11/18/11 — It takes guts: No, cuts aren't easy, but then again, that's what makes a leader

View Archive

It takes guts: No, cuts aren't easy, but then again, that's what makes a leader

It is a lot more fun to announce a new pork barrel project to members of your community than to tell them that there won't be enough money to fund every pre-K program.

It is not nearly as stressful to tell people what they want to hear rather than the realities of what it takes to balance a budget.

And it is not easy to stick to the promises you made to taxpayers when you were trying to earn your cushy job with the great health care and rather lucrative pension in Washington.

So, it is no wonder that even though they are allegedly the toughest of the tough, members of the Debt Supercommittee are finding themselves floundering on reaching an agreement.

It is also not easy to forge a compromise when partisan wrangling has become the watchword for negotiations in Congress.

There are some bright spots -- new members of Congress who are determined to reach an agreement and to guide this country to fiscal responsibility no matter what the cost. And there are some members of both parties trying to offer solutions, realizing this is not just about Republicans vs. Democrats.

But there are speed bumps, too -- partisans whose ambitions for re-election or to keep their jobs are guiding them to the soundbite rallying cry and not what this country needs to get back on its feet.

It is critical that we watch now and see where leaders meet politicians -- and choose to keep the former and jettison the latter.

That is how you get this country moving again.

Published in Editorials on November 18, 2011 11:08 AM