Monday, September 23, 2013

The Anticipated Shutdown: Americans want compromise

This week's latest buzzword is "shutdown". It is the fear that Congress  will continue to carry on with its amateurish behavior, fail to pass a budget, and leave the country without government services and its sanity in the meantime. Whether this forecast actually happens is a long shot. As stubborn and immature as our leaders are, they have enough common sense to recognize the dire impact such a move will make to an already unstable economy. 

The latest budget struggle includes the conservatives'  loathing for Obamacare. They want it eliminated after all that time and effort of compromising, rewriting, and re-evaluating the bill,  the conservatives want Obamacare defunded.  Just like that, as if the move would be that easy. Unless the administration re-considers the new health care act, conservatives will leave Americans dangling by the end of their wit. 

Then there's the spending limit. Apparently,  the government is not spending enough and its demanding an increase in the debt ceiling. How that is expected to haul the economy out of its stagnation and help balance the budget is still unknown. 

What is known is that Americans are fed up. Two recent surveys released by Pew and Gallup both reveal that more than half of Americans wish our politicians would just compromise. This sentiment was found along both party lines. The Gallup survey found that only one-fourth of participants believed political values mattered. But the voter's wishes never really matter as we've seen these past few years.  With an attack on Syria still a possibility, and the recent bloody attacks in Iraq, Kenya, and Pakistan, we should expect further political bantering. 

Here's what I don't understand. First, we have not officially given Obamacare a real chance to fail. I watched with interest Saturday morning as Fox News anchors predicted one doomsday analysis after another. Of course there will be glitches as Obamacare officially rolls out. What new policy does not suffer from them? Second, with all their fears of an economic shutdown, the loss of jobs, and higher cost burdens on the government, did it ever occur to the naysayers the impact of all this stalling?  

At times, you have to wonder whether all this resistance stems from genuine concern for the nation as it is from the lack of real leaders willing to make some tough decisions. Plus, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan had eaten away at our economy long before Obamacare was ever rolled out, but many conservatives still defend those wars. No, this has nothing to do with concerns for the nation's direction, but more with a party bent on forcing its personal agendas on voters. 

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