Inability to agree as damaging as cliff itself

As the last few minutes of New Year’s Eve came to a close, and as each of us awoke on Jan. 1, we were greeted with the news that legislation had passed through the Senate and House of Representatives about the looming fiscal cliff crisis.

Unfortunately, the news we received wasn’t exactly what we had in mind.

With the threat of large and immediate tax increases looming, Congress acted to raise income taxes for people who make more than $400,000 annually and to allow payroll taxes to increase on all working Americans.

Editorial Board

Andrew Krietz
Katie Harrington
Greg Olsen
Derek Blalock
Omari Sankofa II
Holly Baranowski

While these decisions display an ability by Congress to work together, their decision still fails to prevent all aspects of the crisis, leaving another fiscal cliff-type scenario likely to repeat itself again in the next two months.

By about the end of February, the Treasury Department will exhaust their legal authority to borrow money.

The U.S. will be unable to borrow more money unless Congress agrees to raise the debt ceiling.
By, once again, postponing this decision and relaying the message to the American public that nothing concrete was accomplished, it’s hard not to be asking yourself one question: what’s the point?

When you reflect on the back-and-forth decision making that eventually led to the “messy compromise” from Congress, it’s hard not to be left with a disheartened feeling.

For more than a year and a half, our elected officials knew a decision concerning the fiscal cliff was going to have to be made. Waiting until the last few weeks to try to reach an agreement, and then not even reaching one, is equatable to not showing up for work.

Even more, what also can be seen as a frustrating aspect to this fiscal cliff drama is it showcases a lack of dedication exhibited by our elected officials concerning an all too common dilemma.

The notion of taking steps to balancing the nation’s budget obviously is a daunting task, and something that clearly must be considered from a variety of different viewpoints.

While steps to avoid issues concerning debt, revenue and the debt ceiling have been met in the past, the recent negligence exhibited by Congress feels more like a slap in the face to their constituents.

The role of making collective decisions to help lead to the betterment of this country is one of the central criteria demanded of our elected officials.

When Congress relays the message that the issue of balancing a budget, something American families are forced to do each month, is impossible to accomplish in more than a year, it gives off the impression of incompetence and laziness.

It makes it appear Congress is composed of individuals who are not adequately equipped to carry out their job.

Although the eventual fate of Congress’s fiscal cliff decisions still is unknown, one thing is clear: our country can’t afford to wait another year for a decision to be made.

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