Last year was a rough one and this year is loaded with tough decisions for our legislators. One thing is for certain, they must do better than last year. I read an editorial a couple of weeks ago complaining that congress did little more than rename a bunch of post offices. Just out of curiosity I decided to go to Thomas and search all bills passed by the 110th congress to find out just how much real work was done. The first thing I learned is that they passed less legislation than those before and of the bills passed in 2008, very few actually made a difference. I find it a little hypocritical that Congress would spend so much time grandstanding and complaining about CEO bonuses then turn around and vote themselves a raise. A raise for what I ask? For passing less legislation, less relevant legislation, spending less time in DC? All while their constituents are loosing jobs or taking pay cuts. If congress were held to the same standards they attempt to hold “big business” to would they get a raise? One would expect that considering the country is still at war and in an economic crisis that they would be a little busier. From what I remember, of the 350 bills or so that made it into law, over 150 were naming buildings, streets or waterways, over 50 were fixing minor technical problems with prior bills, and 20 had to do with minting special coins. I could only find 50 or so that actually made a difference to a significant number of people. If you added up all the congressional salaries our tax dollars pay and divide that by the number of real bills passed you will get a representation cost per bill. In order to get an actual number you would have to make a number of assumptions that we may or may not agree upon. Regardless, I’ll bet you that a CEO of a major corporation and the board of directors would be fired for similar performance. Well, there is a bi-annual review coming up in less than 2 years, hope they turn things around.