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January 2, 2013

Same As It Ever Was

By Kathy Malloy

There was no agreement on raising a debt ceiling, which the president said was absolutely essential to economic reform. Without this provision, the government will run out of money -- again -- in February and the Party of No will issue its customary, tiresome demand that the Democrats cut social spending to offset the deficit.

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The New Year in Washington began with a whimper as the continually obstinate House of "Representatives," led by the perpetually inebriated and teary-eyed John Boehner, threw a hail mary and passed a wimpy last-minute resolution that solves little and leaves our federal financial state in peril.

An editorial in today's New York Times describes the disappointing deal this way:

"For the first time since President George W. Bush began the country's long slide into debt by cutting taxes in 2001, an agreement was reached late Monday in the Senate to raise income taxes on the rich.  Nonetheless, this deal is a weak brew that remains far too generous to the rich and fails to bring in enough revenue to deal with the nation's deep need for public investments. Given that the Bush-era tax cuts expire on Jan. 1, Republicans were forced to give ground on their philosophical opposition to higher taxes, but they made it impossible to reach a farsighted agreement that truly grappled with government's role in fostering improvements to education, transportation and manufacturing."

Neither side is happy about this. The deal lowers the upper level tax cuts on the wealthy to those reporting an income greater than $400,000 per year, which is a far cry from the $250,000 ceiling the president called for. Worse, there was no agreement on raising a debt ceiling, which the president said was absolutely essential to  economic reform. Without this provision, the government will run out of money -- again -- in February and the Party of No will issue its customary, tiresome demand that the Democrats cut social spending to offset the deficit.

Sadly, the President will likely agree to this madness. Why break the pattern now?

As always, Obama compromised with the Neocons on this sad little bill at a time when no compromise was necessary. As he is quick to remind us, he won the election. Resoundingly. As Dubya would've said -- "it was a thumpin." If there was ever a time when the president could've stood his ground, knowing more than 70% of the American populace was behind him; knowing that Congress' approval numbers ranked slightly below the popularity of syphilis, this was it.

So why the hasty hand-shaking with the same crew that has demonstrated repeatedly it would cut his political throat and defeat any measure he suggested given the slightest opportunity? 

We may never know. What seems a guarantee, however, is more of the same disappointment over the next four years. What a wasted opportunity for real "change."



Submitters Website: www.mikemalloy.com

Submitters Bio:

Kathy never expected a career in radio as a talk show producer. Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Kathy was completing her nursing degree when in 2001 - in an emergency - she was asked to fill in as the producer of Mike's program. Within a few weeks she knew she'd found more than a temporary job. Since that beginning, Kathy has steadily grown more comfortable behind the control console, editing, engineering, and assisting in topic selection for the program while also retaining a fairly sizeable chunk of her sanity. Oh, and did we mention the utter (joyful) chaos of raising a daughter who, for some odd reason, only stops talking when she's asleep. Strange, that.

A life-long "talk radio junkie," Kathy takes her job with all the seriousness required, and thoroughly enjoys producing a talk show that's intelligent, factual, informative, and most of all entertaining. She takes great pride in -- and has great fun with -- the two biggest joys in her life: Their daughter Molly, and producing one of the most dynamic talk programs in radio.

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