The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


December 20, 2012

Our View: Same old, same old

Going over a “fiscal cliff” is insane, politically and fiscally. We have known for over a year this argument was coming up, and our politicians are only showing their ineptness in confronting and eliminating the problem.

Americans, ourselves included, are simply sick of the political wrangling. That was a message sent and received, we hope, by voters at least, if not all our politicians, Democrats and GOP.

Sometime today House Speaker John Boehner’s backup plan for averting the “fiscal cliff,” could go to the House for a vote.

Boehner, R-Ohio, proposed his so-called Plan B on Tuesday, a measure that would block tax cuts from being triggered Jan. 1 on everyone but those whose incomes exceed $1 million.

The White House said Boehner’s package did not raise enough revenue from the country’s top earners, would leave too big a deficit-reduction burden on the middle class and omitted tax breaks used by families and businesses.

Boehner hopes a vote today will raise pressure on President Barack Obama to make concessions. Without an agreement among lawmakers, hundreds of billions of broad tax increases on nearly all taxpayers and spending cuts will be triggered in early January.

Whatever we wind up doing between now and Jan. 1, it likely won’t be nearly enough to come to grips with our real fiscal and monetary problems. In a sense this current debate is simply a sideshow to the real issues confronting America.

Holding all of America hostage to the same old arguments coming yet again from Washington is not the right path forward, long term, midterm or even short term.  The solutions lie in finding a balanced approach to economic matters.  A one-side-takes-all is not in any way appropriate, in our view.

In the end, if we are to regain any semblance of prosperity, we must find a way to rapidly reduce deficit spending using both taxation increases and spending cuts to achieve reasonable and achievable goals clearly articulated by our political leaders.

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