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Morning Sun
  • OUR VIEW: Disappointed by Congress’ mess

  • “There’s a stalemate. Let’s not kid ourselves,” said Speaker of the House John Boehner on Friday.



    In some ways, we wished Boehner had lied and said progress was being made. Because the fiscal cliff, now roughly 30 days away from being a reality, is looming. And there seems to be no urgency to solve the issue — which, we might add, is entirely of Congress’ making.

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  • “There’s a stalemate. Let’s not kid ourselves,” said Speaker of the House John Boehner on Friday.
    In some ways, we wished Boehner had lied and said progress was being made. Because the fiscal cliff, now roughly 30 days away from being a reality, is looming. And there seems to be no urgency to solve the issue — which, we might add, is entirely of Congress’ making.
    If Congress wants to know why its approval ratings are so low, it needs to look no further than this latest “stalemate.”
    Let’s recap: In 2011, Congress passed a solution to the debt ceiling issue. As part of that solution, Congress set up a committee to come up with a bill that would reduce the deficit. To ensure that the committee got something done, the bill included a bunch of spending cuts that neither side would like in case the committee failed. Of course, the committee failed, and so now those cuts, the “fiscal cliff” are looming.
    Congress’ own research branch has projected that going over the fiscal cliff would cause a high likelihood of a recession in the first half of 2013.
    With 30 days left to go, progress on avoiding the fiscal cliff is at a premium, and compromise seems unlikely.
    Republicans are unwilling to let tax cuts expire on the top 2 percent of Americans, and Democrats are unwilling to offer specifics on which social service progams (Medicare and similar programs) will be cut.
    So, with 30 days left before the fiscal cliff hits, the Democrats and Republicans are playing chicken with each other.
    We’re not worried that something will get done, to be honest. These things have a tendency to get solved with an 11th-hour solution. Both sides will claim victory while simultaneously claiming they would have compromised more, but the other was too stubborn, and so this was the best they could get.
    What we’re worried about is that it shouldn’t take an 11th-hour solution. It shouldn’t take a game of chicken with the U.S. economy to work together. The reason the fiscal cliff exists is because the two sides couldn’t work together.
    America is a country in which people work together to get things done. Jon Stewart, in his “Rally to Restore Sanity” two years ago, spoke about the way Americans work together every day. He showed a long line of cars merging into a tunnel in New York City, noting how people go in making concession by concession — you go, then I’ll go, you go, then I’ll go — to get to the other side.
    “Because we know instinctively as a people that if we are to get through the darkness and back into the light, we have to work together. And the truth is, there will always be darkness. And sometimes, the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t the promised land... But we do it anyway, together,” Stewart said.
    Page 2 of 2 - It’s time Congress took a cue from its people. No more brinksmanship. No more chicken. You go, then I’ll go, and we’ll get to the other side.
    — For the Morning Sun
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