In his famous Gettysburg Address Abraham Lincoln said that “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” But with the 17th partial government shutdown since 1977, the inability of our elected leaders to find common ground on a budget, and an administration intent on implementing an unworkable law like the Affordable Care Act (the ACA – or Obamacare), it’s clear Washington isn’t listening to the interests of the American people.
Americans do not want a government shutdown, and several polls show that more than half of the American people don’t want Obamacare. A recent ABC poll showed 52% of Americans opposed the ACA and according to a CNN poll released this week, less than one in five Americans believe their families will be better off under the new health care law. Numerous delays later and despite overwhelming opposition from business and labor groups, this Administration has failed honor the will of the American people.
So here we are, a lack of leadership, and an unwillingness to negotiate both on Obamacare and on a federal budget have resulted is a government shutdown that only hurts the prosperity of our Nation.
Close to 800,000 federal employees nationwide are feeling the brunt of Washington’s inability to find solutions. For them the paychecks have stopped – at least for now – but the same can’t be said for their mortgage, car, or their children’s tuition payments. While Republicans have passed four targeted measures to provide funding for select agencies, Democrats continue to hold to their demand for a “clean” continuing resolution which would fund the entire federal government, wasteful programs and all. In fact, The White House has threatened to veto all of the House measures and Senate leadership continues to hold up any piecemeal measures, including one that would ensure full pay for furloughed federal workers.
Almost two weeks into the government shutdown of 2013, our leaders have only managed to point fingers and play partisan politics with no progress in coming to a solution to fixing our budget. Meanwhile once again it is the American people who are paying the price with less income, more uncertainty and less chances at bouncing back from this tough economy.
It’s time for Washington to put party politics aside to find real solutions that reflect the thinking of the American people, – who are saying ‘no’ to an extended government shutdown and to the Affordable Care Act that has already proven to be unworkable. Only then can we really say we are “a government of the people, by the people, for the people.”