Curmudgeon's Corner

cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner

Lame Ducks Might Foul Our Nests

U.S., Taxes, Political, Economy, Quality of Life

We are seeing nothing much happening in Congress at the moment given the Presidential race and the coming fall elections.  While that can be viewed as a good thing since Congress isn’t cramming some dumb bill down our throats, there is a firestorm to follow.  It is known as a “lame duck” session and it is going to be huge.

First of all, the lame ducks are those in Congress who will not have a seat come the new year and, since they are no longer beholden to their district’s voters, they can do anything they please and then sneak out of Washington, D.C.  Maybe this will be the hatching ground for a new batch of lobbyists after they’ve sat out for the obligatory period of time following departure from office.  There will be skids to be greased and pockets to be filled.

Second, the issues that have to be resolved are huge so far as their implications.    The Bush tax rates expire December 31st.  Automatic budget cuts will be enacted unless dealt with in Congress.  The significant tax increases and budget cuts are what Mr. Bernanke describes as a “fiscal cliff”.  It has been reported that this fiscal cliff could mean as much as a $3,800 per year tax increase for the average American taxpaying family.

Lobbyists are planning just how they’re going to manage their clients’ portfolios following the November elections.  One thing we can be reasonably sure of is that this will be an agonizing thing to watch since our fiscal futures will be in the balance.

I’m not terribly excited about the votes taken during regular sessions, but I am very concerned with the votes that will be taken and influenced by those who have ‘nothing to lose’…the lame ducks.

There is a very real possibility that things will be forced upon us that we’ll be unable to influence, and that will cost us dearly before any sort of remedial actions could be taken to correct wrongs in the new Congress; if that ‘new’ Congress were of a mind to change anything.  Those newly seated will not have much of an appetite to change things that are ugly to begin with, and that can only cause them to find themselves between the proverbial rocks and hard spots.  After all, the members of the House will be campaigning for their next election by then.

This lame duck session could be a disaster for taxpayers.

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