Remember the election night and day-after speeches? Apparently those that made them don’t.
Re-elected President Obama offered a spirit of compromise and vowed to work with Republicans in solving this country’s fiscal problems during his victory speech.
Republican House Speaker John Boehner, on the day after the election, also offered an olive branch.
Well, all the love lasted all of one day. It wasn’t long before Obama was taking a hard stand, saying solutions to the "fiscal cliff" must include proposed tax increases on the wealthiest of Americans.
Boehner vowed that Republicans would not support any sort of tax increase.
Here we go again.
Congress and the president have until Dec. 31 to come to some sort of agreement. If they don’t, things will automatically start to happen. Those things include a combination of across-the-board spending cuts and tax increases.
Those in the Havelock area may face a double whammy. Not only could we see our income taxes increase, we could see valuable jobs at Cherry Point, as well as the valuable contract jobs of private companies off base, simply disappear.
I had the opportunity to talk to U.S. Rep. Walter Jones, the re-elected Congressman who represents this area, on Election Night. I specifically asked him about sequestration or the "fiscal cliff." He told me he expected that a compromise would be reached to delay it for six months.
In other words, Congress and the president will simply kick this can down the road. They haven’t been able to work together for two years. I don’t know why we the people should expect them to work together to solve this problem over the next six months.
To me, it seems like a relatively simply solution. Then again, I’m not in Washington, where nothing is ever simple.
Allow me to illustrate using something with which I am familiar — french fries. I know. It’s hard to imagine a guy like me equating this country’s financial problems to food, but stay with me.
If we could, we would always like to get the large order of french fries. After all, they’re french fries. Who wouldn’t want the large order?
What this country needs to do is start ordering the small order of french fries. By doing this, we save in money the difference between the large order of french fries and the small order of french fries.
Eventually, by ordering the small order over and over again, we can save enough money so that everyone can now order the medium order of french fries.
Republicans don’t want taxes raised, and Democrats don’t want to see programs cut. The solution is the medium order of fries. Republicans should agree to a smaller increase in taxes on the wealthiest of Americans than what the president is proposing. To compromise, the president must agree to spending cuts. It seems so simple.
The problem is that no Republican wants to say they would agree to any sort of tax increase, and no Democrat wants to say they would agree to a program cut. The political parties seem to be controlling the individual party members. It should be the other way around.
Republicans need to understand that even the great Ronald Reagan raised taxes. Democrats need to understand that free rides are antiquated thinking.
After all, a medium order of french fries is better than no fries at all, which is where we’re headed if we continue on our current path.
Ken Buday is the editor and general manager of the Havelock News. He can be reached at 444-1999 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.