Tuesday, November 16, 2010

So... What's REALLY Important To Americans?

We asked you yesterday to play along with us and send your attempts to balance the U.S. Federal budget, using the New York Times online tool. While we received a few suggestions of what you'd like to do - and we thank those of you who did so - we think the most telling response to our request was received in a private e-mail.

This person simply asked why we were focusing on this topic - the budget deficit - when poll after poll continues to show that what Americans really want politicians to focus on is JOBS.

Not the deficit. Not the Bush tax cuts. Not the intraparty fighting.
Jobs. Jobs. Jobs.

We couldn't agree more - and in fact, we're glad that at least one of our readers has stated the obvious.

As some of us discussed our little budget deficit exercise yesterday afternoon, we hit on the same point we've made multiple times before - that no matter how we or you or Congress slices the budget, more revenue MUST be brought in and more cuts MUST be made. There is simply not an either/or approach to fixing our federal - or state - budgets that will able to be passed, that will work with ONLY raising taxes or cutting budgets.

The compromises that are being bandied about on all sides in Washington on the issue of extending the Bush tax cuts - or not extending them - merely support our point even further. The insane idea that political partisans from either side have pushed, that no one is to be allowed to make any compromises on this issue is bogus to the extreme. That any idiot ever spoke such words, let alone campaigned on such preposterous ideas, degrades the idea of effective government for us all. Thankfully, wiser heads on all sides appear to be prevailing in that too.

We agree, simply marking boxes like we - and some of you - did, in our budget exercise on Monday isn't the same level of difficulty that our Senators and Representatives will go through in aiming for more fiscally responsible government.

However, as we've shown here today in ultra-simple terms, tackling what needs to be done on issues of secondary importance - like the long-term deficit and the Bush tax cuts - aren't nearly the impossible tasks that so many make them out to be.

As our astute reader reminded us, what Americans want their government at ALL levels to focus on right now, more than ANYTHING else, is the exercise of working together to get Americans back to work, permanently, securely, and at respectable wage levels.

Other exercises are fun, sometimes - unless you're hungry, jobless, and you're not sure where you'll be staying next month, or next year.

It's long past time for every member of Congress to realize without jobs, none of the rest matters that much.

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