Procrastination is defined as the act of putting off intentionally the doing of something that should be done, according to Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary. We have all been guilty of this habit at some point in our lives, and we may still find ourselves procrastinating from time to time. But then there are the lifelong, habitual procrastinators, who chronically delay what needs to be done. Sadly, many of these hardcore procrastinators seem to get elected to Congress.
How else to explain the persistent drama of inaction forced upon us by congressional leadership? For more than three years, Congress has neglected to pass a federal fiscal budget. For the latter part of last year and into the first days of 2013, Congress spent much time arguing about, but doing nothing to actually address, fiscal cliff sequestration — the automatic budget-cutting that will take place if Congress and the president do not reach agreement on a fiscal package that eliminates the annual deficit over time. Congress simply kicked the topic down the road until March 1.
Now we are staring down the barrel toward March 1, but still no serious discussions are taking place. Even worse, two more deadlines loom. Later in March, the agreement for funding the federal government, a so-called continuing resolution, will expire. And since we do not currently have a U.S. treasurer, little is being said about the anticipated reaching of the congressionally approved debt ceiling limit in May.
All of this work to do, yet Congressional leadership procrastinates. Indiana is fortunate to have a very talented, but short-tenured, congressional delegation. Consequently our Hoosier congressmen are not a part of the leadership who are stalling the negotiations. In fact most if not all Indiana congressmen are opposed to these continuing delays and, like me, are seeking solutions to these important issues.
Generally when people complain about congressional leaders, I will defend our elected officials. After working with these men and women for nearly a quarter of a century, I am of the opinion that most are intelligent, hard-working citizens who want to do the right thing. The vast majority are sacrificing potential personal income that they could earn in the private sector, in order to serve. Many have become my friends.
But there is no excuse for congressional leaders to continue this senseless procrastination. Nobody forced these individuals to run for office. They stepped up and volunteered to make the aforementioned sacrifices. We the people believed them, and the majority of us voted for them. It is time they do the job required of leaders.