Updated: February 5, 2013 6:19AM
Lawmakers are guilty of minimal performance on massive debt
The performance of the Congress and the White House in the recent Over the Cliff farce certainly has to rank as one of the sorriest examples of government in action in our long history. “Dysfunctional” best describes Congress during the interminable “over the cliff debate”
Many Americans do not pay that much attention to Congress and the workings of government, but in this fiasco everyone was forced to pay attention because it was the lead story in most news shows and had front page coverage in the press. If nothing else, most Americans can now better understand why we have a debt of $16.4 trillion and annual budget deficits of over $1 trillion.
So what happened and what type of deal was reached? The Senate and the House reached a compromise in which the temporary tax cuts for those families earning less than $450,000 were made permanent, and spending cuts were delayed for two months. The 2 percent FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act — payroll) tax cut expired.
Although the tax cuts for most were extended, the reality is that with a $16.4 trillion debt, the tax cuts for everyone should have been allowed to expire. Government no longer works and has instead become a battleground of partisan bickering between liberals and reactionaries.
The salary for members of Congress is $174,000. Based on their failure to pass a budget for the past three years and enact meaningful legislation in the last session of Congress, the actual level of compensation for members of Congress should be the minimum wage for minimum performance.