Bah, humbug for the self-congratulatory pat on the back administered by the White House, House and Senate for passing a budget bill full of gifts for lobbyists and others.

Among the most egregious surprises was the tenfold increase in campaign contributions that apply primarily to the coffers of those running for Congress or the White House. These politicians trumpet the call of Machiavelli: “The end justifies the means.” Nonsense. Our congressmen could have kept the government going and still could have done many good things without this ploy or the rollbacks to the Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill. Congress had more than a year to debate the budget provisions in a transparent and honest way. This was a bipartisan effort, with both parties burying giveaway items deep inside this 1,600-page wish list.

They ignored the wishes of 70 percent of District voters by overruling the legalization of marijuana and of those who supported an intact Dodd-Frank bill instead of something crafted by the big banks.

Both sides allowed petty and punitive differences of opinion to curtail funding for the Internal Revenue Service and the Environmental Protection Agency.

This is not the way to govern. Santa is giving Congress black marks, and so are many Americans.

Kathleen M. Burns, Alexandria