CHICAGO (CBS) – The U.S. Congress today was back in session to reduce the deficit, reform immigration, improve education.

There’s much to do that congress doesn’t do because what it does most is go on vacation.

New Year’s Day this year, Congress was gone for a week. Presidents Day, for a week; spring vacation, Memorial Day, Independence Day, gone each for a week. Summer vacation, gone for two weeks; fall vacation for eight weeks.

Thanksgiving is next, then Hanukkah for a week, and gone Christmas for two more -– adding up to 17 weeks’ vacation, 86 days off, while we pay them $174,000 in salary and give them $1 million to spend on their patronage, plus expense accounts for their junkets and supplements for their Social Security, benefits for their retirement.

Are we getting our money’s worth? No way.