07/26/11 — Blame game: Don't fall for the spin. This is about setting a course for the future.

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Blame game: Don't fall for the spin. This is about setting a course for the future.

This is about politics.

And that is what you are seeing in the debate over spending cuts, debt ceilings and the threats to cut Social Security checks.

This is about the upper hand and spinning the words to create the illusion of leadership where none really exists now or has existed for several weeks.

It is about claiming to be negotiating without offering up anything in return. And this is about compromises that are rejected because they do not suit the political landscape.

This is about the 2012 presidential election. You can bet on it.

So, what do we do -- the average American watching the debate and listening to the vitriol?

What we hope few people do is fall for the politics.

The debt ceiling is not the real issue here. This is about finding a way to stop the spending train in Washington and creating policies that will restart the economy. It is about giving families more of their own money and reining in the programs that got us here.

It is about leadership and sticking to a plan that cuts, caps and balances and creates a future scenario where the nation's young people will not bear the burden of a generation's bad choices.

It is about cutting back without crippling the economic mechanism that makes this country grow and prosper. It is about jobs, not temporary fixes like stimulus checks and shovel-ready projects that never materialize.

And it is about not falling for scare tactics and realizing that the president will choose what he cuts and which checks he sends. To suggest otherwise, and to worry so many people with the implied threat, is politics at its worst -- and a blatant attempt to manipulate public opinion with fear and misinformation.

There have been multiple deals presented and one bipartisan agreement that passed the House. Why is there still no deal? Simple. Politics.

There are no innocents in this debate. And anyone who thinks it is leadership to allow this to come to a head so close to the deadline is simply wrong.

There are proposals on the table -- and it is time to pick one and stick to it. No more threats, no more political calculations, no more name-calling, no more primetime spin sessions. That is not leadership.

Doing what's right is not supposed to be easy.

And now, it is time to do what is right.

Published in Editorials on July 26, 2011 10:50 AM