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It has been more than one week since the partial government shutdown began. We have not seen much movement from either side on getting the situation resolved, either for the short-term or the long-term. Several band-aids were used in order to limit the public outcry such as making sure all our military personnel get paid, the all furloughed government works would receive retroactive pay and that the families of fallen service men and women would receive immediate death benefits. Congress was able to pass these very limited bills because of the overwhelming public support but that's about as far as they have been able to go in more than 10 days.
You might be wondering why this is able to happen so often. The answer is rather simple. We allow it to happen. That's it; plain and simple. Our country has come to a point in time where everyone is concerned mostly about the issues that concern them in the most direct way. We built this country by putting the country first. During World War II all Americans sacrificed for the good of the country and to help win the war. What exactly has any American sacrificed during the last 3 Wars except for the service men and women (and their immediate families)? Have we driven less? Have we consumed less? Have we entertained less? Have we traveled less? Have we purchased less? Have we given more? I would say that most Americans have gone about their normal business throughout the first Gulf War, the Afghanistan War and the Iraq invasion. So Congress has responded much in the same way. Why should your Congressman worry about something that does not directly affect his/her district?
Until we, as Americans, begin to act differently our representatives will not change the way they act. They see this as the only way to survive the next election. The U.S. Senate is a more deliberate body and the Senators are more protected from everyday politics because they only face reelection every 6 years. This is only one body. The other body, the House of Representatives, is much more affected by local politics. Each member of the House is up for reelection every 2 years. By the time they get to Washington after one election it's almost time to start campaigning and raising money for the next election cycle. Senators may work together in a more bipartisan fashion but they can't pass any legislation unless the House agrees to go along. This is where you and I come into the picture. We need to convince our representatives that we send them to Washington to protect our interests as well as the interests of the American republic. We need to stop this one-issue style of governing. Yes every issue is important. We all have one issue that is incredibly important to ourselves. This shouldn't mean that we focus on that one issue and nothing else. Sometimes we need to help the other guy and put someone else first. Isn't this what we teach our children?
This governing by the abyss is destroying the full faith and credit of the United States. We are beginning to be perceived more like a banana republic than the most successful republic in history. This needs to stop. The markets have reacted negatively to this governance because no one particularly likes uncertainty. Our elected officials can fight the good fight without threatening to destroy the full faith and credit of the United States of America. Holding the country hostage over raising the debt ceiling is beyond comprehension. Raising the debt ceiling does not involve any new spending by Congress. It allows the U.S. Treasury to borrow money to pay for the expenditures that the Congress has already passed in previous legislation should it not have enough money on hand. This is not something that should ever be debated. The debate should be happening when Congress authorizes the spending in the first place. Again, every House member and Senator has a voice during the legislative process. Why don't they speak up? Not very many politicians want to go against their own party on major spending issues because it could cost them in their local districts. Yes, once again it all comes down to protecting our own self-interests above everyone else's. Are you surprised? You shouldn't be. We quietly rubber stamp this nonsense every day that we say nothing. Nothing will change until we change it.