, Salem, MA


December 4, 2012

Column: Congress hates us

Congress hates us.

There’s no other conclusion to reach. We are SO ready for some holiday spirit, exhausted by politics and gridlock and deficits and tax debates.

And what do we get as we’re trying to think about presents and trees and pageants and carols and food and family reunions? The fiscal cliff.

Not a day goes by that we don’t hear that the average middle-class family (which means most of us) could face higher taxes of $4,000 next year because Republicans and Democrats in Congress can’t get their acts together. For most of us, the idea of paying $4,000 more in taxes is dumbfounding.

We’re told that 18 percent of people approve of the job Congress is doing. Just as we did last August when that figure was 10 percent, we ask: Who are those people? How can they possibly think Congress is doing a good job?

President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney didn’t have a beer summit at the White House since Romney doesn’t drink. But they did break bread privately for the first time ever. However, they didn’t come out to the Rose Garden afterward to present us with a bipartisan Game Plan for America after each spent a billion dollars trying to pulverize the other. The meeting seems to have been an anomaly and doesn’t look to be a regular thing.

So we’re like the audience at a pingpong game. House Speaker John Boehner says something; the White House responds. Vice versa. And the media ponders: Are they curt? Conciliatory? Did Boehner smile? Cry? Smirk? Is Obama listening? Are Democrats deserting him? Rallying around him?

And once again, it all seems to be about tax cuts for the rich. The really, really rich would have to pay the rates they paid during the Clinton administration, when millions of jobs were created, a surplus seemed in sight and most people were not worried about their next meal.

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