Robert Bluey

Of course, not all members of Congress share the sentiment that voters express in public-opinion surveys. Some congressmen seemed very pleased with their performance judging from the reams of press releases boasting of pork-barrel projects in the wake of the mammoth $555 billion omnibus spending bill. With nearly 10,000 earmarks, lawmakers had plenty to crow about.

And let’s not forget another accomplishment: The House took a record number of votes, 1,186 in all. But only a fraction -- 180, to be precise -- became law. Those who called the Republican-led Congress a “do-nothing Congress” in 2006 might want to nickname this one a “post-office Congress” for all of the public laws passed to name buildings.

Members of Congress failed to tackle some of the most important issues facing America, such as health care and taxes. When they did confront them, they chose to punt the problem rather than find a long-term solution. For example, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program will now expire in March 2009, and Congress put a one-year freeze on growth of the Alternative Minimum Tax.

This performance is hardly worth a $4,100 pay raise. Taxpayers should be outraged.

Robert Bluey

Robert B. Bluey is director of the Center for Media & Public Policy at The Heritage Foundation and maintains a blog at