Federal shutdown is not on minds of those in Decatur County

Published 11:40 am Monday, October 14, 2013

In last Saturday’s edition of The Post-Searchlight, managing editor Ashley Johnson wrote an article explaining how the shutdown of the federal government has affected the residents of Decatur County.
Our newsroom staff spent several hours researching how far-reaching the temper tantrums being thrown, by members of both political parties, in Washington DC would be. Would the pouting of President Obama and the stubbornness of Democrat and Republican leadership affect the daily lives of residents of our community?
We had a tough time finding any indication that the childish slap-fights in Washington is not really trickling down to Bainbridge and Decatur County.
Other than some boat launches being closed that are operated by the Army Corps of Engineers, Decatur County is not feeling any negative damage from the shutdown.
Due to the fact that every one of the reported 800,000 non-essential employees that have been “laid off” will receive back pay once the politicians in Washington come to their senses, they are basically getting paid vacations without using vacation time.
And, why does the federal government employ 800,000 non-essential people in the first place. Seems to me a solution to some of our problems would be to make sure all employees are essential.
There is no question that the shutdown in Washington, the non-sustainable level of debt that the United States has taken on, and the upcoming tremors the Affordable Care Act will create has an effect on each and every one of us. Simplistically, it affects all of us because we are all United States citizens.
The level and quality of “governing” occurring right now in Washington is at an all time low. If you look at a wide variety of different polls and data, the approval ratings across the board, of the President, of Democrats, and of Republicans, are also at an all time low.
One poll in particular, taken by Gallup and released last Thursday, shows that a lowly 18-percent of Americans are satisfied with the way the country is being governed. Not so shockingly, this is the lowest government satisfaction rating since Gallup started asking this question in 1971.
With the shutdown now entering the second week, it doesn’t appear that an end is anywhere in sight. With compromise and negotiation being rejected at every turn, it appears that strategy is to make the shutdown as painful as possible so that public pressure will lead to a resolution.
Good thing we searched high and low for pain caused by the shutdown and found crumbs. We are doing just fine without the federal government.

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