Repair the economy, then fix the government

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Jobs and the economy are still the No.1 priority with a majority of citizens, not taxes. For that reason, all tax cuts should be allowed to expire, both the Bush and Obama tax cuts. George W. Bush's tax cuts were irresponsible from day one; he destroyed a balanced budget that took 10 years to accomplish. Barack Obama's tax cut is equally irresponsible because he is borrowing even more from Social Security.

All levels of government are a significant part of the economy. Underfund government, and you are stalling the economy in the face of recessionary conditions. Savage government spending cuts now would mean big public sector layoffs, just when we need to preserve existing jobs and add new jobs.

The economy does not care if you work in the public or private sector; once you are laid off, you are a poor consumer, and the U.S. economy runs on consumer spending. Wall Street's fear of the fiscal cliff is the spending side, not expiring tax cuts.

The majority of folks who currently have jobs can afford to return to the old tax code to help the country get into a viable economic recovery. We want the economy to work first, then fix the government. Yes, there is strong support to balance the budget and simplify the tax code. However, these are second priorities relative to the economy. This is the big disconnect with the GOP: They persist in holding the economy hostage to more ideological, longer-term priorities.

It is a travesty that a solution that is likely acceptable to the general public (i.e. let all tax cuts expire) will not even be considered by our politicians. Who do they think they represent? We just spent 18 months beating all of these issues to death, and now we cannot diffuse a self-inflicted time bomb after those priorities have been voted on by the whole country?

Thanks, Tea Party. If at first you don't succeed, maybe you should just secede. The rest of us want to cooperate and move forward.

JIM LAWRENCE
North Side


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