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Temporary fix

Posted: January 3, 2013 4:30 p.m.
Updated: January 4, 2013 5:00 a.m.

Though members of Congress avoided pushing the United States over a temporary fiscal cliff, they did virtually nothing to solve the long-term financial problems facing this nation. So when you see them on television talking about how much they accomplished over the New Year’s holiday, you can dismiss that as just another blast of hot air. President Obama and members of Congress made no difficult decisions.

As every credible financial expert has testified, the country can begin to control its spiraling deficits only by cutting spending and by raising taxes. That will include cuts to all sorts of entitlement programs, and it will mean tax increases not only on the wealthy but on middle-income households, also. There simply is no way it can be done without both those measures. That’s math talking, not politics.

Nobody believes the recent agreement is a permanent measure. The next obstacle will come soon, when the nation’s debt ceiling must be raised in order to keep Uncle Sam paying its bills. It would be nice to think we would get some real action out of Washington, with the White House and Congress coming up with reasonable measures to restore some measure of fiscal responsibility. But if what we’ve seen in past years is any indication, we’ll get nothing but more hot air -- and one more step towards a financial Armageddon.

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