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Talking, or not, about the debt ceiling

So some members of Congress <<cough, Republican leadership, cough>> want to abdicate their roles in dealing with the debt ceiling issue.

That's not really surprising. During my many years of Congress watching, I've seen a lot of crazy things, including plenty of lazy lawmakers.

And at some points in our careers, we've all wanted to just throw up our hands and walk away.

But really, guys (and this time it is the men in ostensible charge who are futzing around, so there's no gender chauvinism on my part). You were elected to help run this country. If you really don't want to do the hard parts of the job, I suggest you follow Rep. Ron Paul's lead (although he has other reasons for his decision) and not run for re-election.

Right now, however, everyone needs to get back to the confrence table and start talking, like grown-ups, about the United States fiscal situation and how to deal with it, short- and long-term.

The problem with that, though, is that folks on each side seem to be speaking a different financial language.

The words -- revenues, especially raising them; spending, in particular cutting it; tax subsidies; revenue neutrality and the like -- apparently sound to the opposing party like the adult-speak in Peanuts cartoons.

May I suggest everyone on Capitol Hill get a dictionary, clean out their ears and get back to work. Aug. 2 and potential financial chaos is just around the corner.

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Jim Howard

It has been the law of the land since 1974 that the President must propose a budget by April 1 for the following fiscal year.

Our Congress has not passed a budget since April 2009. The President has not proposed a budget since then.

Most troubling is the President's characterization of the debt limit issue as a zero-sum political poker game between himself and those evil Republicans.

I don't know if the President will win his 'bluff', but since he and the Congress are playing with our chips it is now certain that the American people are going to lose.

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