Re "'Fiscal cliff' plan clears House with GOP divided," Jan. 2
We now have many members of Congress who place no importance on good governance. We lurch from crisis to deadline to crisis, and nothing is more frightening to me than to hear that Congress will act in a hurry and under pressure, or that it will reach a "deal" at the very last possible moment.
In the coming weeks and months, as we learn the true details that were slipped in or the unintended consequences of their rash legislation, we'll all be cringing and shaking our heads.
Lawmakers take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution. Perhaps we should add a line from the physician's Hippocratic Oath: First, do no harm.
Looking at the so-called fiscal cliff negotiations, one would think the Republicans won in November. They fought eliminating the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, a cornerstone of President Obama's campaign, and were determined to make significant cuts to Medicare and Social Security.
They discovered that the president had changed his stripes, and unlike the past two years, during which he agreed to GOP demands far too often, this time he showed some real backbone. And he has made it clear that future deficit talks must consider both tax increases and spending cuts.
It appears that elections do indeed have consequences.
Ralph S. Brax
While it was later than anyone would have liked, it is great to see cooperation over conflict and a deal finally made to avert the "fiscal cliff." Hopefully such cooperation could serve as a model for the numerous problems that we will have in the near future.
I don't have much confidence in Congress, but the fiscal cliff negotiations show that such cooperation is indeed possible. We send people to Washington to lead, not to cause conflict.
Steven M. Clayton
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