Editorial: ThumbsPublished 6:21am Sunday, January 6, 2013
It’s almost hard to believe. Congress and President Barack Obama accomplished something together, although they waited until the last minute. Tax breaks for businesses and for the rich were extended, and taxes for the very wealthy will go up. But nearly all earners will see their payroll taxes go up, which means less take-home pay. Ouch. However, several government programs crucial for maintaining a sound economy will remain up and running.
The deal is a little bit of good, a little bit of bad and a lot of ugly, so it’s hard to say the fiscal cliff bill is altogether great. But compromise is better than nothing at all. The truly sad part is Congress failed to pass a full-fledged farm bill, too. Instead, all it did was pass a nine-month extension of the existing farm bill. At least dairy products won’t spike in price, but federal agriculture programs will struggle until our elected leaders direct their attention to rural America.
Doctors say the flu shot is just an educated guess of what viruses medical professionals think will be going around. However, viruses are quick to mutate, and sometimes what goes around wasn’t in the flu shots. This flu season has seen a wave of flu-like symptoms, according to Freeborn County Public Health officials. That means people probably have a flu virus but likely it is hard to identify because they are new strains. And people this season began getting sick a full month sooner than most years. Health officials are predicting this could be one of the worst flu seasons in years in the state. If you exhibit symptoms, go see a doctor, take your medicine, get your rest and do what so many sick people neglect to do — drink lots of water.
Albert Lea had zero drunken driving arrests on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. That’s a good sign that campaigns by law enforcement to crack down on driving while intoxicated is working. People who ring in the new year with alcohol are choosing not to get behind the wheel.