For some time now, Tea Party activists across the country have insisted that Congress stay in Washington to do its job on taxes, spending, etc. Unfortunately, elections appear to be more important, and so our legislative “leaders” have gone home to campaign.

One of the areas of concern is the major set of tax hikes coming at the beginning of 2013. According to the Washington Post 90% of taxpayers will face tax hikes if Congress fails to keep current tax policy in place. From the article:

A study published Monday by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center finds that taxes would go up by a collective $536 billion next year, or about $3,500 per household, reducing after-tax income by more than 6 percent — an “unprecedented tax increase.”

The hikes won’t just hit the wealthy, either:

The impact would vary significantly by income level, the study found, ranging from a $412 jump for the lowest earners (a reduction of 3.7 percent in after-tax income) to $120,000 for the top 1 percent (a 10.5 percent bite). Middle-income households — those earning between $40,000 and $65,000 a year — would see their taxes go up by an average of $2,000, the study found, leaving those families with 4.4 percent less money to spend.

The tax increases being examined cover a wide variety of areas on the tax code, but are primarily focused around four areas of overarching policy: the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts of the Bush Administration, the payroll tax holiday, and tax breaks in the stimulus. Yet instead of being in Washington looking at ways to at least keep taxes where they are – if not create and implement actual tax reform – politicians have chosen to campaign.

In the end, of course, some agreement will be made behind closed doors that will leave activists of all stripes aghast at the way Congress has yet again brought long-known policy debates to the brink of disaster by prioritizing elections over doing the job Congress gets paid to do. This is no way to lead a country. Hopefully, the American people have realized the inanity of voting in the same people who continuously create this problem, and will replace them with liberty-minded, fiscally conservative Representatives and Senators.