The President and Congressional Republicans struck a deal on extending the Bush era tax cuts. The President stated that he caved on the higher income breaks because as he put it – "the American people were being held hostage" presumably by the Republicans. I guess that the President still does not get it and regardless of how you voted I believe you will have to agree. It seems he is still out of touch. The Democratic-led Congress and the President had every opportunity to pass or revise these tax cuts numerous times over the past year and they had the votes to do it. And now he is blaming Republicans for holding Americans hostage? So the tax cuts have been extended for a year or two and no doubt, they will reemerge again just before they expire. Now the President and Congress are faced with reducing federal spending as a way to at least curtail the amount of debt we, as a country, are racking up. It will mean for a reduction in services and ultimately a smaller government. The federal employee pay freeze is long overdue as well and will save about 2-billion dollars next year alone. There is a nugget of refreshment in seeing the federal government begin to "act its wage" as financial guru Dave Ramsey would put it. It will be painful but it is necessary and it will make for a Better East Texas.