Members of Congress return to Washington this week. After afall in which their tenure was characterized by unprecedentedinaction, politicians who occupy positions of public trust willattempt once more to act as public servants.
Unfortunately, the track record on which Congress returnscannot inspire confidence.
Consider the dramatic failure of federal officials to doanything that might merit their $12,500-a-month salaries during thelast months of 2001. A war was launched after four hours ofcongressional debate, civil liberties were undermined with just onedissenting vote in the Senate, and billions in corporate welfarepayouts were approved while laid-off workers were denied basicprotections.