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Congress has an opportunity

Posted: October 12, 2013 - 3:19pm  |  Updated: October 12, 2013 - 11:24pm

As the partial shutdown of the federal government drags on, we’ve had a chance to see just how much reach government has into our lives. In some ways, the shutdown has had little effect on how we go about our day to day business. Yet in other ways, the impact has been dramatic — preventing some people from even going about their business at all.

If and when the closed government agencies re-open, and with a budget-conscious nation in mind, we’d like to see Congress and the administration take a good hard look at which job functions are truly essential, and which ones we haven’t missed over the past two weeks. For some, the answer will be that all government agencies serve an important role. For others, the answer will be to shut them all down. We suspect a solution lies somewhere in between.

For example, maybe operation of national parks should be outsourced to states. Certainly, a number of states have jumped at the opportunity this week — though it would seem that paying the federal government to do the job for it isn’t the ideal approach.

On the other hand, having officials from the Centers for Disease Control available to monitor an outbreak of food-borne illness would rank high on the list of government functions important to public safety.

The list goes on, but the question is the same: Where government intersects our lives, does it serve a necessary purpose?

If the answer isn’t yes, if it’s just more paperwork, then maybe it’s time for some cuts.

Where the answer to that question is yes, then our government needs to live up to its responsibilities — which means the people we’ve elected to it need to live up to theirs. Congress has made numerous attempts to get the deficit under control — anyone remember the Supercommittee or the Simpson-Bowles plan? — but has yet to find the political will to enact anything. Indeed, spending cuts made through sequestration were the self-imposed consequences of Congress’ failure to act.

Every obstacle in life is also an opportunity — and Congress has built itself a mountain to overcome. However, there’s still a few more months before 2014 election campaigns ramp up. If members of Congress can find a way to work together in the coming weeks, perhaps something good can come of the current mess we’re in.

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RaySouthwell
759
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RaySouthwell 10/13/13 - 12:26 pm
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Congress opportunity

My understanding concerning the deficit spending issue is the massive amount of money spent on our military and benefits/handouts. Not agency costs. Congress opportunity is to unite the people. This can be accomplished by explaining how our economic system failed and what we should do to rebuild it. Then maybe the so-called Free-press will start asking the tough questions.

RaySouthwell
759
Points
RaySouthwell 10/13/13 - 12:30 pm
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One tough question

Why do we spend more on our military than all other nations combined?

Raoulduke
1793
Points
Raoulduke 10/13/13 - 02:45 pm
1
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military budget

Well! It seems do to past foreign policies.A great many more nations just do not like America.Something we as a nation brought on ourselves.Everyone that wanted this WAR AGAINST TERROR .Should have realized.There would be a cost.Now it's time to pay up.You only got.What you wanted.Which is requiring more for defense spending,and with the Un-Patriot Act still being implemented.A major factor causing the defense budget to skyrocket.Now one must remember.The more WARS we have.The more defense spending.We do. "Bring Them Home"! DIPLOMACY over WAR.

RaySouthwell
759
Points
RaySouthwell 10/14/13 - 08:15 am
0
0

Raoulduke

Careful. This type of discussion could unify the people and cause the politicians and their handlers to start fearing the people. Too much time talking about our differences rather than talking about our common cause. Your explanation is right on target.

Raoulduke
1793
Points
Raoulduke 10/14/13 - 10:38 am
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Common Cause

First let's clean up Juneau.Alaskan Citizen's whine,whine,and then whine some more.Yet They keep re-electing the same old liar's,and thieves.So! Stop your whining,and vote for real change.Not for the status quo. Research the candidates.When you claim to be Independent.Vote Independent,but The majority of claimed Independents vote Republican.Then you whine about the representatives .You have elected.Make a difference with your vote,and stop crying.Please! Oh!Yes! The people that signed a pledge to shut down this government.They had taken a pledge to two different ends.One to serve there constituents,Which they haven't,and one to serve money.Which they have indeed.I am sure there are some readers.Who had voted for these folks.They also are misguided of their thinking.What is the best for AMERICA.

RaySouthwell
759
Points
RaySouthwell 10/14/13 - 11:45 am
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Raoulduke

What is best for America is for Congress to take the opportunity to have an honest discussion on our failed monetary and fiscal policies/system. There is no honest discussion about root cause of our divisions in this nation. Only two boxes to fit into. People fear the other box and fear answering the tough questions. If there were more like you, who answered a tough question, the two boxes would join forces for the advancement of all people. But I suppose that is off topic. Perhaps my next letter will be published and we can start an honest discussion of the tough questions.

