Why do we fear a shutdown?
When any person continually consumes more than he can afford, he goes bankrupt. When any business continually loses money with no prospect of change, it is shut down. But when a government is growing larger and larger and sliding deeper and deeper into debt, a shutdown is unthinkable. Why the different standard?
It is because government is a monopoly that brooks no competition and permits no alternatives. And so we fear “shutdown” as something like death. But this is America, and such a fear is unjustified. Our Founding Fathers were aware of this danger and designed the country accordingly.
In America, we have a body politic that is capable of performing almost all vital functions at state and local levels. And many functions can be distributed even further to voluntary social groups like charities and churches. Of course, there are a few things that only a federal government can do effectively, but most of those need not affect our daily lives. The fact that our federal government’s functioning does affect our daily lives is merely proof that we have concentrated too much of our government in Washington, D.C.
We are Americans; we can do this. Shut down Washington (including the Federal Reserve), and distribute fiscal and monetary power back to the people acting as free agents in strong communities locally governed, as we were in times past. All we have to lose is our fear.
Cavalier about cuts
Cal Thomas can be cavalier about a government shutdown knowing it will not affect a wealthy columnist like him one bit (“Shutdown a chance to reflect on government,” Sept. 25 Opinion). The same goes for “Mr. Filibuster,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who will continue to collect his $15,000-a-month Senate salary no matter what happens. That it will negatively affect their fellow citizens just so they can make a point says very little for their capacity to put themselves in another’s shoes.
Yes, the Constitution is a great document, but it must be kept in mind that it was signed when this country had fewer people in it than we have in New York City now. The problems we have are as disparate as the 313 million people who live here. Some can be solved with money, others by amendments to the Constitution. But let’s bear in mind it’s the ideological recalcitrance on both sides that has put us in this mess, not how we’ve interpreted the Constitution.
My tax money is being wasted on some things, it’s true, like filibustering senators from Texas. But the majority of my money is spent on what makes this society safe and organized, and if that means a bit is wasted here and there, well, welcome to democracy. It may be flawed, but I have no desire to replace our versions of dysfunction with what they have elsewhere.
License to hate
Like any thinking person, I am disgusted by the bigotry and hatred of University of Kansas journalism professor David Guth (“KU professor on leave after tweet,” Sept. 21 Local & State). But I am more disgusted by those who fill the Opinion page with proclamations that this hatred and incitement to murder children are somehow protected.
A few weeks ago, liberals screamed that a rodeo clown must be punished for a characterization. He was fired. A guy making a couple hundred bucks doing a gag routine as old as the hills gets fired due to a liberal outcry. No free speech there.
Now a well-paid state employee issues a public statement calling for the murder of children, and liberals rush to his defense calling it free speech? His punishment – a paid leave.
There was a time that being liberal or conservative meant a difference in opinion. Now, being liberal means a license to hate and call for the murder of the children of those with whom you disagree.
Please, whoever you are, knock it off. All children need to be safe, not just the ones you like.
Ike and Iran
Ah, the irony on Saturday’s Opinion page – at the top, a letter touting President Eisenhower and how he deserves to have the airport named for him (“Come together to honor Eisenhower,” Sept. 28 Letters to the Editor); at the bottom, Charles Krauthammer bemoaning that there are no moderates in Iran.
The irony is that Eisenhower is partly to blame for the lack of moderates in Iran. In 1953, the U.S. and Great Britain masterminded a coup d’etat in Iran that ousted the democratically elected prime minister, Mohammad Mosaddegh. As a result of the coup, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was able to form an absolute dictatorship during which thousands of political opponents were tortured and many killed. His rule directly led to the Iranian revolution of 1979, theocratic government and the suppression, if not elimination, of moderates.
And what resulted? The hard-liners in Tehran, in power partly because of U.S. actions in 1953, today send arms to dictator Bashar Assad in Syria through Iraq with the blessing of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki – in power solely because another U.S. president sent in the military to effect a government change in a foreign country, and prompting yet a third U.S. president to threaten military intervention in yet another country.
When will we learn?
New immigration policy: Build bridges.
ROBERT J. VINCZE