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So we didn’t fall off cliff … this time

With a crack of the gavel late Tuesday, the so-called fiscal cliff was averted and Americans should just return to their regular lives.

Everything is fixed now, correct?

Not even close.

If, using the “cliff” imagery, America was indeed headed for the edge of a great economic precipice, we essentially tapped the brakes a bit Tuesday.

Rest assured, however, momentum will soon carry us back to the cliff again.

Despite all the glad-handing and posturing after the last-minute fiscal cliff avoidance, at the end of the day, we’re all paying more in taxes this week than we did last week. Payroll taxes went up as part of the legislation passed Tuesday.

Although the immediate crisis of huge automatic tax hikes and deep spending cuts were delayed, our nation’s problems remain.

Not only do problems still exist after the political drama in Washington, they worsen by the day.

Economic experts argue over specific solutions, but most common-sense folks realize that if we continue running high spending deficits, a trip over the edge of the cliff is only a matter of time, unless our glutinous spending habit ends.

The next partisan showdown is expected to come as early as next month when Congress must raise the debt ceiling so the federal government can keep borrowing money to pay its bills.

Can our nation truly be so divided that our leaders (and we use that term loosely) cannot sit down and work out a compromise without all the drama, hype and vitriol?

If not, God help our country, because we’re not certain how much more economic squeezing and political fighting citizens can take.

The solution begins with reducing federal spending. Period.