Raoulduke
1793
Points
Raoulduke 10/15/13 - 01:43 am
0
0

tough question

WE have allowed our elected to make LAWS that benefit the ELECTED.Laws of conflict of interest.Do NOT apply to them,but they apply to us.WE have allowed the elected to THINK.They are of NOBILITY.I for one would just LOVE to have their retirement.Who do you know.That collects 100% of their income in retirement income.The elected voted themselves this benefit.Not to mention the monies allowed for offices,and staff after their term is on office is over.Do you think.Maybe we could call for them to have the same retirement benefits as any other federal employee,and get a FERS retirement package.Instead of the SOCIALIZED medical,and the many other perks.First We need STATE Legislature change.Get the elected OIL,and FISH lobbyist OUT.Have the elected really EARN their monies.They certainly have not been working towards a betterment of this state let alone the country

RaySouthwell
759
Points
RaySouthwell 10/15/13 - 08:45 am
0
0

Agreed

Most would agree. However we always talk about the peripheral problems without going to the root cause. Congress will take this opportunity and borrow more money to give to people who love it. Them first. They should ask the people why they have to borrow so much?

Raoulduke
1793
Points
Raoulduke 10/15/13 - 09:44 am
0
0

Root cause

CORPORATE GREED,and CORPORATE CONTROL of DOMESTIC,and FOREIGN POLICY.This is called "FASCISM".WE have NO true DEMOCRACY.IT has been a public SHAM for a great many years.Citizen APATHY.Yes! APATHY helped in this process of selling America to the Corporate.the corporate has to please the shareholders,and it cost US our country.

RaySouthwell
759
Points
RaySouthwell 10/15/13 - 09:55 am
0
0

Greed

Root cause is unchecked crony capitalism resulting in greed. Our Constitutional Republic had established checks and balances. Congress has taken the opportunity to cling to greed and their own Self-Interest. So what should be Congresses opportunity today?

Raoulduke
1793
Points
Raoulduke 10/15/13 - 11:04 am
0
0

The ROOT

Once again - Once again SELF-INTEREST,and a great deal of LOBBY monies=GREED. We(The Citizen) have allowed this to transpire.We have not kept OUR noses to the grindstone of CHECKS,and BALANCES.WE gave away our 5th Amendment with random drug testing.We gave away our 4th .Hell I could go on,and on.We were duped into thinking it was for our best interest.Proving we are stupid to give away our Constitutional guarantee's for ANY reason.

Raoulduke
1793
Points
Raoulduke 10/15/13 - 11:24 am
0
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Corporate

R.S.-"CORPORATIONS have been ENTHRONED,and an era of CORRUPTION in HIGH PLACES WILL FOLLOW"... This comment was attributed to ABRAHAM LINCOLN. Now if this doesn't say it all.What will? We are a very CORRUPT nation,and the only difference between us and any Banana Republic is.We have the military might.

RaySouthwell
759
Points
RaySouthwell 10/15/13 - 11:34 am
0
0

The problem

We continue to restate the problems. But what should Congress opportunity be? I feel they should take the opportunity to talk about money and what it should be used for. If Congress took the opportunity and discussed how every Nation/Empire in history who uses fiat currency for non-productive and destructive purposes always lose their standing in the world.

Raoulduke
1793
Points
Raoulduke 10/16/13 - 07:19 am
0
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Discuss?

R.S.-You are still missing my point about GREED.Why would the people.Who make the laws for such activity to take place.Stop giving THEMSELVES the avenues for getting RICH?The problem has been well established for over 150 years by the Lincoln attributed quote.The discussion you desire.Will never happen.

RaySouthwell
759
Points
RaySouthwell 10/16/13 - 08:38 am
0
0

It will happen

Not today. But when the people feel the sting of Austerity. Congress will take the opportunity to talk about how greed took over. Greed is nothing more than unchecked self-interest of people who believe they are good. That is how we elect people today. We have thrown out the checks and balances because we only elect "good people." No checks and balances needed.

Raoulduke
1793
Points
Raoulduke 10/16/13 - 10:22 am
0
0

Qualifications

What are the minimum qualifications for elected officials?Who decides? Is it Whatever the corporate spins for that candidate?It is all about the MARKETING of the product.We all should know at best.Marketing is at best stretching the Facts.Oh! Yes! I believe.GREED does not have anything to do with GOOD,except both words start with the letter G.

RaySouthwell
759
Points
RaySouthwell 10/16/13 - 10:35 am
0
0

That was the point

Marketing of the product that has no checks or balances. And Congress refuses to take the opportunity to use what our founders established. The Constitution. Why did Congress take the opportunity and give their authority to create money and gave it to the private Federal Reserve Bank?

KenaiKardinal88
317
Points
KenaiKardinal88 10/25/13 - 05:15 pm
0
0

Obama and the Dems Have Destroyed The American Dream

Obama sucks - only Begich is worse.

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