When did D.C. become land of Oz?


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In the movie “The Wizard of Oz,” Dorothy is told to “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.” Rather, the man behind the curtain wants her to think that the large, bright, noisy image on the screen is the real Wizard of Oz.

Successful businesses understand deadlines. They must order and deliver by certain dates. They must pay for materials by certain dates. Taxes are due by certain dates.

But the U.S. Congress? All dates are points of reference, apparently.

Currently, the federal government is operating under a continuing resolution and a thing called the Budget Control Act of 2011, which is set to expire Jan. 1.

Why then? Because Congress has been unable to agree on a budget and continued the last budget with some automatic “adjustments” that kick in the first of the year if they don’t have a new budget adopted by then.

So, as presidential candidates hurl accusations and offer plans and generate TV ads that polarize the viewers, it is the Congress that stays behind the curtain hoping that we will focus on the noisy images on the screen.

Writing in the Sept. 21 edition of the Indianapolis Star, writers David Lightman and William Douglas said, “ The most disliked, unproductive Congress in decades planned to leave Washington this week until after the November election, departing without agreements of virtually every big issue it deals with: taxes, defense, spending, farms, even post office policy. Congress also exits without any serious effort to edge away from the fiscal cliff, the prospect of economy-damaging budget chaos if it doesn’t act by year’s end.”

If a private business got that kind of performance rating on say, Angie’s List, it would understand if it never got any calls. But with Congress, where are we to go for another Army, Department of Commerce or Social Security system?

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