HAYEK: Does Washington Deserve A Different Set Of Rules?


Ashley Hayek Contributor
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News anchors seem to be wringing their hands a lot these days. The government, they groan, is about to shut down unless it’s given another bloated budget to spend. But like millions of other wives and moms across America, I’m watching this with a bit of cynicism.

Why? Because it’s clear we have more experience living within our means than the people we send to D.C. do.

And that makes me wonder: why does Washington think it deserves a different set of rules?

After all, the people we send to Congress are effectively being hired by us to act on our behalf. Once they get there, their responsibility is to do whatever they can to meet our needs, keep our country safe, and stay out of our way so we can pursue our dreams for the future. 

It’s an important job, which is why the first thing they have to do before they can start is take the Oath of Office. In front of their families and constituents, the nation and God, those we choose to serve us in Congress pledge to “well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter.”

So, how are they doing? Are the people we send to Washington getting the job done? 

In far too many ways, the answer is a resounding NO. While the American people are struggling, those we’ve hired to serve us are getting richer. Allegations swirling around these so-called “elites” include bribes taken by the Biden family, insider trading by Democratic former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and gold bars pocketed by Democratic New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez. To many, all of this stinks to high heaven.

Meanwhile, life has become much harder for the rest of us just since Joe Biden moved into the White House. It now costs a lot more for regular Americans to buy basic necessities like food, gas and housing. People are struggling with lower overall wages and higher poverty, too. And tax hikes are depleting the savings of millions of Americans, forcing them to face a much bleaker future. 

At the same time, our families and communities are in danger. The border has been erased, drugs and terrorists are flowing in, and violent crime is on the rise. Law enforcement in many Democrat-run cities has been defunded, and our military is weaker because of the woke agenda. The people we’ve sent to Washington can’t even keep the government from racking up even more debt. Which apparently is why they seem willing to shut it down rather than stop spending more than they have.

Does this sound like a job well done to you? Me neither.

No wonder Pew Research recently found that Americans’ trust in the federal government at near-record lows. In fact, more Americans view politicians unfavorably than ever before in U.S. history!

Washington is supposed to serve the people, not the other way around. It’s obvious, though, that many of the “elites” there are living by a different set of rules than we do. While everyday Americans actually have to do their jobs if they want to keep them, many in Washington don’t face the same pressure. They are either causing or failing to fix so many problems, but they keep drawing big paychecks anyway. And unlike working men and women, they also pocket massive benefits, splurge on posh perks and take lots of vacations – all at taxpayer expense.

We can change that. 

Washington is living by a different set of rules than the American people because we’ve let them. So, the time has come for us to stop. Since everyday Americans don’t get to keep their job if they don’t do it, neither should those we send to Washington to serve us.

That’s why I propose elected officials should only be allowed to keep their jobs if they create more jobs for the rest of us. Specifically, we need to hold them accountable for growing the economy by a meaningful amount every year. We know they can do that by cutting taxes, reducing regulations, restoring factories and bringing jobs back to America. And if they don’t, they’ll be ineligible to run for reelection.

Washington is supposed to work for us. Let’s demand change so that, once again, it does.

Ashley Hayek is Executive Director of America First Works, Chief Engagement Officer of America First Policy Institute and author of Beat the Elites.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller.