So, Mr. Blunt and Cranky was reading the newsfeed yesterday and came across this article about Congress, and how a fifth of the bills it passes are those that do nothing but name post offices. That is 20 percent of their work output.

Pretty bad, yes, but we have come to expect badness from Congress. But one thing jumped out at this cynical old fart as he read the article: “The process is relatively inexpensive”, it said. Whoa there, podna.

Let’s look at it like a business (as we are ofttimes exhorted to do): we shall look at what we spend on our “representatives” in a year, divide it by the results they produce, and see how much each of those post office names cost us. In the last session, their “results” were 240 statutes passed (a tiny number), out of which 46 did nothing but put un-needed names on post offices.

The total cost of just the salaries of all 541 members of Congress is 95.8 million bucks a year. That means each law passed cost us $399,167.00. Three-Hundred and Ninety-Nine-Thousand Dollars to name ONE post office. Multiplying that times 46 equals $18,361, 667.00. Eighteen million clams to name 46 post offices?

No, actually, it is far worse. You see, each of these “representatives” come with a staff that we pay for, and expenses that we also pay for.

The salaries for House staffers in one recent year added up to $125,969,542.00. This writer couldn’t easily find the aggregate salaries for Senate staff, so we’ll leave them out. Add those costs into the mix and it gives us a cost-per-name of $924,040.00. Nearly a million bucks to name a single f***ing post office.

“Inexpensive”, my Cranky ass.

Since those wiley coyotes on the Hill don’t make it easy to find the total cost of their “representation”, we can only guess at the precise cost of each post office name. It is almost certainly far higher than calculated here. (Follow the links below for some numbers, if you can stomach them.)

Yes, you could say “They do other work besides passing bills”, and that is a fair point. But since we pay an additional 815 million bucks a year in Senate costs (offices, haircuts, and so on), as well as similar costs for the House, and since the aggregate cost is gonna be well north of a billion dollars ; and then add in the fact that our current Congress is on track to be the least-productive in our nation’s history, it is hard to see how the cost per post office moniker is going to drop by much, if at all.

The only way for Congress to give us a better cost-to-results number? Why, all they’d have to do would be pass some budgets, appropriations – you know, all the stuff they stopped doing after the 2010 midterms. But of course, they will do no such thing.

Gentle Reader, do you really need another reason to throw these obstructionist bums out?

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

http://www.senate.gov/CRSReports/crs-publish.cfm?pid=’0E%2C*PL%5B%3D%23P%20%20

http://realitybloger.wordpress.com/2011/04/04/the-senate-how-much-does-it-cost/

http://www.examiner.com/article/how-much-does-congressional-pay-and-benefits-cost-taxpayers

http://www.examiner.com/article/ever-wonder-how-much-a-congressional-staff-costs-the-taxpayers

http://www.legistorm.com/browse_by_senator.html