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Two-way street

Posted: November 29, 2012 3:18 p.m.
Updated: November 30, 2012 5:00 a.m.

We’ve been whacking national Republicans pretty hard lately. They lost the presidential election by appearing to be completely out of touch with the majority of voters. They have been the image of obstinacy, acting as if they are still operating in a cloakroom of darkness. Even Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina has said the party is running out of angry old white men and had better change its ways.

But Democrats in Washington, addressing the horrid deficits and the so-called fiscal cliff, are being just as obstinate. President Obama won re-election by a margin of about 2 percent of the vote; that’s hardly a slam-dunk mandate. Given the state of the nation under his leadership, the Republicans lost the election far more than he won it.

Republicans since then have become more and more amenable to revenue enhancement, which is the code term for raising taxes. They might be quibbling over the right way to do it, but there has been general bending in their philosophy and it’s obvious they’re ready to up taxes on wealthier Americans as long as those hikes are paired with spending decreases. Democrats continue to blast away with the message that Social Security and Medicare are untouchable; they conveniently forget that budget problems can’t be solved unless those two entitlements are pared back.

We’re not living in the same era as the one in which Social Security was founded; people survive for decades longer and Uncle Sam must keep the checks flowing. With Medicare, people are again living longer and requiring more money. The present system is unsustainable. If Democrats don’t accept that fact, the country could certainly keep careening towards the fiscal cliff that is so feared. It’s time for President Obama and his cohorts in Washington to realize that compromise is a two-way street.

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