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Opinion Letters Government shutdown hurting real people

Here we are. Again.

The Republicans, including our own Mark Meadows, who have repeatedly stated dislike for the federal government, have closed much of the U.S. government. What is particularly obnoxious about this is that they are blaming Democrats for something that the Republicans have been wanting to do, again, for many years.

Shutting down government services in order to nullify a law (Obamacare) that has already been debated, compromised, passed and even approved by the Supreme Court, is far from the Republicans’ stated tactic of principled action. The Republican shutdown is more like spoiled children throwing a tantrum when they don’t get their way.

As for the Republicans’ “solution” of re-funding bits and pieces of the government that they like, that goes against their Constitutional obligation to fund the government. They have already debated and voted on the priorities. The Democrats have already compromised the current budget down to the amount that the Republicans demanded.

That the Republicans are willing to shut down much of the government, and possibly even default on our debt to get their way, is the opposite of principled. In all honesty, it is stupid and harmful to the economy, government, and people of this nation.

Real people are being hurt by this shutdown. Real businesses and real families are taking the hit because of the Republicans’ rigid political agenda. Here in Macon County, we have scores of federal employees who are now laid off at Coweeta Research Lab and the U.S. Forest Service.

Who will pay their mortgages? Who will buy their food? Who will pay their doctor bills, their car payments, their utilities? They won’t be patronizing many restaurants or stores without an income during the shutdown. The Republicans care more about their power, ideological purity and their Big Ideas than they do about real people.

The wealthy politicians don’t know what it is to live paycheck to paycheck. Besides, their paychecks aren’t stopped by the shutdown. They are playing with our livelihoods. They are playing with our lives to score points in their political game. They are gambling with our lives, and we are losing. We are not amused or impressed.

The Republican Party of so-called family values is hurting families directly, without apology, without insight. Republicans often talk about the dignity of work, yet they carelessly throw tens of thousands out of work with their shutdown.

The Republicans created this disaster. They have cornered themselves into this mess. They need to find some real principles and do the job that we are paying them for—open the government to serve We the people!

Dan Kowal — Franklin, N.C.


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