After another week of "gridlock" on ending the federal government's shutdown and raising the debt ceiling, the boys and girls, who we voters elected to Congress, are still acting like spoiled kids and dragging their feet in getting the country moving again.
Indeed, at what cost to this nation and its people will it take to motivate the Congress to unite and to pass a "clean continuing resolution and debt limit increase" to keep the country's post-recessionary economy moving forward?
Worst case scenarios: Would it take irate federal government workers to walk off their jobs to get the Congress to act? Or, would it take a downgrading of the country's international credit and creditability to do it? Finally, and the least desirable, would it take the reigniting of the old recession to burn the Congress into voting for a clean continuing resolution and debt limit increase through the legislative branch that the president will sign?
On these issues, President Barack Obama is standing on the high ground, as the Congress continues to flounder with its endless debates, strident speeches, do-nothing conversations, irrational proposals, and flawed compromises while the nation suffers.
The president is quite right that a "clean" measure needs to be passed NOW, and without re-debating the Affordable Health Care Act, which, if debate was allowed on it, the Congress could argue the related issues to death, without passing the continuing resolution and debt limit hike. Hence, and in addition, the bill to start-up government would be further delayed, with government employees having to wait even longer for another bill to restart their operations and to get their justly earned back pay.
Truly, the government shutdown will eventually hurt us all, even affecting us in central West Virginia. For example, the federal prison's payroll is approximately $48 million annually, so if the employees aren't getting their pay, they can't spend locally or regionally. That, in turn, hurts our area's economy. Also, with the Bulltown Campground being shut down prematurely this season and the campers being told to "get out," that hurts, too! Add in the cancellation of the Battle of Bulltown's annual October reenactment with its hundreds of participants from both near and far away, this development also diminishes area tourism, thereby reducing the revenues that area businesses have come to depend upon for each autumn's economic cycle. Hence, we editors propound that all of this congressional tomfoolery is just no darn good!
To the contrary, our U.S. Congressman David McKinley (R-1st Dist.) thinks the opposite, arguing that the Congress has to "make a stand" in order to force the president to negotiate away several sections of the Affordable Care Act, before the continuing resolution and debt ceiling limit can be passed. He and his fellow Republicans so far have been successful in holding government and the nation hostage, relative to these issues.
The House Republicans don't want to pass a "clean" bill, because they contend the president and the Democrats in Congress won't negotiate on any of the entitlement programs. This is just plain hogwash! Of course, since the Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives want to debate the healthcare act, once again, they can do so in their House and Senate Committees, as well as on the floor of those two bodies -- they've made their point, and we editors believe that the president will respect their request.
Nevertheless, he won't budge on the necessity of getting the clean bill passed, and he shouldn't. Time is of the essence, both regarding paying the government's bills and increasing the debt ceiling.
Congressman McKinley wants to "make a stand" on this issue, but he and his Tea Party Republican friends may just be creating their own modern "Custer's Last Stand" when it comes to their next reelection campaigns.
Like President Obama, we editors urge Congressman McKinley and all of his cohorts, including Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito (R-2nd Dist.), to pass a clean bill for the continuing resolution and debt limit increase. Then, the entitlement program reforms, including that of the Affordable Health Care Act, can be discussed and reasonable adjustments be made.
The foundation of this nation's federal government is based on a legislature where reasonable debate occurs, sound decisions are made and compromises are ironed out. Unfortunately, in this current gridlock on Capitol Hill, these time-honored principles of legislative tradition are not being practiced -- a condition that would make Washington, Jefferson, Madison and our other Founders turn over in their graves.
David H. Corcoran, Sr., Publisher-Sr. Editor
Thanks, Christopher, for discovering America that became the "Land of the Free"
On Monday, we Americans celebrated "Columbus Day" in memory of the Faithful Navigator who discovered America. In 1492, this Italian sea captain, who was working for the Spanish royal family, set out into the unknown Atlantic Ocean, where no man or woman had ever gone before.
At the time, most of the ignorant world believed that the earth was flat; hence, any ship would just fall off its outer boundary, thereby killing its captain and crew. The brave and adventurous Columbus, however, proved them all wrong when he landed in the West Indies and stepped down on American soil. Of course, he found Native Americans already here, so they were the original Americans.
Yet, he opened a whole new world for the European nations to flock to, colonize and develop. That's why most of us current Americans ended up here.
Our ancestors had the vision, courage and resourcefulness to move away from totalitarian or repressive governments and to come to this "Land of the Free."
A historical lesson: Let's always keep it that way -- free!