Unless and until we see a bipartisan commitment from Congress for action through cooperation, the same political gridlock and polarization of our federal government will exist no matter who resides in the
White House. Make no mistake: Both Republicans and Democrats are to blame for the country's current stalemate, and it must stop. Partisan politics, stubbornness, selfish- ness and the passing of blame all have a hand in the lack of work coming out of Congress.
Both parties must reach across the aisle and focus on finding common-sense solutions and supporting policies that will solve our nation's problems. If not, we'll see more government paralysis, contributing to a deeper crisis.
There should be no higher priority for this Congress than crafting a balanced, comprehensive and bipartisan deficit reduction plan. Scoring partisan political points no longer can be tolerated, much less accepted.
While it's obvious that any sort of grand compromise will not be easy, it has to be done because the country needs it.
To be sure, members of Congress will have their disagreements along the way. Both sides will have to make hard choices about seemingly sacred programs. But sacrifice and accommodation — hallmarks of true leaders who care about their country more than they care about winning their next election — are the only ways that Congress can fix the serious challenges facing the nation.
A bipartisan Congress needs to confront and resolve major issues such as the economy, unemployment, taxes, entitlements and health care. Members of Congress need to commit to their positions on political action committees, earmarks and self-imposed term limits.
THE NO. 1 ISSUE
Topping the list of problems to resolve is the Dec. 31 expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts, which, combined with more than $100 billion in automatic spending cuts, could trigger another recession in 2013 if legislators don't find a way to build a bipartisan consensus.
The 112th Congress, one of the most unpopular and unproductive in modern history, is the epitome of polarization. These elected officials have been taking the “my way or the highway” attitude for far too long. Members of Congress must work together and prove to the electorate that they have leadership qualities and integrity, and are deserving of our support.
The American people no longer can tolerate members of Congress who refuse to compromise.
Commenting on America's inherent and long-held economic strengths, an economist recently predicted that “America is just one budget deal away” from a global resurgence. Many will agree with that statement. However, to achieve that resurgence, Congress must stop playing partisan games and start doing what is best for the country.
Following tomorrow's elections, members of Congress need to roll up their sleeves and start working together to find a solution to resolve the fiscal-cliff dilemma.
It's time to eradicate ideological rigidity. It's time to get things done.