Congress’s Holiday Gimmicks

In the past, Congress would put all kinds of special interest “gifts” into last minute appropriation bills, a so-called Christmas tree. But even after the 2010 elections, the temptation remains this year. “Gifts” such as increased spending, budget gimmicks, hidden subsidies, the threat of tax hikes, and, of course, higher debt are all on the list!

Before the end of the year, Congress is planning to vote on a whole host of legislation, including an omnibus spending bill (in lieu of moving individual appropriation measures, the way they are supposed to), a so-called “doc fix” bill, the payroll tax, and numerous tax subsidies as well as an extension of the unemployment insurance benefits.

It’s a lot to get done, and there is not a lot of time.

One idea being thrown out around Capitol Hill is to roll all of these proposals into one massive bill. Some proposals would even include a vote on restarting construction of the Keystone Pipeline and a repeal of environmental regulations on boilers. Hey, if you’re going to throw in the kitchen sink may as well try to sneak some good policy in too, right?

Let’s break down each of these proposals, one by one:

Omnibus Spending Bill

The omnibus will be at the inflated levels of the Budget Control Act, which are higher than the House-passed Ryan budget. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) thinks that the law requires Congress to spend up to the spending ceiling. However, the failure to restrain spending will only continue our destructive path towards collapse, like Greece.

“Doc Fix”

It is one of the most common gimmicks in Washington. Politicians claim to cut spending from Medicare in the form of reimbursements to doctors, and then disregard those cuts with a so-called “doc fix” because they know that cutting doctor’s payments for Medicare patients severely limits care for seniors. Congress needs to clean up Medicare’s doctor payment mess, permanently.

Payroll Tax

It is the issue du jour of the President Obama’s political team. Liberals are trying to raise taxes on job creators to pay for an extension and expansion of the payroll tax holiday.  Conservatives are all for tax cuts.  We want to reform the entire tax code, not engage in the game of wealth redistribution. So let’s cut taxes, but no one should have their taxes raised in a weak economy, especially not those who are creating the jobs we need to become healthy again.

Tax Extenders

Also at issue is a $30 billion extension of tax perks, credits and loopholes desired by industry lobbyists. Conservatives are all for getting rid of loopholes, and creating a fairer-flatter tax. It’s just another reason we need to focus on comprehensive tax reform.

Unemployment Insurance

Unemployment benefits currently last for 99 weeks (nearly two years). Many big-government types like to claim it is the most effective form of stimulus! (Hint, they are not.)  Research also shows extended unemployment benefits actually contribute to higher unemployment. The benefits are also financed by debt, and transfers money from a productive sector of the economy to an unproductive sector. Congress should be pursuing real reforms, not continuing the status quo.

With $15 trillion in debt, each one of these fights will rightly center around massive levels of spending. Good conservatives must hold the line on spending, and not allow themselves to be distracted by the class warfare political rhetoric.

Please Share Your Thoughts

23 thoughts on “Congress’s Holiday Gimmicks

  1. More lies and thievery from our traitors in congress. A vote for either party is a vote for the destruction of America. Congress is a cesspool of coruption and their the reason America is circleing the drain. They should all be hanged alongside the illegal alien, muslim terrorist who sits in our whitehouse

  2. MUST pass an amendment to constitution limiting time in ocngress to 8 years.
    This will lead to less things being done for political reasons since nothing will prolong their time in congress. Lobbiests will have less if any influence. It might make liars and thieves out of fewer people.

    • Have your written to your congressman/woman indicating that your want this done. I have written so many letters and signed so many petitions that my representatives believe they will be invited for Christmas dinner! bsandi

  3. “Conservatives are all for getting rid of loopholes and creating a fairer-flatter tax.”

    If so, then why did they not do so when they had the chance? R-I-N-O!

  4. No doubt that our Republic form of government is breaking or broken already, and we need to change so very much to get it fixed. One good beginning would be if we could change the way our congress members are paid — All congress members should be paid salaries & changes to salaries from their state’s taxpayers & not from the federal general fund, and no lobby money or private sector contributions made to their campaign funds…and this potential new law enforced! This would finally force them to be citizen lawmakers as our founders wanted, and after one or two terms, go back to their real jobs as farmers, business executives, plumbers, doctors, etc. One more — NO LAWYERS need to apply.

