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The fiscal mess

January 13, 2013
By John Sheda ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

I'm not sure who started this whole Washington, D.C. Debacle with the words, "Fiscal Cliff," but to my warped way of thinking, it should of been called "The Fiscal Mess." Do you think we will ever learn? Will we ever get in a position to get angry enough to expect better? Maybe even demand better? Once again, our esteemed politicians in Washington did it to us again. They had all the time in the world to figure out the fiscal mess, but oh, wait.....first they had to deal with the campaign mudslinging and then the election. That, I guess, absolutely takes precedence with DOING THEIR JOBS!

Well, we all know how long all this took. Forever, right? I know it's another topic for another day, but the two Presidential campaign camps spent TWO BILLION DOLLARS trying to buy....ER, win your vote! And mostly with half-truths, lies and negative advertising. We wouldn't allow such tactics from our children but we don't say a word about two men vying for our highest office. We should demand better!

But getting back to this "Fiscal Mess." From the time the election was over, I predicted.....nah, it wasn't a prediction, it was what you and I and everyone in the country knew all along--they would reach some kind of deal to avoid going over their "cliff" and that it would be done in the very, very, very last possible moment.....and that the deal wouldn't be very good--for anyone!

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Over the Christmas holidays, I was talking with several people about just this very thing. There were several of us, but one was a teacher and another one was in the medical field. And these two individuals made some interesting observances. "We're so numb to the rhetoric in Washington, we fail to consider the current budget and tax issues in a more personal light. What if they, (politicians), had to live like the rest of us?"

Now think for a moment about this lady's statement and subsequent question. She was the teacher, by the way. "The rules suck. A set for them and a set for the rest of us. Can you imagine if they had to be evaluated like we do? We are expected to be paid and promoted on the achievement test scores. If the scores are low, they want to pay teachers accordingly. If the scores are high also want to pay us accordingly."

Another person piped in, "Why can't we pay Congress and all our elected officials the same way? If they do their job and we're satisfied with the finished product, they get paid. If they don't, they don't get paid. Think about it. Congress has at best about a 50-60% approval rating. What would happen to teachers, nurses, business people, plumbers, carpenters and so on, if they only had a 50% approval rating. OUT OF A JOB....QUICKLY."

We all have the power of the vote but only about half of us use that power and those of us that do keep re-electing these same men and women. Is their something wrong with this picture? Folks, you and I are pretty much in the same boat. We pay our bills, stay sorta within our budget, work hard and play fair. Over half of our politicians in Washington, D.C. Are millionaires. Many are worth millions and millions of dollars. They represent us but do they really? Most have absolutely no idea how to scrape from one paycheck to another.

There used to be an old, old Standard Oil commercial....."You expect more from Standard, and you get it." The same should be true of those in Washington today!!

That's The Way I See It.

Let me know what you think at or call me at 319-334-4117. Be blest anyway this week!!



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