Washington Perk City

Wonder why Congress is so arrogant about bounced checks? Perhaps because its members are so used to the freebie life.

Members of Congress expect to be called Honorable, but their claim to that honorific is looking pretty flimsy. First came the check-bouncing scam, when investigators found that lawmakers wrote more than 8,000 rubber checks at their private bank last year, free of charge. Then came word of members' stiffing the House restaurant, where prices are already dirt cheap. Suddenly, talk-show comedians, radio deejays, newspaper editorialists and the mailman were all talking about exactly the same thing: How can members of Congress balance a budget and spend tax dollars wisely when they can't even balance their checkbooks or make good on their...

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