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Change must come somehow

October 2, 2013 - Lee Smith
I recently overheard some people talking about the federal government “shutdown” and lamenting that Democrats and Republicans just can’t seem to get along to get their work done.

It’s not that simple.

Their “work” is not obvious in the sense of everyone else’s. One group (Democrats) wants to keep adding to government’s functions and costs. The other (Republcans) says it wants to limit or reduce both. The two sides are adversaries in the field of ideas. When the American people return both groups to Washington to govern — Republicans control the House, Democrats the White House and Senate — there is going to be conflict.

Adding to the troubles are the federal government’s current circumstances: A massive and growing national debt, an absurd annual budget deficit, the looming implementation of Obamacare, the overwhelming unfunded liabilities of Social Security and Medicare.

Will a shutdown solve any of these? No, but it could get the attention of voters. It also could serve as leverage in negotiations between the two parties. And it may signal an extraordinary willingness on the part of some lawmakers to get serious, and to MAKE others get serious too. The unreality in which some lawmakers and citizens live cannot last. The nation’s fiscal problems are real, and they are based on growing dependency on Washington. If this does not change over the longer term, the government will not only shut down, it wlll burn.


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