Wednesday, November 10, 2010

November 11, 2010

     A lame-duck session of Congress will convene here next week.  That's when the old Congress--winners and losers in the mid-term election--come back to do a little business at the end of the year before the new Congress--the winners--first convene in January.
     What will the ducks do?  Quack some, sadly or gladly, depending on whether they won or lost.  But they will do some serious stuff too.  Some tax cuts that passed in the Bush administration expire at the end of the year.  The Democrats want to let them expire for the wealthy--those making more than $ 250,000. a year--and extend them for everyone else. The Republicans want to extend them for everyone.  That's one issue the ducks really have to deal with.  If they don't, everyone's taxes will go up, and what elected Congressman wants that?
     Cutting federal spending?  We heard lots of rhetoric about that in the fall campaign but don't bet on action.  Cut your pet project?  Cut mine?  It's hard.
     Will they pass a resolution (called a continuing resolution) allowing present spending to continue?  They have to do that. The current CR runs out at the beginning of December. Without a new one, the government would begin to shut down.  Imagine!
     Oh, a Congress will probably do something about Medicare.  Its payments to doctors will drop by 30% in the new year unless Congress acts, as is has in the past, to postpone the cuts. If the cuts take effect, would fewer doctors accept Medicare patients?  Who knows?
     Anyway, enjoy the ducks.  Their quacking can be fun. 

No comments: