The fiscal cliff is teaching tough lessons

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Whenever I got my finances twisted up, my parents always told me to set my wishes aside, find a cheaper way to deal with my needs and get a second job or work overtime for a while to pay off my borrowing.

Giving it some thought, I'm beginning to love the fiscal cliff. It has everything!

• Both parties get their wish -- Democrats get new real revenue, and Republicans get noticeable, real cuts in government spending.

• Both parties get to watch the other side squirm -- Democrats watch Republicans break the promise on no new taxes; Republicans watch Democrats sweat as they figure out how to do what we want for less.

• Both sides can say it wasn't them -- it was the fiscal cliff.

• The government will finally begin to do what almost all of us have known needs to be done for years -- stop stupid spending and get better deals for the things we need along with increasing revenues so that between the two, we can actually start reducing the deficit.

The fiscal cliff was put in place by what may be the last of the true people's representatives. They believed that clear-headed compromise was still alive underneath the noise and bluster of both parties. Sadly, they were wrong but wise enough to force Congress into the right corner.

There is only one thing left to do: Recall every "my way or the highway" representative and find folks who, like the Founding Fathers, understand that democracy is not about "taking back the nation" or "irrevocable pledges." It's about compromise and giving to get some of what you want.

Upper St. Clair



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