Editorial: Scrutinizing both sides is deserved

Feb. 14, 2013 @ 05:14 PM

Political parties have made their campaign-style pitches to us, even though their next elections are not tied to the July 4 holiday.

Technically, it was called the president’s State of the Union address, followed by the response of the party not in the White House.

What we got was posturing, accusations and a little stretching exercise. President Obama and Republican Sen. Marco Rubio are guilty on the latter.

Obama claimed clear progress on the economy, but that’s subject to the eyes of the beholder. Ditto for any symbols we noticed on the occasion.

For example, there were budget writers Dave Camp, a Michigan House Republican, and Max Baucus, a Montana Senate Democrat, sitting together, as were Illinois’ Democratic Rep. Tammy Duckworth and Republican Sen. Mark Kirk. On the other end of the spectrum were three conservative Supreme Court justices not even showing up.

For his supporters, Obama’s message was inspiring and welcomed. For opponents, it was deemed tired rhetoric. An indirect theme we find disturbing was his willingness to see socio-economic envy as a chip to be played in Beltway politics.

We, along with millions, don’t want to see a nation of haves and have-nots.

There’s a place for his desire to raise taxes on the wealthiest of Americans, but there’s a ceiling for it. Making jobs more expensive, and leaving those who can create jobs with less money to do so, has an impact on job creation that cannot be ignored.

When talking taxes, we must not only include the wealthiest, but also remember the decrease in revenue caused by rising unemployment.

The middle must be found and respected.

And asking everyone to go along with increased federal spending on his projects with a promise not to increase the deficit by a dime is hollow without explanation. The debt has tripled under his watch. We’re right to scrutinize any promise, whether from a Democrat or a Republican.

In the next six months, the stare downs loom for all three: Obama, the Democrats and the Republicans. Then Congress turns attention to midterm elections. That’ll be quickly followed by the 2016 presidential election.

If only it was more about representation rather than re-election.