A MODEST PROPOSAL FOR CONGRESSIONAL HOUSING

Posted in Rants on June 28th, 2017 by Ed

Many are the tribulations of serving the one's fellow man in that most august of legislatures, that which convenes under the opulent dome of the Capitol of the United States in Washington, D.C. The endless toil one undertakes in pursuit of the Common Good is well enough known that we need not recount those tales of hell here. But reader, being in session for up to six fortnights annually is just the tip of the iceberg of Congressional lamentations. I prithee be seated and have ready a strong drink as I take the reader through horrors as yet unimagined.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah showed exceptional bravery in calling attention to a problem that legislators have suffered heretofore in silence. Despite being paid the paltry sum of $174,000 per annum, members of Congress must contend with the high costs of housing in our kingdom's capital. Dear reader, your heart would break to hear some of the tales of what these poor, gallant men have suffered in private. Orrin Hatch was found recently living in the L'Enfant Plaza bus station, earning cold bits of oatcake and treacle from a cruel blacksmith for whom he rendered the most back-breaking service. Mitch McConnell wishes fortune would smile on him as much; he is taken to wandering the streets of his evenings, lighting his way through the mazes of tenements with a short length of rope dipped in embalming fluid and set ablaze. Where he finds his meals we dare not ask.

Can this be acceptable in a society that fancies itself civilized? I think not. Reo. Chaffetz has requested in the spirit of humility and Christian charity a $2,500 monthly allowance for housing these wretches of public service, the amount reflecting not avarice but the rapacious cost of housing in our capital. Only his imminent retirement to gentlemanly life with what remains of his shattered health enables him to make such a bold proposal, one so necessary to the spirit of democracy yet so incomprehensible to the common man.

The prejudice and simpleness of the ordinary American dooms this proposal to a stillbirth. He who is happy to live in a shack and eat whichever child is least likely to survive cholera cannot but marvel at the thought of $2,500 – every month, at that! Nay, then, we cannot renumerate our humble servants. Fortunately there is another way. I daresay, a better way.

How, your author was brought to wonder, has the government of this great nation dealt with the lack of affordable lodgings in our cities in the past? Surely elected officials are not the first citizens to fall victim to these horrors, First Citizens though they may be. And I am pleased to report, reader, that a solution presented itself upon diligent research.

Pray Congress appropriate the funds to build one large edifice – a tower in the mold of the greatest tall buildings of our greatest cities – with 535 units of individual residence! Within this single building every member may find succor and comfort without privation without burdening the nation with annual payments of rapacious rents. Thus with a single building project of reasonable scope (the erection of such a structure is well within the means of the most pedestrian of the men of trades) can the state provide for the needs of the many burdened by a poverty of available lodgings!

Such a concept is likely foreign to the reader; thus an illustrationist has undertaken to provide this rendition of the spirit of the work:

Thus has the state provided for the needs of the unhoused in the past; thus shall it be again in the future! Failing this, let us eat them.

Submitted humbly for your consideration,
G. Tacos