Get serious ... please!

Thoughts from Behind the Pressline

“Deficit reduction alone is not an economic plan,” Obama said. He also recycled a frequently used phrase from the past, assuring the nation none of this would cost the country a “single dime.”

“Let's set party interests aside and work to pass a budget that replaces reckless cuts with smart savings and wise investments in our future,” Obama said.

The president knows that the divided Congress may not fall in line behind any of his priorities, specifically mentioning climate change, but said he'd move forward with or without their support.

“If Congress won't act soon to protect future generations, I will,” Obama said.

These and more comments were made to a sustained standing ovation from Democrats in the chamber while Republicans and Speaker Boehner sat silent.

The president’s speech lasted long enough that by the time Sen. Rubio appeared for his rebuttal, I, like many others, had long fallen asleep. According to media reports the next morning, the only thing they wanted to cover was his groping awkwardly for a quick drink of water. Rubio made it clear that while the president doesn’t believe we can create a path for prosperity by cutting spending, he and the Republicans do not believe we can tax our way to economic growth. Thus gridlock is safely preserved for yet another term as our political reps do their best to pit citizen against citizen.

Sadly, it seems nobody in Washington is prepared to get down to business and find the common ground that requires spending cuts and tax overhauls. Neither side seems ready to do more than grandstand and place blame on the other, while we see costs and debts on the rise and the economy struggle. It’s time we contact our representatives and say: “Get serious….please! For all our sakes!”

Dan Alexander is associate publisher of New Market Press and publisher and CEO of Denton Publications. He may be reached at dan@newmarketpressvt.com or dan@denpubs.com.

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