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Why are we attacking Paul Ryan on his fiscal cliff vote?

House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. leaves a Republican caucus on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013. Squarely in the spotlight, House Republicans leaders shopped a Senate-approved "fiscal cliff" compromise to rank-and-file colleagues on New Year's Day and heard concerns that the accord lacked sufficient spending cuts. Vice President Joe Biden tried rallying House Democrats behind the deal in a separate meeting. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Now this is a shame.

We haven't been this polarized in America since the Civil War. And as Americans, we say we want our congressmen to act like leaders and vote their conscience.

Paul Ryan is the author of one of the most cost-cutting budget proposals ever seen in Washington. He should have wanted to vote against the tax increase on the wealthiest Americans, right? So that he could say the president can't "tax and spend" his way through a second term? It sure would have been easy.

But he didn't.

He voted with the president. He called it "limiting the damage," but he recognized that it is hard to defend not raising taxes to pre-Bush tax cut levels in the current economy.

Ryan maintains, in a statement on his website, that limiting spending is the real challenge. And it is.

But why do we as Americans say we want our congressmen to vote their conscience and avoid party politics, yet threaten the likes of Paul Ryan with a vote against him four years from now? Are we that threatened by a difference of opinion?

Paul Ryan isn't my congressman, but he has spent a lot more time studying the budget and exploring how to balance it than I have. I applaud his proposals to cut government spending and I applaud his pragmatism in voting to avoid the fiscal cliff.

Now, Congress, get to work.

About the Author

Karie Dozer is host of Arizona's Noon News.

She has been an on-air personality nearly continually since her college days. She loves radio because it is intelligent, immediate and almost always available.

She is the youngest of nine children from a Midwestern Catholic family where she learned to be heard, fight for a place at the table and find humor in almost everything. She was hired as a news intern while a senior at ASU's Cronkite School, and found that covering human stories like the OJ Simpson white Bronco chase and the 1992-93 Phoenix Suns was too much fun to pass up.

She loved life in the newsroom with all the action and crazy personalities to go with it. She anchored and covered some sports too, until politics dragged her away. She served as press secretary for Arizona's Attorney General Grant Woods for a five-year stint before jumping back to radio on a part-time basis. Three years ago she got back in the biz on a more regular basis as a midday host on what is now KTAR News. She has a passion for the breaking news of the moment, education, local politics, great food, sports and fitness. She has trouble turning down a good argument, a good book or a good glass of wine.

In her spare time she takes care of her boys, (husband Rich, son Jack, and yellow lab Buddy,) and bakes awesome chocolate chip cookies. She enjoys the quality of life the Valley offers her family and the natural beauty of Arizona. Her favorite places are golf courses, her own kitchen, the city of Flagstaff, and wherever her family is.

She considers herself lucky to work with the amazingly talented people of KTAR radio.


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