A Lesson Congress Can Learn

by Gerri Willis

 

I think Democrats and Republicans alike should rename their party the Procrastination Party, because like a college freshman they have left all their work until the last minute.

The most notable of course is the $800 billion Fiscal Cliff from expiring Bush-era tax cuts, as well as major across-the-board spending cuts to the Pentagon and domestic programs. That’s the big kahuna.

Sure, there have been lots of promises that we may do something about it, but it hasn't happened yet.                   

It's not like the deadline comes as a surprise to Congress. They have extended the Bush tax cuts that were originally passed in 2001-2010 and were extended to 2012. So for 2-years, they've known the issue was looming and chose to do nothing at all.            

But that's not the only thing they have to finalize before the end of the year:

A 5-year farm bill passed last summer to help farmers hit by the drought has to be extended into the next year or passed. If Congress does nothing, milk prices could jump to as much as $6 a gallon because of an old-fashioned law originally intended to help farmers. That sure isn't going to help consumers.

Then there's legislation languishing in the House that would end Cold War restrictions so that U.S. exporters can take advantage of lower tariffs on goods sold in Russia- a law that could benefit U.S. businesses awaiting the attention of lawmakers.

Then there's other stuff too- a law that would benefit outdoorsman, a Defense Policy measure, and today, they are threatening to actually do something with the Sandy relief bill.

The wheels don't turn any slower than in Washington.

But contrast Capitol Hill's procrastination, with the hurry-up and get-it-done attitude, is small business owner Diana Petrone. She lost her bagel store after Superstorm Sandy hit New York, October, 25.

Two months later, she's back in business despite losing all her equipment, furnishings and inventory.