The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia


December 11, 2012

Stay put


In addition to political gridlock that has pervaded Capitol Hill for far too many years, one of the bigger complaints we receive is the pay and benefits that members of Congress get.

Well, it’s time they all start earning their paychecks.

With three weeks left in the calendar year, the shadow of the “fiscal cliff” is looming larger.

On Sunday, President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner met for the first time, by themselves, since Election Day. The only official word from the meeting was that the lines of communication remain open.

That’s good, but the work that needs to take place in the next 20 days remains daunting, yet it must be done.

And that means staying there through the upcoming holiday season if need be.

The “put it off, put it off, put it off until somebody cracks” attitude has put our nation’s leaders in a very tenuous situation — all while making decisions or, better yet, not making decisions that could certainly plunge our nation into a recession like we’ve never seen.

It’s almost amazing to listen to, and watch as these elected leaders continue to refuse to come together and negotiate. The rhetoric is both maddening and disgusting while threats that many are willing to just sit tight and let massive spending cuts and automatic tax increases kick in at the beginning of the year is unacceptable behavior.

If that happens, history books will tell the story that this Congress and presidential administration failed miserably in their duties to represent those who have elected them.

The key is compromise, and until both sides figure out what that word means the dark depths of financial ruin for our country creep closer.

An overhaul of how the government of this country does its business has to happen and the start must take place before the ball drops on a new year.

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