www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/readersrespond/bs-ed-supercommittee-letter-20111118,0,6795070.story

baltimoresun.com

Supercommittee restores our lack of faith in government

3:00 PM EST, November 18, 2011

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I read with great interest that the supercommittee isn't quite sure they will be able to reach agreement on their assignment to find a deficit reduction package that will put this country back on the road to financial responsibility. What they might do is agree on is an outline of smaller concessions and defer the most difficult decisions until after the 2012 elections. This, of course, comes as no surprise to most Americans who have little faith in the ability of our elected officials to make bipartisan decisions for the good of the country instead of "kicking the can down the road" for someone else to deal with. That will give them more time to work on their primary goal of being reelected.

What these politicians fail to realize is that the largest sector of the electorate resides somewhere near center rather the far left or the far right, and we vote that way. The American public expects to be governed in a way that reflects common sense and compromise rather than political partisanship. The political fringe elements don't decide elections; it is the vast majority of voters near the center in their beliefs who do. History has demonstrated that Americans use the voting booth when government moves too far to the right or left. At this point, we do not have the option of a "no confidence" vote in our elected officials. So we must use the system in place.

In this case, we expect our elected representatives to come up with a balance of spending reductions and revenue increases that puts the nation first. I think most Americans are willing to do their part to avoid a complete financial crisis. However, they expect everyone to share in the pain. The supercommittee and Congress have a difficult job to do. If they don't, they should be fired on the spot just like the rest of us if we failed to do our jobs. Perhaps the threat of being fired on the spot with no pensions or benefit packages would be incentive enough for the supercommittee to complete their assignment.

Fred Ludwig, Columbia