The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
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    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
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    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.skelton.vigil
    MORENCI’S three Skelton brothers were remembered with both tears and laughter last week during a candlelight vigil at Wakefield Park. Several people came out of the crowd to give their recollection of the boys who have now been missing for five years.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.

Do nothing: Send Congress home to save some cash 2011.12.07

Written by David Green.

The country of Belgium has inadvertently provided the U.S. with a way of solving a good share of its financial woes: Just do nothing.

Belgium went without a government for 536 days—a modern world record—and that offers a solution for us. According to an analysis by the Center for American Progress, if Congress continues in its current deadlocked fashion and is unable to pass any measures to address our economic woes, the budget deficit will nearly disappear.

In other words, if our elected officials just went home, the federal deficit would become smaller and smaller. Perhaps we could just lay them off and force them to live off unemployment benefits and buy their own health insurance. We know that’s a silly example because 47 percent of our representatives and senators are millionaires.

Projections by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office find that if Congress were to do nothing until January 2013, the budget deficit—as a percentage of the gross domestic product—would plunge from its current 8.5 percent to only 1.6 percent by 2014.

If nothing is done about the special debt reduction committee’s failure to agree on a solution, then $1.2 trillion worth of cuts will automatically begin.

If Congress can’t come up with the votes to renew the Bush-era tax cuts—now under an extension from Obama-era actions—the debt will fall by $3 trillion, or about 40 percent of the deficit.

These are the tax cuts that benefit the wealthiest five percent of households.

Other tax breaks and Medicare adjustments are scheduled to expire by the end of the year, adding up to an additional $2 trillion.

In fact, says Michael Linden of the Center for American Progress, the do-nothing option reduces the deficit by much more than any other plan on the table, and all of them, including the Republican budget plan, would increase debt by $1 trillion or more.

Linden knows the do-nothing plan does not necessarily lead to the best outcome, and it leaves unanswered questions. How would it affect job creation and economic growth? Who would bear the burden? Would it solve underlying problems?

The problem is that Congress will likely only make things worse, making the simple do-nothing plan somewhat attractive. Perhaps we should just send them all home.

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