A guest column has been trimmed a bit to highlight important clipart and merged with mariner’s comments.

Posted by Alex Greer

According to a July Gallup poll, public approval of Congress has fallen to near-record lows. On average, 34% of the population approves of a given Congress. The current 114th Congress has a 17% approval rating.

Americans have reason to be concerned. … The last two Congresses have enacted fewer laws than any other Congress since 1947. And the 114th Congress may just surpass them all in terms of doing nothing. … Some members have been exceptionally unexceptional. Using data from GovTrack  I [Alex Greer] created an Effectiveness Score to determine the least-effective members of Congress.

The effectiveness score is the percentage of bills sponsored by each congressperson over their time in office that went on to pass committee. The score does not factor in the percentage of bills that turned into law because such a small number of proposed bills and resolutions actually become laws.

These are the 35 least-effective members of Congress. See if your representatives make the list:

Yes, Steve King R-Iowa, 4th District is on the list. Steve holds the dubious honor as the least effective person in Congress. The Iowa Representative has served in congress for 12 years and has yet to sponsor a single bill that has passed committee – let alone become actual law. Further, a committee effectiveness survey scored him at zero.

Don’t feel left out, Maryland. Representative Donna F. Edwards (D) is virtually tied at the bottom with Steve. Elected in 2008, Donna has sponsored 10 bills. Of these bills, 10 have died in committee.

clipart: Americans are getting poorer. According to a study by the Russell Sage Foundation , net worth for the typical American household has been decreasing steadily since 2008. The median household net worth in America is now $56,000, down from $87,000 in 2003. From 2012 to 2013 alone, the median household net worth in America dropped by about 20%.

Not for congresspeople. From 2012 to 2013, average net worth more than doubled—and in one case, grew by more than ten times.

The mariner suggests repeatedly that every voter should consider carefully who to vote for on the undercard – even good ol’ buddy Steve King and antiquity in residence Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). The mariner also suggests that the US is dealing with a 1968 Congress. Old wood needs to be cut out and replaced with congressmen/especially women who understand and still participate in American culture in 2016; a term limit requiring congressmen to step down if their next term includes their sixtieth birthday is about right.

Let’s hope the next President really does something to help Senator Elizabeth Warren break down the bank monopoly in the US economy. Did you know that the Federal agency fought for and created solely by Senator Warren (Consumer Protection Agency) has sued banks to return illegal fees and charges to customers totaling more than four billion dollars in only four years of existence?

This is an unusually important election. Consider where you want your nation to go from here. Someplace where democracy can restore citizen equality.

Ancient Mariner

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