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December 27th, 2012
07:35 PM ET

Letters to the President #1438: 'Slow train coming?'

Reporter's Note: I write to the president every single day. And you think you have problems!

Dear Mr. President,

I'm not sure if I should be encouraged or confused by the latest news about the fiscal cliff. Until it is clear that we are headed toward a solution, I think I will stick with the second option.

Which is pretty frustrating, when you think about it.

Several weeks ago it looked as if you were all headed toward some sort of agreement. You were giving up some items on your wish list, the Republicans were giving up some of theirs, but then it seemed as if someone just threw the brakes on the train. Not enough to stop it entirely, but enough to slow it so dramatically that now it seems uncertain if it will even reach the station.

Can I mention once again how much damage it does to both parties when this sort of behavior dominates the depot? I know that the political operatives on each side are constantly trying to triangulate every advantage, and anytime they think the polls favor their side over the opposition in one of these clashes, they think that is good. But I think they overlook the relentless and lasting damage each side suffers in such a battle.

Years ago a trusted colleague told me something about workplaces. He said, "You have to remember that even when you win a fight at work, everyone involved loses a little...and if you fight enough, it won't matter if you are right or wrong, your career will suffer."

Anyway, I certainly hope some kind of deal is coming down the tracks.

Call if you have a moment. I'm around. Went for a nice run this morning with the older daughter, btw; a little over three miles in the cold wind...bracing!

Regards,
Tom

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