While Congress is temporarily consumed with payroll tax conniptions, the season of good cheer is as good a time as any to share a Top 10 list of things we'd like to see happen on Capitol Hill in 2012. Let's do this in reverse order, David Letterman style.
10. Kindergarten teachers descend en masse onto the Hill to refresh their former students' memories about critical life lessons: You have to share and you can't have your way all the time.
9. Congress resumes passing wilderness bills, starting with legislation that has bipartisan support in California, Idaho, Washington, Nevada, Michigan, and Tennessee.
8. Lawmakers realize the Antiquities Act works just fine as a remarkably effective tool for protecting rare natural and historic treasures, and decide to leave it the hell alone.
7. Lawmakers realize that retaining protections for roadless areas and wilderness study areas is in the public interest and decides to leave them the hell alone.
6. Land and Water Conservation Fund receives its fully authorized $900 million appropriation for the first time in more than a decade.
5. Congress takes a significant whack out of commodity crop subsidies that distort markets, foster inequities, and reward agricultural practices that erode soils and degrade water quality.
4. Lawmakers decide they have more important things to do than obsess over 100-watt light bulbs, and let efficiency standards enforcement ban lapse.
3. All appropriations bills are crafted through regular order and pass on time without extraneous, polarizing policy riders.
2. Congress passes a revenue-neutral carbon tax as part of a grand-bargain tax reform that simplifies the tax code, closes loopholes, and drops income tax rates across the board.
1. Congress' approval rating surges past Paris Hilton's.
One can dream. Best wishes to you and yours this holiday season and in 2012.
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