The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

September 14, 2012

Our View: Economic failure transcends party lines

From staff reports

— Just about every American knows full well that this country is in sad shape economically.

Just how sad, or terrible, is subject of course to political spin during the heated campaign season.

The question of what is needed to return America to economic prosperity is the essence of this presidential election.

A new book by noted author and news reporter Bob Woodward is adding fuel to that debate. “The Price of Politics” details the behind-the-scenes efforts in Congress and by the Barack Obama administration to improve economic conditions. Liberals will either ignore or denounce the book, and conservatives will cherry-pick excerpts to make their case against Obama.

Both sides will be dead wrong to do so.

Details in the book come straight from men and women deeply involved for more than three years in trying to pass legislation to improve economic conditions. Taken as a whole, the book clearly shows the stalemate achieved and the dire consequences of the looming fiscal cliff we see before us today.

In Woodward’s view, such conditions are a government failure, not simply the failure of one political party or the other. His book spreads blame across party lines and individuals who made grave miscalculations and played political chicken with each other.

Woodward characterizes this as a federal government failure across the board. Solutions must come from effective and courageous political leaders. The absence of such leadership for years now at the federal level is the glaring message in “The Price of Politics.”