My View From The Country

Federal Budget Compromise Won’t Bring Long-Term Peace

This is a debate that fundamentally will shape the direction of our nation.

As of presstime, the federal government remains shut down, and the debt ceiling deadline of Oct. 17 is rapidly approaching. Most folks seem to think that some form of compromise eventually will be struck, but there didn’t seem to be any substantive good news to talk about at midweek.

The American electorate is rightly disgusted, as the government has completely failed to address its budgetary concerns and continues to live way beyond its means. Virtually everyone recognizes we are on an unsustainable path for the long term.

The media has tended to focus on who will win, and the political ramifications and gamesmanship of the impasse. These might be interesting questions to ponder, but they overshadow the real and important issues involved.


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I find the coverage almost humorous, as everyone is complaining about the partisanship and the lack of willingness by either side to compromise. Nobody talks about the fact that they really don’t want a compromise. In actuality, our political system is working amazingly well, politicians are responding to the desires of their constituents, and the lack of compromise and inability to find common ground stems from the fact that a common ground doesn’t exist.

This is a debate that fundamentally will shape the direction of our nation, and America is as deeply divided outside the Washington Beltway as they are inside it. There is no way that we can simultaneously achieve both visions of America.

Still, I wouldn’t be surprised if a short-term fix isn’t reached by the two sides, but the underlying division will remain and that debate must be held. It’s a struggle that will continue, with the end result not being a compromise between the two sides, but a clear winner and loser.

If we want to eradicate the division in Washington, D.C., then the minds of half of the electorate will have to be changed. That isn’t likely to happen when the differences are differences in values and philosophy. The two sides do not share similar goals.

The rhetoric and the tactics of the struggle may be despicable, but the differences are real and our government is merely a reflection of that reality.


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Discuss this Blog Entry 4

Doug (not verified)
on Oct 11, 2013

Well said. It is a battle for the future of our country. What type of country our children will inherit.

Thomas C Howard (not verified)
on Oct 11, 2013

It is that "they are not the same as us" which prevents common sense, compromise solutions. The majority influence over several election cycles will determine the direction of slow change. Certainly the direction of slow change has been liberal or progressive or increasing the governments role over decades. The direction could continue or be reversed. In either case since change will be slow, it is wrong to suggest that some Rubicon, point of no return, or revolutionary decision is at hand. The current impasse, refusal to compromise is the danger. Sudden acceleration of the rate of change, left or right is another danger.

John R. Dykers, Jr (not verified)
on Oct 15, 2013


John R. Dykers, Jr (not verified)
on Oct 15, 2013

This kind of division cannot govern a functional nation. Rather than traditional "compromise" from 'dialogue' we will have to have dialectic and build a new social contract. The key is"Imagine how precious every person will be when each of us causes only one or two pregnancies" (JRD). The nature of "work" is changing with technology. Resources / People modified by Technology makes our Quality of Life. R/PxT=Q. People are a resource as well as consumers of resources and a critical mass is necessary for civilization. "Go forth and multiply" - we have done that and we can stop now. No one should conceive a child they are not equipped to raise to self sufficiency. Tractors have cabs and we can work longer into decades we formerly considered earned leisure and enjoy it more than the rocking chair.
"The times, they are a changing" and we have to find a new way.
So let us expend more time and energy being thoughtful than being opinionated.
Rather than clinging to the old, look for a way to profit from what the future presents.

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What's My View From The Country?

As a fulltime rancher, opinion contributor Troy Marshall brings a unique perspective on how consumer and political trends affect livestock production.


Troy Marshall

Troy Marshall is a multi-generational rancher who grew up in Wheatland, WY, and obtained an Equine Science/Animal Science degree from Colorado State University where he competed on both the livestock...

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