Everyone looks bad in D.C.

Published 11:00 am Wednesday, January 2, 2013

We’re really curious … just who did lawmakers think was going to look good by abdicating responsibility?

Was the gamble supposed to be that the other party would look bad in letting the country go off the so-called fiscal cliff?

Or do lawmakers think we’re just stupid? By letting the tax cuts expire — as they seemed determined to do without a deal at press time Monday — Congress can now come back and vote for a tax cut, rather than vote for a tax increase.

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If it really is that convoluted of a plan, we’re all in trouble.

We’re fairly certain — although we thought maybe we wouldn’t go off the cliff in the first place — that Congress will fix this in some way, will not allow tax rates to rise on the middle class. They have a few more days to make it happen and make it retroactive, so the money you make in the first few days of the new year isn’t taxed at a higher rate.

But even if they do all of that, what has happened over the last few days shows us that our system is broken.

Rather than work together, our leaders stuck to their partisan guns and tried to make each other look as bad as possible.

Tax rates aren’t even the worst of our problem. Major cuts in spending are also part of the fiscal cliff.

Each time Congress tried to make a deal, neither side could — or would — give much ground.

That doesn’t bode well for the myriad of other issues they need to deal with. Tax code reform, entitlement programs, military funding — all of these things need serious attention, not political bickering.

We hope the new year brings us a new change of heart for those in office. Too bad it couldn’t bring us an entirely new Congress.