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December 23, 2011     Post-Gazette
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December 23, 2011

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Page 6 ' POST-GAzETTE)DECEMBER 23, 2011 Distractions are NOT Solutions by Herman Cain economic vitality and im- prove our energy situation. But instead, he wants to de- lay the decision to appease environmental extremists, which could cause that oil to be redirected to other coun- tries. The president continues to talk about.a surtax on T2il- lionaires and people paqng their "fair share." Acord- ing to whom? That pays well with the class-war'are crowd, but it doesn't co a thing to solve the under/ing problems that created our perpetual budget imbalince and mounting national ebt. If the president was serious about solving the nation's most crucial problems, he would be presenting serious solutions and working to gain the public's supFort. Instead, he is focusing on short-term changes and try- ing to avoid any decision that might be controversial. It's called campaign mode instead of solving problems. On the Republican side, the presidential contenders make broad references to what the major issues are, but not nearly enough about how to solve those problems. In fairness to the candi- dates, much of this is per- petuated by the media's at- tention on day-to-day trivial matters, or who got the best of someone else in a debate exchange, and how this will play with the conservative and independent voters. One day, a candidate s put on the defensive for a state- ment he or she made some years back that leads to the charge of "flip-flopping." The You would think an elec- tion year would be the ideal time to have a serious dis- cussion about the nation's problems, and about how we are going to solve them. Af- ter all, voters should demand that any candidate who wants to become president should clearly identify the nation's priorities, and ex- plain his Or her approach to solving them. Instead, most of the media attention focuses on the lat- est story directing attention away from the many failures of the current president and his administration, or on what a candidate said or did years ago, or, a debate or in- terview gaffe. We already know that President Obama will be the Democrat nominee. That gives him a major head start over his Republican chal- lengers, which presents the perfect opportunity for him to lay out his solutions for our nation's economic and fiscal crises, its energy chal- lenges and its national se- curity priorities. Instead, what is he talking about? He is focused on the extension of a temporary payroll tax cut, which does have some small merit as a short-term measure, but does not represent a compre- hensive solutionto the nation's muddled tax code or its critical need for eco- nomic growth. President Obama is also. trying to avoid what should be an easy decision - to ap- prove the Keystone XL pipe- line from Canada to the U.S. This project would add to our Diane J. Modica Michele M. Modica Attorney Attorney Email: Email: 101 Tremont Street, Suite 700, Boston, MA 02108 Tel: 617.292.3329 Fax: 617.292.4855 SPINELLI'S FUNCTION FACILITY o, Lynnfield Call for reservations 781-592-6400 next day, a campaign ad or personal attack comes un- der scrutiny. All of this and more dis- tracts from the real sub- stance the public deserves. I've often said that leader- ship starts with focu.sing on the right problems, or you will never get to the right solution. Right now, the president, Congress and to some extent the Republican candidates are not focusing on the right problems, and not nearly enough on solu- tions. Neither are the me- dia, but that's no surprise. They never do. But what this leads to, un- fortunately, is a leadership vacuum in which the cam- paign conversation is fo- cused on trivia and contro- versy, and candidates try to gain the upper hand by be- ing more effective than their rivals at dealing with the trivia and controversy. The president, of course, wants to talk about anything but the nation's real problems because he has not solved them and has demonstrated that he lacks the ability or the people around him to do SO. The American people are not stupid, although the po- litical class often treats them'as though they are. The American people are also not afraid of confronting reality, although the politi- cal class is perpetually afraid [Continued on Page 1 1) Iappg J-Iolidags f Fo Ytl Salon International (617) 567-7386 85 Lubec Street East Boston, MA 02128 Happy Holidaye EAST BOSTON ADULT ED. CENTER 119 London Street East Boston, MA 02128 (617) 567-7873 Prof. A vellani, Director English, GED Classes, US Immigration Services, Computer 1, Typing I, College Placement, CDL Prep Apartment Placement Notary. Public, Citizenship Classes Wonderlic Tests, U.S. Citizenship Tests, Languages From Your Friends at :.LH00E BOSTON LANDMARK REALTY 35() Commercid Su'eet, Boston, MA 02109 617-227-1000 * 617-523-5400 All the glory that was Rome ..... Pompei Bistro Beer * Wine Christmas and a jUappg J00ew 00?ear from Sal and Yvonne 00alsamo