My View From The Country

The U.S. Government Shuts Down; How Sad Is That?

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I hear some people talk about a bipartisan solution to these problems, but I don’t see it happening.

The political pundits all say the electorate won’t tolerate real reform. They claim that if somehow the House declared it would only pass a balanced budget and begin to send spending bills one by one for the specific budget items the American people agreed were priorities, and stopped funding when the outflows reached inflows, there would be riots in the street. I don’t buy that. I think everyone would support paying for the military, key entitlements and government services, but I don’t think the politicians want to invite that kind of transparency or accountability to the system.

It’s all so absurd and so sad, and yet nobody believes there is any solution except to continue on the same unsustainable path. Obamacare is a great example. Contrary to the earlier pronouncements, we’re now told that the number of uninsured in the U.S. may be nearly twice as large as projected. In addition, the fear is that healthy young people, whose participation in Obamacare is necessary to pay the tab for older participants, are more likely than previously thought to ignore the program and just pay the fine. That would make the system far more expensive and less sustainable.

The Washington Beltway has learned one valuable lesson through all of this. That is that any attempt to return to fiscal sanity is political suicide; the belief is that the only way to stop the runaway train is to let it derail and then pick up the pieces afterward.

I hope they’re wrong, but the only thing I’ve learned is that fiscal responsibility and bipartisan solutions in today’s political environment are akin to peace in the Middle East. They are all noble goals, but they have a snowball’s chance in Hades of ever happening.

 

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Discuss this Blog Entry 3

gene schriefer (not verified)
on Oct 4, 2013

part of the fall of Rome was trying to support the same military force after the formula for their initial success had changed- invade your neighbors, steal their gold, pay for more troops. we've spent 1.5 Trillion dollars, on republican wars in Afghanistan & Iraq, what do we have to show for it? we're still incurring expenses. if we had spent a similar amount on debt reduction, or spent it at home stimulating our own economy, these discussions would be mute.

It may be tax and spend democrats but it is spend and run up the debt republicans that created the mess.

if we federal computers ever get running again go the CBO and look up the budgets since Reagan, and which party controlled congress when which budgets passes. there's a clear pattern.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Oct 5, 2013

"So, how did we get in this mess? It began when we started these omnibus spending bills that allowed both sides to keep pork-barrel spending going." I have to disagree with you here; this began, and we got into the mess with the passage of two constitutional amendments 100 years ago (1913) - - making Senators no longer representatives of their state legislatures in the national debate (which led to the states also looking at their senators as representing a proportion of the population, rather than a geographical unit, allowing the large population centers to control both sides of every state legislature - - and then it became mandated through supreme court cases) and the allowing of direct taxation by the central government (does no one recall that the major impetus to the revolution was despotic direct and discriminatory taxation practices by the British Government???)

dinaNumb (not verified)
on Oct 27, 2014

how can I register?

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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.

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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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