  5. On the extension of Unemployment benefits, The Federal extension to 99 weeks does not cover all states. Each state can determine the max amount based on the states actual unemployment rate. New York only pays a max of 60 weeks because the UR is under 9%. There are an awful lot of people running out of benefits in January. North of NYC, unemployment is closer to 12%,,,,,NYC’s numbers always cloud the truth.So were here in Upstate NY are screwed.

  6. The Doc fix must be resolved soon. Doctors need to be reimbursed for their work, just like any other profession. The legislators always wait until the last minute to do this and the real prupose is to scare senior citizens. This scam of cutting payroll taxes, the President and Democrats are doing to us is rediculous. On the one hand they say, Social Security is running out of money; then on the other hand they take money from the Social Security Trust Fund by reducing payroll taxes. It is all a political ploy to get the Republicans to raise taxes on the rich. We need to vote them all out of office especially the Senate because they have not voted for a budget in over 945 days. Vote them out!

  7. Let’s get a conservative in the White House to abolish all the bs bama has rammed
    down outr throats. Get rid of the spending, abolish the health bs and get new blood
    with Constitutional values to bring our GREAT COUNTRY back to normal.

  8. Anyone elected to Congress should have to declare all their net worth. Upon leaving Congress they should not be allowed to have more than than what they started with. Also, Congress should spend only 1/3 of their time in Washington and the balance in their districts. This would allow them to really be intouch with their constituents as well as be harder to find by lobbyists.
    George in Texas

  9. It is time to vote out all the Entrenched Elites, both Republican and Democrat. We the People must replace them with citizens who pledge to restore our Constitutional form of government as established by the Founding Fathers – limited government and the free enterprise system.

    Common Sense from the Heartland – http://howardwemple.com

  10. During my many years as a “Government” employee, we used to have a short saying for such “things” as this…. YGTBSM!!! The O’l Bear

  11. We the people are suffering from serious language failure…Congress has TWO bodies, The House and The Senate! The House, under Speaker Boener’s leadership, passed the Ryan Budget. BUT as stated in earlier Heritage Action report “It’s been over 900 days since Senate Democrats bothered to pass a budget and Congress hasn’t completed the appropriations process on time since 1994.
    The Senate, only 100 of 535 of our elected members of CONGRESS continue to fail in their duties. In fact, only 1 of 535 needs to step up and do his job; Senator Harry Reid! SEIU buses re-elected him in 2010. A Conservative Majority in The Senate and CONGRESS is necessary!…if our Republic lasts that long.
    Cheap copy from my Comments on Ashe Schow’s …”Reid Mistakes Cap for Guarantee”

  12. The OBVIOUS follow-up is to vote out wimps/vote in Conservatives. Great! How do we find good people that can live up to the scrutiny and privacy invasion that must be endured? How does an intelligent, caring Patriot work, take care of family and still have the time necessary for a good Campaign? Without Money, you can’t get the exposure necessary to reach the
    People. How do you feed your family and pay ordinary living expenses? We need to have
    more local candidates, that will take advice from their prospective constituents, make sure they are thoroughly vetted and proceed from there. BUT….we don’t have sufficient
    time to “stop the bleeding” at this point, do we??

  13. I understand that the US Senate passed a bill to legalize sodomy and beastality in the armed services!! Hopefully you are addressing this as disgraceful and going beyond just allowing their service. Is this a vote also needed in the House of Representatives? I would assume so, and I want to know how that vote turns out.
    John W Zull

  14. My name is Elizabeth from Louisville, Kentucky. I am so ashamed of both the Republicans and Democrats. They can not do any compromising or try to work together to get “something” done. I would like to “CLEAR” the —— House and the Senate—, with the exception of the newcomers. Most of them seem to “get” most of what they should be voting on.
    God help us with our government!!!!!!!

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