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Leadership And The Fiscal Cliff

Recently this nation went through a political gyration known as the “Fiscal Cliff.”

Had America “gone over the cliff,” income taxes would have gone up and government spending would have gone down. Americans would have had less money in their pockets, government spending wouldn’t be there to prop up the economy, and some predicted another economic recession.

For a nation still trying to drag itself out of the depths of the worst economic conditions in a lifetime, more recession was not an option.

In the end, hours past the deadline, the President, the Senate, and the House of Representatives managed to reach a deal. Income taxes were raised on the very few Americans who earn more than $400,000 a year, but not increased on everyone else.

Every working American will see his take-home pay drop because the payroll tax “holiday” is over.

It also pushed back “sequestration,” the round of broad budget cuts for future discussion.

Here in the Heartland, Americans wonder whether our government leaders really care about the country.

We have real problems. Unemployment is down, but good-paying jobs on which men and women can raise families are practically nonexistent. Health care is hideously expensive. Even a mild illness can force a family into bankruptcy. Whoever was at fault, the bursting of the real estate bubble and resulting economic collapse ravaged the lives of thousands.

The problem is, the positions of political leaders in Washington are radicalized. Politicians are willing to fight to the death for their ideals, because they fear their supporters will back somebody else if their positions aren’t to the far right or left enough.

Soon, Washington will begin the discussion on raising the national debt ceiling. The last time this happened, the battle was so ugly the nation’s credit rating dropped. Yet, there are those who are ready to take America to the brink again, and perhaps beyond, to get their way.

Isn’t now the time for our elected leaders to realize that they must, in fact, lead?

Shouldn’t they begin looking at ways to solve some of the day-today problems of American citizens, rather than worry about whether or not two men can marry or how many bullets a gun can shoot?

How many more zeros do the rich, who are already, by definition, wealthy, need in their bank accounts?

Isn’t now the time for cooler heads to prevail?

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