THE COST OF GRIDLOCK: Both sides of the aisle bear responsibility for the automatic spending cuts set to take place on March 1, writes Michael Gerson of The Washington Post. The failure of the now-infamous Super Committee, made up of Democrats and Republicans, led to the sequester. While both parties agree the cuts will be painful, neither side is stepping up to lead. "The American political system is not designed for efficiency. But it presupposes deliberation and leadership. The serial abdication of both eventually has an economic and human cost," writes Gerson: Michael Gerson for The Washington Post: Washington’s vacation after an abdication
MORE POLARIZED CONGRESS? Sen. Mike Johanns announced yesterday that he will not seek re-election in 2014. As Damian Paletta notes, the exit of Johanns is adding to the list of lawmakers who have tried to reach across the aisle to create long-term solutions for the deficit. We need to change the culture of gridlock to give our lawmakers the opportunity to solve problems by working with the other side: Damian Paletta for The Wall Street Journal: Deficit Dealers Are Exiting Congress
NOT SOLVING THE PROBLEM: Washington's continued approach of kicking the can down the road on our nation's biggest issues is not helping us solve any problems. It is time for Washington to get serious and address problems in a meaningful way by using our principles of leadership, which are 1) Tell the full truth, 2) Govern for the future, 3) Put the country first, 4) Be responsible, and 5) Work together: Walter Pincus for The Washington Post: Congress’s ‘kick-the-can’ strategy does nothing to solve the deficit problem
WORKING TOGETHER: Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson are planning to release a new deficit reduction plan, hoping to split the difference between the White House and congressional Republicans. The across-the-aisle pair proves that it is possible for Democrats and Republicans to come together to offer real solutions for America: Kevin Robillard for POLITICO: Report: New Alan Simpson-Erskine Bowles plan
CITIZEN VOICE: Congress is taking a break this week — with only 10 days until March 1, when automatic spending cuts go into effect. No Labels supporter Richard Masington wants to see Congress working together in Washington five days a week: Richard Masington for The Miami Herald: Taking break doesn't fix fiscal cliff
THE DAILY BREAK: A new study predicted party alliance with 83 percent accuracy based on brain behavior: Marina Koren for Study Predicts Political Beliefs With 83 Percent Accuracy
ACTION OF THE DAY: Join No Labels on Facebook to be part of the conversation about problem solving.
STAT OF THE DAY: A new Gallup survey shows that 27 percent of Americans are satisfied with the way things are going in the United States today. This is an increase from previous months as the percentage was 25 in January and 23 in December: Katie Glueck for POLITICO: Poll: 27 percent OK on U.S. direction