As Republicans and Democrats in Washington play the blame game over the nation’s latest impending fiscal crisis, millions of Pennsylvanians are being used as chess pieces.
The lack of compromise in Washington is breathtaking when you consider that, in Pennsylvania alone:
—620 teacher and aide jobs are at risk
—2,300 children will see funding for Head Start and Early Head Start dry up
—26,000 U.S. Department of Defense employees will see their pay cut by up to 40 percent
—$509,000 for law enforcement and related services will be lost
—$849,000 for meals for seniors will be cut
Undeterred, both parties cling to their ideals at the sake of action.
This weekend, President Barack Obama implored governors on both sides to urge their congressional representatives to increase taxes. Members of Congress on the right side of the aisle were blaming the president for ignoring options for spending cuts. (Considering how many consumers were blindsided by the increase in Social Security payroll taxes, leading to smaller paychecks for almost all Americans beginning last month, their argument likely is music to more voters’ ears than the president’s plan. Though he has the bigger bully pulpit.)
Like almost all divisive issues in Washington, neither party’s ideology will win out. At the end of the day, the president and Congress need to compromise. That likely means a mix of spending cuts and tax increases.
What’s so disheartening is that few in Congress learned their lessons from the last time we almost jumped over the fiscal cliff, a whopping 60 days ago. Neither party saw their approval ratings soar, neither party got what they wanted, but a compromise was reached. The same must happen here.
Our politicians in Washington need to put the good of their constituents over their ideological stances. Too many teachers, children, men and women in uniform, law enforcement officers, and seniors are being toyed with unnecessarily.
The blame game must end, and real governing must begin.
The Sentinel (Carlisle, Pa.)