Lurching to next crisis

As the United States marches on to its date with sequestration, it is interesting to note there is little sign of compromise from either major party.

To recap, the deal reached between the administration and Congress in the Budget Control Act of 2011 provided that $85 billion in budget cuts will automatically occur on March 1, unless the government enacts deficit-reduction legislation. And those cuts must come out of fiscal year 2013’s budget. The budget year ends Sept. 30.

The cuts will affect defense, health care, small-business loans and a multitude of nonexempt programs (including Medicare).

Both sides agree jobs will be lost, vital defense programs threatened, and a fragile recovery may be knocked off the tracks.

Will there be yet another last-minute deal? Will government find a way to just kick its fiscal can down the road again?

The country is tired of lurching from crisis to crisis. Are there no leaders in Washington who will stand up and lead the way to permanent budget compromises that will put our fiscal house in order?

Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post quoted Ronald Reagan’s approach to compromise in a recent column.

“If you’re with me 80 percent of the time, you’re my friend,” Rubin quoted the Gipper as saying. He didn’t demand 100 percent fealty to an ideology. Neither did Bill Clinton, the president who led us to budget surpluses.

It is time for the parties to stop the posturing and start the problem-solving. If the recovery stalls because of sequestration, it will be a self-inflicted wound.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.