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Federal actions with local consequences on the horizon

Is Hyper Focus on Deficit Making Congress Miss the Boat?

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Members of Congress are battling over the deficit, with a possible government shut down looming. While it’s smart to save money and lessen the deficit, with so many freshman members of Congress who gained their seats by running on a ‘cut at any cost’ platform, a hyper focus on the deficit may be leading Democrats and Republicans to obsess over only one piece of the puzzle.

Partisan attacks between Democrats and Republicans are expected but stripping the government of all discretionary programs or shutting it down is irresponsible and no solution to the complex fiscal problems hammering the nation. The new 87 so called “Tea Party” members are clamoring for more and more cuts-refusing to participate in a dialogue about the complexity of the US fiscal crises or the multi-dimensional solution that is needed. Instead, these freshmen are eager to bring about “change”, but don’t have the experience to understand that “changing” the fiscal reality our nation faces national budget takes more rhetoric and a sledgehammer.

All budgets are state priorities – and what you “leave in” is even more important than what you “cut”.

Instead of just focusing on cutting the budget - and the deficit - it’s time to take a more balanced approach.

It’s time to create more jobs.

About 25 million Americans are officially out of work. At the same time, the fiscal stimulus bill that reduced the rate of unemployment from over 10 percent to new figures showing 8.9 percent will not be renewed.

This type of ‘all or nothing’ thinking presents a danger to the U.S. economy and to working men and women whose incomes are needed to help fuel our very slow recovery. A balanced voice from both Republicans and Democrats is sorely needed. These voices instead of responding to the cries to cut billions must have a thoughtful conversation with the nation about priorities, investments and yes, cuts.

It’s time for Members of Congress instead of attacking each other to attack the fiscal problems at hand by working together to create jobs, institute reforms that will overtime lower the U.S. government’s costs and invest in programs that will strengthen our economy so that consumers and businesses will have the confidence to invest and spend again. Doing anything less is not only a misdirection by US leaders but also an irrevocable step backwards.

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