Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Flawed fiscal deal better than no deal

To the editor:

It is pretty amazing that President Obama got the Republicans to sign a deal. It reminds me of the struggle to get Obamacare passed — our nation finally got a national health plan after many presidents tried and failed over four decades.

Was the national health plan Obama signed in 2009 the one we should have gotten? No, but we got a plan and it is certainly better than nothing. The same is true of the “fiscal cliff” deal.

Partisans on the extreme left denounced the “fiscal cliff” deal. They think we should have gone over the fiscal cliff in order to get a better deal. They are wrong because a “bad deal” that both sides agree to, and a deal that the extremists on both sides hate, is better than no deal. Note that the extreme right denounced the fiscal cliff deal also.

President Obama pushed very hard for this deal and it was to his credit that he did so. Even though he let his request for taxes on high incomes go from $250,000 to $450,000, the result was financial stability and agreement instead of chaos. The president did not give away anything essential. A financial basis has been established on which to wage future fights. It is remarkable that it was this president — the one who Republicans opposed from Day One with every possible piece of obstructionism — who was able to obtain a deal of this magnitude.

Darien A. Gardner

Northampton

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