After almost shutting down the government and damaging our fiscal credibility as a nation, Congress was at it again in September agreeing at the last moment to a short-term funding compromise only reached after wrangling about whether FEMA’s additional disaster funding should be offset by other spending cuts.  The upshot is that our government continues to dysfunction while our problems become more daunting.  I’ve decided to dispense with tax commentary and express some of the frustration many have experienced in some parody song lyrics to well know melodies.  Since most of us have now completed our 2010 tax filings, I thought it a good time to diverge to a little humorous satire. Unfortunately the humor is made sardonic by our deepening despair at the disorder inWashington.


(To tune of “A Fine Romance” by Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields)

A fine Congress
With no conscience
A fine Congress
Too much nonsense
Each vote is always strictly the party line
They won’t give us the time
Isn’t the Congress fine?

A Fine Congress
That serves money
And rich lobbies
Who spread honey
Republicans and Democrats sound divine
Give them your vote, not mine
Isn’t the Congress fine?

(To tune of “A Foggy Day” by George and Ira Gershwin)

Another day
In DC town
Another smirk
Another frown

The speaker is dumbing-
Down views to espouse
The Senate is thumbing
Its nose at the house

No optimism
Is in the air
The government’s shutting down
On a Tea Party dare

A circus town
Absurd the norm
Where Republican and Democrat
Unfunny clowns perform


(To tune of “Tomorrow” from Broadway musical “Annie” music by Charles Strouse and original lyrics by Martin Charmin)

The debt will come due tomorrow
And we’ll have no dollars left to borrow
To make do

Just thinking about the sorrow
You and I get poorer each tomorrow
Nothing’s new

When we’re stuck with a buck that’s muck and worthless
Know the rich will get richer  come what may

Tomorrow, tomorrow
My God it’s tomorrow
Tomorrow is now today

The promises all were hollow
What a bitter pill to have to swallow
What dismay

Always said we could wait to pay the piper
Now the piper is here
And wants his pay

Tomorrow, tomorrow
My God it’s tomorrow
Tomorrow is now today


(To tune of “What’s Going On?” written by Renaldo “Obie” Benson, Al Cleveland, and Marvin Gaye performed by Marvin Gaye on album of the same name)

Thomas, Thomas
What’s happened to our government?
Washingon’s divided
Like fissures in the monument

When did we lose our way?
Can we not compromise today?

Party whips
Who steer the ship
Play politics
While a time-bomb ticks

What’s going on?
Tell me, what’s going on?

Thomas, Thomas
Nothing’s getting done of late
In school they always taught us
We send them there to legislate

We’ve got to find a way
To solve some problems there today

A country wrecked
A DC sect
Who disrespect
The people who elect

What’s going on?
Tell me, what’s going on?

Thomas, Thomas
Are you turning in your grave?
Listen to those hucksters
Do they think we’re in a cave?

We see them clear as day
Hear every lying word they say

And bickering
Not one useful thing

What’s going on?
Tell me what’s going on?

Thomas, Thomas
How can we make them feel our rage?
We must show our anger
Every voter who’s of age

You gave us the right way
To have our voices heard today

To wield some clout
No need to shout
We’ll vote them out
This worthless horde of louts

What’s going on?
They’ll see what’s going on

 The Lobbyist’s  Prayer

(To tune of “My Prayer” by James Kennedy and Georges Boulanger,  recorded by The Platters)

When vote cloture draws nigh
And the pollsters start ringing
When the stakes are quite high
So the lobbyists say
Then out of the woodwork they crawl
And pray

My prayer
Is a meeting for two
Somewhere out of the way
With a Capra* plot-line

My prayer
Has some cash out of view
Nothing needed to say
Graft is simply divine

That bill
Coming up on the hill
We don’t want to pass
That this payment will kill

My prayer
And the comfort it gives
Knowing profits will soar
For as long as greed lives

Let the losers play fair
Money answers my prayer

* Frank Capra, director of the classic movie about political corruption, “Mr. Smith Goes toWashington” (1939).

 The above parody lyrics are offered with good intentions for some well deserved self-deprecation.  After all we elected this Congress and President.  My intention is to entertain.  I seek here only to amuse and not to take a partisan political stance or criticize anyone’s own political viewpoint.  But, whatever one’s particular political leanings or opinion about who is to blame, few can be happy with the present stalemate. I hope you enjoy my small effort to find some dark humor in these trying times.

Copyright 2011 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire

All rights reserved

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