In 2008, then-candidate Barack Obama campaigned on transparency and bipartisanship. In 2009, he promised to reduce the debt by the end of his first term, reduce unemployment to 5.6 percent and promote the use of all available energy sources. He received endorsement from the American Medical Association when he said he would consider tort reform if his health care program was passed. None of those promises was kept or achieved.
In 2010, voters gave Republicans control of the House and more senators to push back on the Obama agenda. Unfortunately, some Republicans were intimidated and yielded by allowing a debt-ceiling increase without specific, rational spending cuts in all areas to be put in place. Now, Mr. Obama is still in full campaign mode, promoting his "fiscal cliff" solution, which, he contends, Republicans need to accept immediately to resolve the impending crisis. The president has neglected the issue for more than a year and deliberately put it off until after the election.
However, adding revenue through tax-code reform and appropriate spending cuts alone will not solve the problem. Essential will be a united effort to make our businesses competitive in promoting growth and increasing jobs. A comprehensive energy program using all sources available also is needed. Accountability on how tax dollars are spent and elimination of waste, fraud, cronyism and unnecessary government programs and personnel are all equally important.
President Obama is again pushing for higher taxes on the wealthy, which will fund the government for about eight days, and he will consider spending cuts in the future. He cannot be taken at his word. If he gets his way, our fall over the fiscal cliff will be deeper and last longer.
MARVIN L. HOOVIS
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