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Lame Ducks and the Fiscal Cliff

Personal Freedom and Prosperity 110: A Predictable and Stable Legal Order

A government with moral and legal authority promulgates written rules and universally, impartially and uniformly enforces the rules, which provides a predictable and stable legal order on which to base economic and personal decisions.  

Lame Ducks and the Fiscal Cliff

I have an idea.  Let’s only pay Congress and the President for Lame Duck sessions.  I mean, this is the only time Congress and the President do meaningful work.  So, every two years after the election and before the new girls and boys are sworn to uphold the Constitution, the Lame Ducks – the President and Congress -  finally tackle necessary and critical legislation.  You know, legislation, which should have been accomplished by serious and honorable fiduciaries of America's fiscal and national security.

Steve Forbes has listed what must be accomplished in the upcoming Lame Duck session.  Responsibly, Forbes seeks a stable and predictable legal order.  First, stablize taxes so individuals and business can invest and spend with a reasonable expectation of the outcome. Forbes, as quoted The Wall Street Journal

To start, Congress should extend all individual tax rates through 2013. This will let Americans keep more of what they have earned, and it will give smaller businesses more certainty to invest. Also, Congress will have to enact another "patch" for the alternative minimum tax. Some 27 million middle-income Americans must not be slammed with high bills because their long-standing exemption to the AMT will expire at year's end.

Also, Forbes calls for incentives to get businesses to invest in new equipment and expand their productivity, which creates more jobs and profits. Washington should enact a long-term business expensing provision (such as the one enacted in 2010) allowing businesses to write off 100% of their capital investments.

Finally, Forbes wants to prevent an enormous rise in tax rates on dividend income, which greatly hurts retirees on fix incomes.  Again, in the WSJ:

Finally, Congress must ensure that the most vulnerable Americans—particularly those on fixed incomes—are protected. Unless Washington acts this year, the tax rate on dividends will nearly triple to over 40% on Jan. 2 from 15% today.

Forbes pleads with the Lame Ducks for a few moments of responsibility to prevent America from dipping further into our financial malaise and human sorrow.

So, back to my suggestion.  Let's only pay Congress and the President for a Lame Duck session.  After all, the only time these Lame Ducks act honorably and sensibly is just after an election.  Maybe this is a better idea.  Only allow them to meet after an election, and before taking an oath to uphold the Constitution.  Would better governance be achieved?


Additional Lame Duck posts:Undemocratic Lame Duck Session 

Obama Pelosi – Lame Duck Strategy    Additional Fiscal Cliff post:

Totally Irresponsible Governance – the Fiscal Cliff