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Tunnel vision

The nation’s march toward the fiscal cliff keeps getting shorter every day.

So why can’t House Republicans see the abyss that awaits the country if a deal isn’t reached with the president?

Tunnel vision.

House Republicans continue to take too narrow a view when it comes to the economy, federal budgets and the definition of compromise.

They’re suffering from ideological myopia.

The question, then, is how do we expand their vision to see a bigger picture?

Perhaps, they need to be listening to their Republican colleagues in the Senate.

Here’s what Sen. Lindesy Graham of South Carolina said during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week:”

“When you’re $16 trillion in debt, the only pledge we should be making to each other is to avoid becoming Greece. Republicans should put revenue on the table. We’re far in debt. We don’t generate enough revenue.”

The pledge that Graham was referring to was the anti-new tax pledge Grover Norquist and his Americans for Tax Reform saddled lawmakers over the past few years. Cutting entitlement programs, like Social Security or Medicaid, and federal government services and jobs will not bring about the kind of fiscal solution sought with the debt or spending. A balance of new cuts and new sources of revenue is not just the right approach, but the only one that can possibly make a difference now and in the years ahead.

House Republicans also have to acknowledge what the public is saying to them. Polls continue to show that Americans are strongly backing President Barack Obama’s positions on taxes and spending. When it comes to the George W. Bush-era tax cuts, they want them preserved — except for the top 2 percent of income earners.

We know that many House Republicans think they’re seeing light coming from the end of the Grover Norquist tunnel.

But we think that light is actually the vista from the top of the cliff — the same light that draws lemmings to their fate.

It’s time that pragmatic lawmakers who have the best interests of the nation at heart stand their ground.

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