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Congress and the White House continue to be at loggerheads about how to deal with the coming fiscal cliff, a one-two punch of tax increases and spending cuts aimed at reducing the federal budget deficit. With the Jan. 1 deadline looming, we decided to ditch the white-knuckled wait and ask you to come up with a solution -- and do it in verse. Dozens of readers took the challenge. Here are their rhyming suggestions:
After years of "nothing gets done"
Congress was under the gun
On TV they talked
In meetings they balked
'Twas an argument nobody won.
We keep hearing the fiscal cliff doth loom.
Do we face impending doom?
Republicans should all take note:
There truly was a recent vote.
The electorate let out a collective roar:
The wealthiest should pay a bit more.
But, Democrats, don't feel too elated;
Liberal extremism was not mandated.
Our fiscal future could become quite bleak,
Unless entitlements are given a tweak.
And, regarding the doom impending,
We also need to reduce our spending.
To all Congressmen (and women) we implore:
What exactly are we paying you for?
We need you to be much more wise.
Remember, it's no sin to compromise.
So, stop procrastinating, come to grips,
And solve our fiscal apocalypse.
All cannot be pleased,
Hold hands and jump the cliff, like
Thelma and Louise
The prospect of a "fiscal cliff."
Seems well-designed to scare us stiff,
But what if it's just one more pitch
To help the rich-enough stay rich?
If you'd defuse the current tiff
Adjust tomorrow's headline,
Forget that stupid fiscal cliff
And talk about "the deadline."
Don't cut entitlements on the poor
Or tax the middle class.
On millionaires and billionaires
You can use the ax.
Just don't chop too vigorously
Please use a gentle hand.
They have more than they'll ever need
So spare the tax they can.
Stay back from the edge;
ditch Grover's "no-new-taxes" pledge.
Keep needed programs.
With charity for all,
malice toward none.
Bring home the troops,
the overspending be done.
Stop the government theft,
of the Medicare trust.
Entitlements not the problem,
tax system unjust.
Funds to be raised,
end loopholes for the rich.
No more outsourcing,
keep jobs at home, our pitch.
No longer police the world,
keep these funds at home.
No need for foreign oil.
having enough of our own
This financial cliff
Has caused tiffs.
Fix it now.
This is how:
Across the aisle
Think the good of the many
Not the good of the few.
Keep your eye on the penny.
Vow to renew
The trust we need
Will our grandkids remember the date
We were batting and deciding their fate,
Took our eyes off the ball,
Stood up real small,
And swung but it was too late?
Cut a little from each program and be done,
For a hit here and there beats none.
Ignore boos from the stands
And the wringing of hands,
And maybe we'll hit a home run!
Let's send the Congress right back home
And collect their votes online
Lobbyists would thus be curbed
And the fix would come out fine.
Guilty all, Republicans and Democrats
Lobbyists, schmoozers, and technocrats.
We re-elect them every two years
While slick talking points allay our fears.
In front of the camera, they posture and preen,
While backroom deals are almost obscene.
It will do no good to scream and shout
We will never "throw the rascals out."
Sixteen trillion dollars and counting,
Our national debt continues mounting.
Sleep well tonight, be not dismayed,
But for our next generation, be very afraid.
We watched the escalating debt mount up as years have passed.
Without much worry, we didn't fret. But the total expanded fast.
10 million here a billion there; it was spent without a pause.
It didn't matter who or where; they were all a worthy cause.
And now it's time to pay it back, each and every piece.
Or we'll end up with an empty sack like Ireland, Spain or Greece.
But when it's time to pay it back, take his or hers not mine.
So keep your fingers off my stack, 'cause my Lexus needs a shine.
There's that fiscal cliff where we could fall ...
It would certainly soon affect us all.
Possible more taxes on the way
Oh, how we wish this would go away.
There's surely some cutting that we must do.
Stop funding research about fish in a shoe.
Cut wasteful defense dollars -- another thing ...
So on this fiscal cliff we won't have to cling.
We could tax the rich a little bit more,
Close to that which they paid before.
Jobs weren't created when they paid less.
It created problems that led to this mess.
So let's deal with this looming fiscal cliff.
Let's find the balance, not go adrift.
Cut waste and take a drop more from the greedy,
To keep us safe but still help the needy.
We've said what we know and proposed a solution,
Shame on us 'cause we didn't address pollution ...
There's always more that our nation can do
If Congress doesn't act like it belongs in a zoo.
MARSHA WOLK AND FRANK FREEDMAN
Conservatives, liberals, and independents
debate whether to save it, tax it, or spend it.
Whether right wing, left wing, or center,
in the public interest we need to enter.
The world of money is full of change --
I hope you will pardon the pun --
For nothing is like it really should be
When all is said and done.
What once were coins and paper bills
Have now been replaced with plastic;
What used to be a "rubber check"
Is now a card that's "elastic."
The prices for silver and gold, you see,
Have skyrocketed by the ounce,
While the value of the "bang for your buck"
Is set by the height of the bounce.
The fiscal cliff is looming on high;
We have economic pollution.
We need to stop spending so much money
And spend time working on a solution.
Do charity if you would --
it's apt to make you feel real good.
But justice, though a rarity,
more likely stops disparity
and balances budgets in the 'hood.
The most selfish generation ever.
Pay for government up front?...never!
We can give everyone everything they lack
And when we run out of money we'll put it all on our children's backs.
Politicians can't be trusted as our financial attendants.
We need to insist on a balanced budget amendment!