COLUMN: We are all to blame for the gridlock in Washington
From the right
Published: Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, October 16, 2013 21:10
What is the difference between the 800,000 or more furloughed government employees and most of the politicians in Washington, D.C.? The furloughed workers actually want to do their jobs.
I read this joke the other day and thought it perfectly summed up the current state of affairs. Our elected officials are not doing their jobs, and we are paying the price for their childishness.
Who is to blame for the current situation in D.C.? This is the question asked by all kinds of people; from talk show pundits on CNN and Fox News to students in the classroom here at USU. Those searching for someone to blame should first take a long hard look at themselves.
We are all to blame for the gridlock in Washington, D.C.
The apathetic voter who voted down the party line because he couldn’t spare the time to adequately research the candidates is to blame. The radio and news talk show hosts who peddle their hate-filled and biased opinions as real news are to blame. The state legislators, who allowed political ambitions, promises of power, money, or influence to persuade them to gerrymander congressional districts are to blame. The people who say, “My vote doesn’t count so I’m not going to vote,” or “Politics are stupid, I don’t care about what’s going on,” are to blame.
The senators and congressmen who decided defending their political ideology was more important than the 9 million low-income mothers feeding their 6.9 million children with the aid of Women Infants and Children are to blame. The President who believes preserving his precious landmark legislation is more important than compromising with those who disagree with him is to blame.
Some may wonder why a government shutdown is a bad thing. Here are a few of the many reasons why it’s bad. Many National Parks were shut down, which has cost local businesses across the country $76 million. Governor Herbert recognized the problem and worked out a deal to reopen the National Parks in Utah by footing the bill.
Colorado was devastated by flooding just before the federal government shutdown. The floods killed at least eight people and have resulted in nearly $500 million in road and bridge damage and more than $2 billion in property damage. The shutdown jeopardized the presence of 120 National Guard Engineers tasked with repairing the roads and bridges destroyed. The governors of Utah and Colorado worked out a deal to keep the Guard funded and on duty by paying $40,000 to $80,000 per day.
If a deal is not reached by Thursday, the debt limit will not be raised. The government will be required to immediately cut spending by $560 billion. That’s the equivalent of completely wiping out the entire Defense Department. The U.S. would not be able to pay the interest rates on treasury bonds, which would put the U.S. debt in default. This would be devastating to the global economy.