Whether you live in the US or not, you must be tired of hearing about how the US Congress squabbles over money! I know that I am.
The 100 senators and 435 representatives in the House have been elected to do one thing only, and that’s to look after the interests of their constituents. How do they do that? By creating and passing a budget that spends the tax dollars they receive. How hard can that be?
Thus far, they’ve managed to create a record annual deficit, not to mention the record cumulative deficit that stretches back more than 150 years.
Traditionally, America used peacetime and prosperity to pay down its debts; but in the last 30 years this hasn’t been the norm. The US Government has spent more than it took in for years, regardless of the economic climate. Why? Because they could.
Cutting the budget has never been popular with voters, and so few politicians have had the backbone to stand up to them and do the necessary.
I don’t know about you, but I’m in favor of changing the names on the Senate and House buildings to The Houses of Inverterbrates. That seems to be a much better description of those who “work” there; after all, it has become a zoo.
The fiscal year in the US begins on October 1st. It’s been like that since 1976, when it began on July 1st. It was slipped a few months to give Congress more time to agree on spending. The funny thing is that it was only for that year that there actually was extra time. Think about it: If they had a year from July 1st of 1975 to June 30th of 1976 to approve the budget, then that’s 12 months. If you add another three to make the new fiscal year begin on October 1st, then the total length of time to consider the new budget it 15 months.
But, what happens during the subsequent years? I’ll tell you. The financial year begins on October 1st and ends on September 30th of the following year. That’s just 12 months. And it’s like that every year unless Congress passes its now infamous “continuing resolutions.”
Oh the jargon. A continuing resolution is nothing more than a small bill that says we’re going to keep on spending money until we can figure out what to do, or the bill expires. Whichever comes first. (If you’re an insomniac, and you’ve already tried all other remedies, then read this. It may be your best night!)
Apparently no one wants to use the “S” word – Shutdown! But, unless the ninnies on Capitol Hill do something they’ve never done before – agree – there will be a lot of people on unpaid leave starting tomorrow.
By the way. I have a solution to this mess. We should give them all a pink slip and put ordinary, hard-working citizens in there to run the country instead of the career politicians. Then, just maybe, we could begin to cut spending by denuding the Congressman of their extravagant perks and salaries.