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The lost art of compromise

By   /   November 30, 2012  /   Comments

There’s been a lot of talk about the fiscal cliff and what it means if lawmakers can’t figure something out.  People on both sides are talking about what it will take, including compromise on tax increases and/or spending.  The problem is, none of it looks particularly good as far as a compromise actually goes.

You see, President Obama is unwilling to even entertain a plan that doesn’t increase taxes on the very wealthy, despite ample evidence that any increase in revenue would be miniscule.  Republicans refuse to budge on significant entitlement reform, a position I happen to agree with.

In all fairness, I’ve blasted senators for failing to adhere to pledges they made to not increase taxes.  It may seem like I’m talking out of both sides of my mouth when I then blast people for failing to compromise, but I’m not.  Had Senator Chambliss never signed a pledge, I wouldn’t have written that column.  My issue with him isn’t so much about tax increases on a segment of the population I’m not likely to be part of (despite my efforts with six numbers on a Powerball ticket Wednesday), but his failure to keep his word.

Personally, I think Uncle Sam gets enough revenue.  They need to do some serious efforts in cutting spending, and do it quickly.  If they gut the budget (which is really a figment of the imagination since they have failed to actually pass a budget for how many years now?), and still don’t have enough revenue, then fine…raise some taxes.

Of course, I’m not a lawmaker.  I’m not up there, and therefore I can afford to be recalcitrant on the subject.  Lawmakers?  Not so much.  People expect results, so they need to grab hold of compromise and they need to do it fast.  The so-called fiscal cliff is coming up fast.

So how can they reach a compromise?  Easy.  When President Obama wants something, the opposition says, “OK, but to get that, we want this.”  It’s called negotiating.  See how easy that is?

With just a little bit of that, the problems get taken care of themselves just fine.  It isn’t rocket science.

The question now is, will they actually do it.  My guess is that they won’t.  So, buckle up and enjoy the ride over the fiscal cliff.

Tom Knighton is the Editor and Publisher of the Albany Journal.

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  • Published: 642 days ago on November 30, 2012
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  • Last Modified: November 30, 2012 @ 8:45 am
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About the author

Owner / Editor / Writer

Tom Knighton is the publisher of The Albany Journal. In November, 2011, he became the first blogger to take over a newspaper anywhere in the world. In August of 2012, he made the difficult decision to take the Journal out of print circulation and become an online news agency, a first for the Albany area.

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