Effects of shutdown could linger

Oct. 02, 2013 @ 03:46 AM

On Tuesday, the federal government went into a partial shutdown of services after members of Congress failed to reach a budget agreement.

Debate on the matter went into the late hours Monday to no avail.

While the immediate impact of a federal government shutdown will mean very little to the average citizen of Rutherford County, it's lingering effects could ring across the nation for a while to come.

The reason for the shutdown, to us, is very simple … failure to lead.

House Republicans stuck to their ideological guns in tacking provisions defunding the Affordable Care Act to any funding mechanism for the federal government.

This fails because one issue is not related to the other. The Affordable Care Act has little to do with the spending at issue. It was more political gamesmanship by House GOP leaders to close out a law they vehemently disagree with and even campaigned to stop.

Senate Democrats elected not to enter into a conference committee with the House to work out a solution on the budget issue.

This fails because Democrats refuse to sit at the same table as their congressional adversaries to work out a solution to the problem.

Who is left in the middle?

The American people.

And let's not forget about the fact that members of Congress and the President are still getting paychecks despite this inept leadership and lack of action while over 800,000 federal employees are at home, not getting paid.

So, it lends to reality that members of Congress and the White House are in no mood to negotiate because they are not directly impacted by this latest shutdown.

The long-standing effects of the shutdown have already reared their ugly head.

Congressional Republicans have spent more time fighting with each other than providing a tangible solution to the problem. They have hitched their wagons to derailing the Affordable Care Act and it has now cost the nation in worldwide political and economical capital.

Senate Democrats have fended off the option to sit with members of the House to discuss a solution that could end this ordeal in relative short order.

Politicians in Washington should be aware of the fact that we, the American people, are fed up and have little to no trust in our leaders' ability to lead this nation.

We are tired of the bickering and finger-pointing.

We are tired of politics and ideology overriding the interests of us, the people.

No matter how long this political standoff lasts, one thing is for sure, the American people have paid the price for the inability of our leaders to lead.

By Matthew Clark, for the Editorial Board


The Daily Courier Editorial Board consists of community members Jerry Brewer, Kyle Bingham, Tom Padgett and Cliff Strassenburg as well as Editor Matthew Clark