Today: Jun 16, 2024

Editor’s Note: Cut the bucks

As most of you are probably aware the government officially shut down last Saturday at midnight.
Oh wait, just kidding, stop the presses. The politicians were able to come to a last minute resolution, well, kind of. They managed to come to a temporary solution without actually solving one of those major issues, cutting funding to Planned Parenthood.
We live in a country with a deficit increasing at such a rate that it is not worth printing because it will be wrong by the time the paper comes out. A country where the military budget is over $690 million a year and where the unemployment rate has finally leveled out at a still too-high 9.2 percent.
With all these issues the main roadblock prohibiting a resolution
to the budget issues was the funding for an organization which provides a service to women. Whether or not you agree with abortion is not the issue here because it is a very precarious issue with many different arguments for each position.
The true issue is the fact that our so called government leaders
are like children sitting in a sandbox arguing over who gets to play with the toy dump truck next. They get offered the cement mixer and the rake as a concession, but that’s not enough. The next logical option would be to begin shoveling all of the sand out of the sandbox so no one can win.
Now this method may be effective in terms of sandbox warfare, where the biggest victim is the custodian who will be forced to begrudgingly shovel all of the sand back where it belongs. Unfortunately, when these decisions are impacting
a population of over 307 billion, they become a bit more significant.
On a more serious note, a government shutdown would and already has impacted the American population. The last time was for two separate periods in 1995 and 1996. This occurred
under the Clinton administration for those of you who aren’t the best with dates and names.
Results of the shutdown as reported in a recent PBS Newshour
story: over 100,000 federal employees sent home; health, welfare, finance and travel services for veterans were restricted; Over 3,500 bankruptcy cases were suspended; 368 national park service sites closed; national museums and monuments closed down; furloughs at the Centers for Disease Control resulted in limited information regarding the spread of contagious
diseases.
One other thing to remember is that Clinton actually left office with a surplus. The United States of America actually had extra money to throw around at that point, imagine that, and they still had all these issues with two weeks of no government.
I don’t even want to imagine the trouble we would be in when most publically operated systems, including schools, police
forces, fire departments, public transportation and hospitals among other things are all operating on bare bones budgets as it is.
Maybe I’m being over-dramatic. Maybe if government were to have shut down we would have all woken up Saturday morning to euphoric Americans gallivanting through city streets having the best day of their collective lives because the contrived
organization that can never seem to solve any problems by simply working together has ceased to exist. Maybe on that very same day Muammar Qaddafi will step down and become a televangelist all while curing the sick of their collective ills.
Fine, maybe not. But all of those things seem just as reasonable
as Republicans and Democrats doing one simple task. The job that they were put in position to do. To put aside religious and personal differences in order to act in the best interest of the nation. The word is compromise people. Figure it out.

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