Paul Jacob

It’s hard to fathom, but 10 percent of Americans believe Congress is doing a good or excellent job. That high, eh? The recent Rasmussen Reports survey also reveals that 71 percent of us rate Congress’s job performance as poor.

Additionally, the firm’s polling found that only 9 percent of us think “most members of Congress are sincerely interested in helping people,” while 81 percent feel they are “more interested in their own careers.”

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Thus, one percent approve of Congress not helping people, but instead pursuing their own careers. It seems odd, until one realizes that this one percent must be made up of the congressmen and the lucky recipients of their earmarks.

Democrats won back Congress with the vow to end the Republican “culture of corruption." Instead, the Donkeys merely replaced Elephants as the leaders of the criminal gang we know as Congress.

The nation remains on fire for change. The change promised last election and not delivered. Or the change promised and undelivered from the election before that . . . or the one before that. Or — well, you know what I’m talking about.

Last week brought us more logs to toss on the fire of our discontent. First, House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY) was admonished by the House ethics committee for accepting travel to the Caribbean paid for by corporations.

Rangel claims he was ignorant of corporate involvement, but the committee found several instances where the congressman was notified of the precise nature of the sponsorships.

Rangel also faces inquiries into his failure to disclose rental income and hundreds of thousands in other wealth on his congressional financial forms, as well as for using his congressional office to raise funds for a center at City College of New York bearing his name. Rangel also violated rent control laws in New York City. He’s a busy guy.

Republicans have, of course, long demanded that Rangel resign his powerful committee chairmanship. After the ethics decision, several Democrats joined the call for him to step down.

Paul Jacob

Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge Foundation and Citizens in Charge. His daily Common Sense commentary appears on the Web and via e-mail.