There's a lot of sound and fury surrounding the fiscal cliff agreement.

The quotable quotes are coming from every side of the political spectrum. But this is not a football game, nor is it a sporting event. This is an issue about the relative strength and position of the U.S. in the world going forward.

We have a philosophical disagreement between the parties about whether to reduce government spending or raise taxes.

According to a new poll, the American people overwhelmingly say the highest priority should be both a bit from column A and a bit from column B. It’s only a quarter of people on both sides who are opposed to compromise.

As I've said before, to meet the challenges of a healthy economy, it’s going to take some level of reduction in spending, particularly in Medicare and Medicaid. And because the American people support a rise in taxes on the wealthy, it will take that too to get the job done.

For business owners, the uncertainty of a crisis a minute in Washington impacts their ability to make decisions to invest, open new facilities, expand product lines, or buy new equipment. They go into a crouch position and just try to let the waves of partisanship go over them and pray that they can stick around!

But the long term issues cannot be papered over. We as a country must address our long-term obligations for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

The president and leadership on both sides need to head to an undisclosed location and hammer out a deal with real teeth for the benefit of our nation. That's what we need; not dueling press conferences.

The outline of the problem has been known for years. One way to address it is to have a balanced budget amendment. There's a procedure in the Constitution whereby states can force it on the federal government.

Did you know neither party has proposed any trendline method to get to a true balanced budget? I love America. For me, when I think about future, I don't think about Rs and Ds by people's name. I think of USA. We need to do what mature people need to do to put the U.S. on strong footing by not being a debtor nation.

Just think about us owing Communist China over $1 trillion to fund our deficit!

Image of Clark Howard About the author: Clark Howard

Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to put more money in your pocket, with advice you can trust. View More Articles

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