WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) -- Well, we avoided the fiscal cliff, or did we. You have heard the phrase, ďa day late,  and a dollar short!Ē That pretty much sums up the United States congress. The good ó they (congress) finally agreed to reinstate the Bush Tax Cuts for all of us that earn less than $400,000 a year or $450,000 per family. Of course both sides of the aisle are not really happy with the legislation, but yet both sides are saying they protected their constituents.

    But then what they didnít do, is going to cost the average tax payer an additional $500 to $1,000 in payroll taxes, a tax that falls heaviest on the poor, and the lower end of the middle class! So itís business as usual for congress.

    Essentially all they did was, once again, kick the can a little further down the road. Albeit some progress was made, but there is a ton of work to be done if we are to ever solve our debt problems. I think there are many ideas to solve the problem without putting more hardship on the poor and middle class.

    For instance, found on this page, is an OpEd piece by Darius Ross. Ross says we need a raise in minimum wage, and he states some very good reasons for doing it. I have written about this same thing several times over the past few years, and I still think it would do more to stimulate the economy than any government stimulus plan.

    I have always said the benefits, long term, far outweigh any short term problems it might create for business. But then I guess it just makes too much sense for our congress to figure it out. Just do the math, I donít see how it could possibly not work for everyone. People will have more money to spend to buy durable goods, food, entertainment, and many other things, and oh yeah in the process we will all pay more federal, state and local taxes! It will also help with Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Itís a Win Win situation!

    How do they rank? I did some checking on a couple on line polls and congress canít get much lower in honesty and ethics.

    Ranking highest in one poll were nurses at 85%, pharmacists at 75 %, medical doctors and engineers 70%, Dentists 62%, police officers 58%, college teachers 53%, Psychiatrists 41%, chiropractors 38%

bankers 28% journalists and  business executives 21%, state governors 20%, Lawyers 19%, Insurance salespeople 15%, stock brokers and congress 11%, car sales people 8%.  Gee I really thought journalists would be higher.

    In another Gallup Pool  congress is actually up a bit from 2009 when their approval rating was 9%. However  comparing several other events, over several years, congress doesnít stack up very well. In 1974 during the Watergate scandal Nixon was at 24%. Banks in 2011 ranked at 23%, also in 2011 the oil and gas industry ranked at 20%. In 2010 the BP during the gulf oil spill ranked at 16%. In 2005 Paris Hilton ranked at 15%. Finally Hugo Chavez  in 2007 ranked at 9%.

    Knowing this, how the heck do a lot of these clowns manage to get reelected? I guess the only thing we can attribute it to is the dumbing down of Americans! Lets get smart!

Have a great week and do good!