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On funding

by on April 8, 2011

I would love to be able to write this and say that our government functions so well that there will be no shutdown of the federal government due to lack of money.  That is not the case.  This isn’t just about the budget, and it isn’t just about social issues.  It isn’t just about politics, and it isn’t just about representative democracy.

If this situation were unique to 2011 we would be both panicked and likely to solve a solution.  That is not the case.  There have been past government shutdowns and with the trend in current political climate it stands to reason there will be others in the future.  It is not merely an impasse between Democrats and Republicans, or between conservatives and liberals.  It isn’t just Blue Dogs and Tea Partiers.

This is a conflict between a mindset: one mindset says that politics in a representative democracy should be done for political gain, and if shutting down the government may gain political points, it is the thing to do.  The other mindset says that in representative democracy, the government must represent many views, and the government must always maintain the ability to function.  The first mindset says politics is a game of 50%+1.  The second mindset wants the best society for the most people.

These two mindsets, like everything else in politics, lay along a scale.  They could be diagrammed as a circle, a triangle, or a square (or another four-sided object).  We, all of us, possess both mindsets at the same time.  We fall along all points of the scale, and are both inside and outside the box.  This battle over whether to cut  $30,000,000,000 or $33,000,000,000 or $60,000,000,000(those numbers look big written out) from the budget is both sad and not a battle of ‘us versus them.’  This battle is not just a domestic battle, it is an internal battle.  It is one we all must fight.  Do we cut the $30,000,000,000 of non-security spending for political gain, or should we do it because it represents our interests?

That is the question.

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From → Economy, US Politics

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