By Lisa Desjardins, CNN
Follow on Twitter: @LisaDCNN
(CNN) – This week, Congress is expected to avoid another fiscal disaster, at least temporarily, by passing enough funding to keep government running for six more months.
But, that six-month patch does nothing to deal with the coming, enormous budget mess.
[:43] “These are all distractions, It’s like putting a band aid on a bullet wound,” said Wes Messamore who writes about government and policy for the Independent Voter Network.
The bullet wound is the collision of multiple budget issues coming in the next four months and the big picture problems, like Medicare, that Congress has ignored in the long-term.
The near-term dilemmas include the fiscal cliff, which will mean increased taxes and significant budget cuts if Congress doesn’t act.
[2:28] “If we go over that fiscal cliff, with raising taxes and slashing spending… it very would likely send the economy plunging downward into another recession and that would make at least they cyclical deficit worse,” said Professor Ranjit Dighe, who teaches economic history at the State University of New York at Oswego. He also runs a website about the financial crisis, called “Blogging Through the Wreckage”.
Despite these warnings, a debate is starting to arise among some in Congress over whether lawmakers should tackle the fiscal cliff at all before the end of the year.
[3:12] “I think it’s a bad idea for us to come back in a lame duck session, regardless of who wins, and try to deal with these issues,” said Rep. Raul Labrador, R-ID at a conservative Congressional forum held by the Heritage Foundation last week.
Thus, the mess and potential for political collision deepens.
On top of questions about whether Congress can come up with an agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff by the end of the year, there are now questions about whether some members would rather drive over it.
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