12/20/10 — Deal watch: Compromise should not mean giving away the store

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Deal watch: Compromise should not mean giving away the store

Politicians always say that Americans want their leaders to compromise.

And maybe they do, just so they do not have to listen to the pontificating and bickering anymore.

But in the last week, we have noticed that compromise can come very close to giving away the store -- and that is what Americans do not want to see happen as the year finishes and legislation gets tossed around in advance of the Christmas holidays.

As the new year dawns, Americans want to see work get done -- there is no need for legislation to linger if it is important and needs to be accomplished by year's end. But if it is significant -- and contains concerns that might spark debate -- it should wait, until the new Congress is sworn in and allowed to review the materials and to participate in the debate.

While accomplishing something is a good thing -- and certainly what President Barack Obama hopes will happen as he tries for a last-minute boost for his approval ratings and his party's reputation -- passage of legislation that affects the daily lives of Americans should not be used as a political football for anyone to show voters just how "busy" they are.

And Republicans and moderate Democrats -- if they mean what they say -- should be prepared to stand firm for not just a deal, but the best deal.

There are only a few more days left in 2010 -- and little time really for Congress to mess anything up.

But voters should watch warily as deals are made and press conferences held -- and insist on the right decision, not just any vote.

Published in Editorials on December 20, 2010 10:20 AM