BOSTON (CBS) – Will sanity prevail in Washington?

As each passing day brings us closer to the fiscal cliff and a potential descent into a new economic recession, it seems more people closely watching the process aren’t so sure that adult supervision will prevail over the next two weeks.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

In a WBZ-TV interview, Congressman Stephen Lynch put the chances of a deal at 50/50, pretty bad odds for a set of automatic spending cuts and tax hikes which, if not amended by Congress, would cut defense spending and research grants, curb transportation funding, and otherwise knock the legs out from under the Massachusetts economy, along with the rest of the country. The resulting ripple effect on the European economy would likely take care of what’s left of our economic vitality here.

I asked Lynch about the claims of some Republicans that the Democrats are willing to let that happen just to force the Republicans to vote for tax hikes.

While he slammed the Republicans for not at least agreeing to stave off the hikes for lower tax brackets, Lynch also said “the president understands what’s at stake here. He does not want to go into his last term by starting out by putting us into a recession. Maybe for the first week it’ll get blamed on the Republicans, and then for thereafter, as he well knows, they’ll look to him to solve it and he doesn’t want that.”

Lynch predicts the two sides will now “get down to brass tacks,” but the pathetic sight of them doing so only under insane pressure they put on themselves is not reassuring.

We seem to live in an era where saner heads often do not prevail. Look at the Hostess failure, and maybe even the NHL. And the public sector seems even less able to work out major problems.

Forget Washington. They couldn’t even do it amicably in Wisconsin.

I hope Congressman Lynch is right and leadership will now step forward in both parties to substitute wisdom for clownish political posturing. And I’ll believe that’s happening when I see it.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.


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