Now that the 2012 elections are over, are you having trouble explaining the fiscal cliff and lame duck to the younger set? Fear not, as children and the adults that pay for their Internet connections can tune in to HOH's "The Lame Duck and The Fiscal Cliff, A Children's Story." It's got a little something for everyone.
Once upon a long, long time ago (Summer 2011), the White House and Congress decided it was time to reduce government spending. The Republicans and the Democrats decided they both had programs and priorities that cost money and that they did not want to give up. They had so much trouble compromising, they wondered how debt reduction could ever get done!
So they decided to create a super committee! The super committee was filled with the best, smartest and bravest Members of the House and Senate that leaders could find.
Then our political leaders gathered together all the most explosive issues of our time, such as expiring tax cuts and entitlement reform, and laid them on the table.
"Everything is on the table," they said.
These super-geniuses told the super committee that if it didn't come up with a compromise, each of the members' most prized programs would suffer. They called it "sequestration."
If the super committee couldn't deliver, the leaders said, sequestration would hit on Jan. 2. 2013. That seemed like a long ways away.
The super committee promised not to let America down.
The super committee got to work. Pretty quickly, however, the super lawmakers found out compromise is hard. The Democrats and the Republicans were angry. They fought all the time.
Even worse, the country was heading into an election year. Everyone was upset, and no one was willing to give in.
Then no one could deny it anymore: The super committee failed.
The countdown to sequestration was on. Someone decided to call it the "fiscal cliff." Unfortunately for America, the name stuck.
Today, the 112th Congress is set to come back to finish the rest of its session, what the lawmakers call a lame duck.
Now it is up to one of the least productive Congresses in history to avert the cliff.
Can Congress do it?