Congress is in session: Rut roh!

Our intrepid Congress returned from its Thanksgiving break Monday to take on several important items facing the nation, such as the looming tax increase for all Americans, fixes for some provisions of ObamaCare, the nuclear weapons treaty known as START and funding for the federal government itself. But before our elected representatives could tackle those important chores, they turned their attention to school lunches, a food “safety” bill and regulating volume for television commercials. Ain’t our republic grand?

First Lady Michelle Obama has made it her cause to fight childhood obesity. A fine goal, but not if it includes the $4.5 billion child nutrition bill headed to her husband’s desk. The legislation will supposedly improve the nutritional value of school lunches and take sugary snacks and drinks out of vending machines in schools. To pay for it, future funding for food stamps will take a hit. We’re sure that money will never actually be cut, but it looks good on paper.

The Senate, meanwhile, passed the Food Safety Bill, which would merely saddle the nation’s 2.2 million farms and 28,000 food producers with even more regulations and taxes. As The Wall Street Journal aptly put it, “maybe the bill won the votes of 13 Republicans because there was hardly any public controversy. These days, the government needs to take over entire industries to get anyone to notice.” However, House Democrats may block the bill — because it violates the Constitution. The legislation includes fees (a.k.a. taxes), and according to Article I, Section 7, “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives.” Don’t be fooled, though. House Democrats aren’t concerned for the Constitution per se, only their own power to get this ball rolling.

Democrats are also set to vote on the quaintly named Commercial Advertising Loudness Mitigation, or CALM, Act, which will regulate the volume of ads on TV. The FCC received tens of thousands of complaints about blaring ads in the first quarter alone this year, but to those who say, “There oughta be a law,” be careful what you wish for — Congress is always willing to oblige.

In the meantime, a massive tax increase awaits all Americans if action isn’t taken to preserve current rates that expire on Dec. 31. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) engineered a rule-making vote that prevents Republicans from offering amendments to stop all of the Democrats’ tax increases from kicking in, and the House voted to extend rates for those earning less than $250,000 a year. Those earning more, i.e. small businesses, will be saddled with a job-killing tax hike. The White House and congressional Republicans are still trying to make a deal.

Senate Republicans have vowed to block legislation of any kind until bills dealing with taxes and funding the government are passed. It’s likely that a temporary extension of all tax rates will garner enough support from both parties to pass, but that merely kicks the can down the road. Rates should be lowered again and permanently, not raised, even if the economy improves. Congress should be focused on reducing taxes and cutting spending, not monkeying around in the school lunch room.


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11 Responses to “Congress is in session: Rut roh!”

  1. Ben Hoffman Says:

    [Those earning more, i.e. small businesses, will be saddled with a job-killing tax hike.]

    It’s not a business tax, you dummy. It’s income tax. And it will affect very few small business owners.

    As far as killing jobs, why haven’t they been hiring while their taxes are low? It’s because taxes have little effect on hiring. Companies hire when they need workers.


  2. Patrick Sperry Says:

    Well Ben what can I say? I’ll listen to actual economist’s evaluations rather than resort to calling people names.

    Of course there is also THIS


  3. Ben Hoffman Says:

    Mark Alexander isn’t an economist, you dummy. You just listen to people who support your simple-minded right-wing agenda.


  4. mainenowandthen Says:

    Patrick, why do you bother to respond to this kind of invective? Mr. Hoffman must lead a very unpleasant life to display this type of hateful rhetoric.


  5. Patrick Sperry Says:

    I allow it in order to expose people such as Ben for what they are Maine. Can’t respond without name calling or playing some card? It just shows how terribly weak minded they are.


  6. Ben Hoffman Says:

    But you don’t deny that you are lying to defend your political party. Face it, you can’t defend the policies of Republicans without lying, which makes you a little sheep.


  7. Patrick Sperry Says:

    Face it yourself Ben. I’m not a Republican, and I don’t vote according to party affiliations. I vote based upon a persons character as I see it, and their positions on the issues that concern me.

    If you bothered to actually read what I have posted over the years you would know that.


  8. Ben Hoffman Says:

    Okay, so you lie to defend your ideology, which is the same as the Republican ideology.


  9. Patrick Sperry Says:

    Oh really Ben..? Like when I bashed Bush on a constant basis on several issues? Like when I call out RINO’s on a regular basis when they make claims about being a conservative..? Like when I have called out said RINO’s on gun control and ex post facto law..? The list goes on Ben.


  10. Name: Mark Says:

    I’m surprised Obama didn’t agree to actually increase the tax cuts for the richest Americans. He loves to cave.


  11. Patrick Sperry Says:

    Well Mark, I think we should wait and see what actually does happen. I don’t trust any of them, and who knows? What with all the newspeak that goes on these days they might decide that an increase is in fact a cut…

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting.


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