Monday, August 26, 2013

Duct Tape and Congress

What does Congress and Duct-tape have in common? They are both used to make temporary or patchwork fixes. Whenever I go on long day or multiday climb or hike, the most essential safety and repair item I pack is duct-tape. Duct-tape has bailed me out of many adverse situations. I have used as both a band aide for abrasions and to protect blisters. I have used it to repair tent and clothing tears (it is easy to tear material when we travel with a lot of sharp items such as crampons and ice axes). I have used it to fix broken headlamps, tent poles, and other gear. I have used duct-tape to repair broken hoses in cars and in other gadgets. However, no matter how good duct-tape is to repair things, I always make sure products are replaced or fixed properly before the next trip. Duct-tape is not a permanent solution.

Congress acts the same way as duct-tape (except for the fact I cannot see any of these overpaid buffoons fixing anything with their own two hands). A majority of legislation they create and pass is generally a temporary fix or just a patch to the problem. They fail to address the crux of problems by continually passing it off to future dates time after time. In the meantime, as problems and issues deteriorate, Congressional members are too polarized and afraid to commit political suicide to address the heart of these issues.

Case in point, policies such as ObamaCare, Social Security, Medicare, taxes, budget spending, and so forth are all good examples of Congress passing legislation without understanding the future ramifications of the policy. In other words, government policy fails to be strategic. For instance, congressional members never considered the possibility of life expectancies increasing when drafting Medicare or Social Security legislation (even though this was the trend since man was introduced on the planet). And this is a major reason Social Security and Medicare is going bankrupt. ObamaCare fails to address the main concern about healthcare in this country – the proportionate growth of healthcare costs compared to inflation. Because of this huge oversight, ObamaCare will be another entitlement that will grow into fiscal insolvency. Congressional members also failed to consider the possibility that people will rely on entitlements for their entire lives when drafting legislation. And obviously when it comes to fiscal matters such as taxes and spending, congressional members think we can continue to increase taxes and spending without any future consequences. Why do we face fiscal cliff decisions periodically? Because congressional members failed to find permanent solutions and we are therefore forced to periodically face these budget fights.

Is there a way to overcome the short sightedness of Congress and their inclination to base decisions on political gain instead of the welfare of the country? Yes, but I seriously doubt anyone in Congress will like my idea – Smart Legislation.


  1. >>"I cannot see any of these overpaid buffoons fixing anything with their own two hands..."

    Hahahahaha! Great post, Patrick.

    How about the sequester? That was a pile of duct tape if ever there was one.

    The duct tape phenomenon occurs because congress refuses to face its failures and scrap what should be scrapped. This will only change when they run out of duct tape, but the change will be the complete collapse of everything.

    1. Thanks CW, I figured I missed a few of the plethora examples out there - the sequester is a good example.