Friday, October 4, 2013

Thoughts on the shutdown

So here we are in the midst of a government shutdown, and I personally have felt no pain.  I am appalled at the spiteful actions of the current administration in barricading sites that are normally open 24/7 and have not been barricaded in past shutdowns.  This appears to be a cheap political stunt.

I for one am tired of both side's childish actions. On one side you have the President and the Senate Majority leader refusing to negotiate, and calling the other side terrorists and hostage takers.  On the other you have a group who knew their plan had zero chance of achieving the goal but went ahead anyway to appease the base.

My sympathies lie with the Republican side only because I believe the ACA is a terrible law.  The stated intentions behind it were good, but the law itself is a mess that will never achieve what it was supposed to, and is full of unintended consequences. I believe it gives the government far to much control over what should be a personal choice, saddles businesses and individuals with over 10,000 pages of regulations, and with the various mandates forces people into corners over their religious and moral beliefs.  I have no faith that the law will bend the cost curve anywhere but up, and take our healthcare system anywhere but down.

Having said that, the Republican approach to solving the problem has been horrendous.  They have taken numerous repeal/defund votes in the house knowing full well that  they would go nowhere in the Senate.  While I understand the principle at stake here, I am not convinced that this is not also just a political stunt.

Somewhere there has to be a political leader who will stand up and say ENOUGH!  Obviously none of our current leaders from the President on down are the ones, as they all seem more interested in cheap political stunts and appeasing their respective bases than in doing what actually needs to be done.

Yes, Healthcare needed reform, but a very heavy government hand is not the answer.  Surely somewhere out there is at least one Democrat that realizes that, and can find at least one Republican to work with to come up with a better solution.  A solution that could be supported by both sides and that actually has a chance of working without screwing over some segment of the population as the current law does.  At this late date it is unlikely the solution can involve a full repeal of the ACA, but surely it can be changed (more than just tinkered with) so that the known unintended consequences are eliminated, unfavored segments of populous don't end up getting screwed in the deal.

As to the current shutdown to our leaders I say enough grandstanding.  Get together and negotiate (yes President Obama and Senator Reid actually negotiate in good faith) an end to this farce.

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