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Arizona's Noon News & Karie Dozer

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

Years with the company: Just started with Bonneville, but have worked for and with KTAR AM and FM since 1991.

Career: I always knew my career would be touched by news. I started as a news intern in 1991 and eventually reported news and sports, and anchored newscasts at KTAR when it was an AM, news/talk/sports station. I went to work at the Attorney General's Office in 1995, as a spokesperson for the 300 attorneys there, and for Attorney General Grant Woods. I returned as a part-time host and host of Arizona's Morning News Saturday in 2001.

Education: I escaped Catholic school early when the nuns wanted me to skip the second grade. I found my independent voice at a private grade school in Painesville, Ohio, then called Phillips Elementary. The teachers there encouraged us to ask questions and challenge the status quo. They took us on mind-opening trips and never once treated us like children. I am grateful for those years! I left Ohio in 1988 to attend Arizona State University because I knew I wanted to live in the West. I majored in Journalism and interned at KTAR in the newsroom my senior year.

Family: I am the last of nine children and my parents were undoubtedly looking at retiring when I was born. I was raised early on mostly by my five wonderful sisters. I have so many first cousins that I haven't yet met most of them.

Favorite movie: Caddyshack and anything by John Hughes.

#1 sports team: NL Diamondbacks. AL Cleveland Indians. Gotta love a team whose mascot is named Chief Wahoo.

Outside interests: Working out, cooking, traveling and reading a great book.


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