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Politics divided

Posted: December 2, 2010 4:51 p.m.
Updated: December 3, 2010 5:00 a.m.

With all the scent of change in the air in Washington, D.C., there’s still an unpleasant aroma of business as usual in the nation’s capital. Despite all the talk about cutting spending and the profligacy of earmarks, the U. S. Senate refused last week to outlaw them. We don’t pretend to say banning earmarks would solve the country’s deficit problems, but it would be a symbolic first step; Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma has referred to them as “the gateway drug to spending addiction.”

On a brighter note, President Obama sat down with Republican leaders at the White House to try to come to some agreement on the country’s tax situation. Obama and Democrats say they want to extend the Bush-era tax cuts to middle-class Americans but not to those who make over $250,000 a year. Republicans want to extend them in general, saying now, as the country tries to dig out of the worst economic climate since the Great Depression, isn’t the time to start raising anybody’s taxes.

Obama campaigned on a theme of uniting the country and working on a bipartisan basis for the good of all Americans. Once he got in the White House, he forgot that tack, pretty much ignoring GOP leaders on Capitol Hill and failing to make an effort to communicate with them or to consider their positions. And Republican leaders did their own fair share of obstructing, also. Now, with the country’s tax policy set to expire at the end of the month, we’ll see whether either party is willing to work with the other. If not, it might be time to start planning for another “change” election in 2012 as centrist Americans become weary of two parties which too often put their own interests ahead of the country’s as a whole.

With all the scent of change in the air in Washington, D.C., there’s still an unpleasant aroma of business as usual in the nation’s capital. Despite all the talk about cutting spending and the profligacy of earmarks, the U. S. Senate refused last week to outlaw them. We don’t pretend to say banning earmarks would solve the country’s deficit problems, but it would be a symbolic first step; Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma has referred to them as “the gateway drug to spending addiction.”

On a brighter note, President Obama sat down with Republican leaders at the White House to try to come to some agreement on the country’s tax situation. Obama and Democrats say they want to extend the Bush-era tax cuts to middle-class Americans but not to those who make over $250,000 a year. Republicans want to extend them in general, saying now, as the country tries to dig out of the worst economic climate since the Great Depression, isn’t the time to start raising anybody’s taxes.

With all the scent of change in the air in Washington, D.C., there’s still an unpleasant aroma of business as usual in the nation’s capital. Despite all the talk about cutting spending and the profligacy of earmarks, the U. S. Senate refused last week to outlaw them. We don’t pretend to say banning earmarks would solve the country’s deficit problems, but it would be a symbolic first step; Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma has referred to them as “the gateway drug to spending addiction.”

On a brighter note, President Obama sat down with Republican leaders at the White House to try to come to some agreement on the country’s tax situation. Obama and Democrats say they want to extend the Bush-era tax cuts to middle-class Americans but not to those who make over $250,000 a year. Republicans want to extend them in general, saying now, as the country tries to dig out of the worst economic climate since the Great Depression, isn’t the time to start raising anybody’s taxes.

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