I’ve read that some Democratic-aligned organizations’ leaders are claiming that the President has a “mandate” and that Republican leadership must now cave to all of their views and approaches to resolving “fiscal cliff,” entitlement and other fiscal and tax issues. I don’t agree that a 2 to 3 percent popular vote victory is a mandate, and that attitude will just keep us in gridlock.

The only mandate I have seen backed up by statistics is this: A recent CBS News poll indicated that 85 percent of us want the President and leaders of both parties to find compromise in order to move the country forward (before the hard choices become even that much more difficult and call for even more painful shared sacrifice).

I urge the leadership in Washington to pay as much attention to this poll as they did polls leading up to the election … and to pay little attention to special interests, paid lobbyists and extreme factions within the two major parties. It is past time for a grand bargain to remove tax uncertainty, make tough but responsible choices to put entitlements on sound footing and to return the focus of most Americans to improving our country by educating, inventing, building businesses, hiring and creating opportunities and economic growth.

It’s going to take compromise and a willingness to take some heat from the edges in order to do the right thing. It’s time for our leaders to man and woman-up and do the tough job they are elected and paid to do … together, lead the country to a better future (rather than separately fiddle while it burns).

Bob Beane

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