the United States Congress

The United States Congress is arguably the most powerful legislative body in the country, responsible for financial and budgetary policy, national defense, and the oversight of the Executive Branch. And in August of 2012, its approval rating amongst Americans was 10% (Gallup 2012), a thirty-eight year low. Yet despite this appallingly low rating, members of Congress have historically been re-elected over ninety percent of the time (Congress of the United States 2012). Such a dichotomy seems absurd- if the American people are so thoroughly disgusted with their government representatives, why have they continued to re-elect them? And with such widespread public disapproval centered on Washington, why have those representatives not altered their behavior?

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Show me an honest politician and I’ll show you a man with no job.

It’s too bad that Abraham Lincoln is off hunting vampires. As of August of this year, only one in ten Americans approve of the job that the United States Congress is doing. With such starkly low support, how do the same representatives continue to be reelected? And if Congress cannot reach any agreement of substance, why are we still paying them?

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