EDITORIAL: We're sick of these fiscal cliffhangers

2013-01-03T00:00:00Z 2013-01-03T07:13:05Z EDITORIAL: We're sick of these fiscal cliffhangers nwitimes.com
January 03, 2013 12:00 am  • 

When we were kids, we played "kick the can" but soon tired of it. That just shows how childish Congress has been lately, continuing to postpone its fiscal cliff deadline rather than completing the task. 

The agreement Congress reached was another stopgap measure, postponing again the hard decisions that must ultimately be made.

No wonder the congressional approval rating is stuck at a dismal 18 percent, according to the Gallup Poll. Even congressmen aren't happy with the bill passed Tuesday.

"I will not consign our children to a debtors’ prison just to block President Obama’s tax hikes," U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Ind., said.

U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Ind., expressed similar disgust: "The American people deserve more than a Congress that continually kicks the can down the road and fails to provide true certainty to all Americans."

The economic uncertainty generated by the failure to solve the nation's fiscal problems is costing jobs and wealth. American individuals and businesses aren't sure how much of the burden of prior, current and future spending will fall on them, nor how they will make ends meet when this bill finally becomes due.

A long-lasting agreement, rather than yet another extension, would pave the way for business investments held back by the current uncertainty.

Americans already know these problems won't be solved quickly, just as they weren't created overnight. But get the nation headed in the right direction by cutting spending that doesn't make sense, like weapons systems that even the Pentagon doesn't want. President Barack Obama deserves some, but not all, of  the blame for this federal spending spree.

It is said the first step toward recovery is admitting to an addiction. The nation has already done this. Now it's up to Congress to rethink spending priorities and invest wisely, rather than doing what's politically expedient.

Members of Congress, representatives and senators alike, should follow Gov. Mitch Daniels' example and actually listen to the people. Daniels has made it a practice to stay overnight in Hoosiers' homes while traveling the state so he could listen to their ideas and concerns. 

It's good advice for the feds. Listen to the people, rather than special interest groups.

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