Lame duck Congress alert

America’s been through another historic election, this time it was the midterm congressional elections of 2010. the Republicans claimed 60 seats in the House of Representatives upsetting the Democratic majority put in place in 2006.

But this is not the time to celebrate; we are facing a lame-duck congress that will be a real danger for the American people. The election was a direct referendum on the Obama administration. The Republicans won the majority in the House and picked up seats in the Senate. They ran on the platform of cutting spending, rolling back Obama policies of health care and Wall Street reform, and stopping any more destructive policies that will further impede job creation and economic growth. The American people have spoken, and they do not want the liberal-progressive agenda that Obama and his administration are pushing.

Is it Obama’s arrogance or is he just ignorant and out of step with the majority of the American people? After the beating Democrats and many incumbents took at the polls, Obama made an announcement stating that he wants Republicans to "put politics aside" and that he was open to their ideas about tackling stubbornly-high unemployment. On the Wednesday following the election, Obama stated that the election results were a reflection of the frustration of Americans with the sour economy and an appeal for the two parties to work together. Obama then invited the top leaders from both parties to a dinner meeting at the White House on Nov. 18. He just does not get it. Now he wants to work together, yet when the Democrats held the majority in both houses he ignored the Republicans saying "they need to go to the back of the car."

What’s on the table for this lame-duck session? An important piece of legislation is renewing the tax cuts put in place by President Bush. They are due to expire at the end of this year. Republicans want to extend the tax cuts for everyone across the board however the Democrats and Obama want tax cuts only for the middle class and an increase in taxes on the wealthy. This may seem like the Democrats are for the people, but do not let them fool you. In this economy, where jobs are scarce and corporations are moving out in record numbers, this policy would hurt the American people, despite the promise Democrats made to not allow any tax rates to rise for families making less than $250,000. What they would have you believe is that the average person would not be affected; however, the increase in tax rates for the wealthy would have a trickledown effect in which the increase would be passed on to the consumer.

Other tax issues such as the Alternative Minimum Tax, which has expired, are up for Congressional action. Also, the death tax is due to expire, this is a tax on inheritance which the person inheriting the estate must pay even though the estate had already been taxed-the government is the only one gaining from this.

Another item on the table is the Dream Act, which is legislation that would grant conditional legal status to illegal immigrant students. More or less the bill gives amnesty to those who broke our laws to enter our country and rewards them with jobs that Americans in this economy would gladly do.

Another piece of major legislation is "cap and trade" that would have a huge negative effect on the economy by increasing rates on energy consumption and tightening standard regulations on businesses. This, in turn, could cause increases in prices that will have direct impact on all families, rich or poor. Jobs would be sacrificed in order to meet new government regulations.

The annual defense policy bill is now also in jeopardy because of "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell," which many in the military are against repealing. Remember, the policy as it is allows gays and lesbians to serve openly in the armed forces. There seems to be more activists outside the military pushing for repeal rather than those who serve. Because of the bickering over this issue, the military funding could be held up and put our nation on a path to danger.

Other legislation Democrats may ram through are the cyber security bill, as well as the ratification of the START treaty with Russia. These two items deal directly with our safety. There are many smaller pet projects Democrats hope to push through despite the opposition that voters made clear in the recent election.

What will cause government to shutdown is the fear Congress faces as the lame-duck session commences. The Republicans are for cutting spending; however some lawmakers are pushing for 12 unfinished spending bills to be combined one that costs $1.1 trillion.

Here’s a thought, the tax payer money that Obama has been spending on these elaborate vacations, which he deems necessary, could be used for reducing the debt and investing in the American people. But no, instead you have Obama in India holding a town-hall meeting where he states the objective of his visit was to find jobs. Obama said, "I want to make sure we are here because this will create jobs in the US," but stressed he was for a kind of relationship that will create jobs in India as well. It doesn’t seem likely that this will spur any job growth in our country. We keep hearing about the need for Americans to sacrifice, but it is a "do as I say, not as I do" stance from the Obama administration.

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