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October 8, 2013

NEWS AND TRIBUNE LETTERS — For Oct. 8

GOP head: Shutdown can teach us lessons

Shutdown. A unique word indeed. Words are used to inspire all kinds of things. In this case, the word “shutdown” is designed to inspire fear.

Of course, many emails and Facebook postings I have read are discovering that we can survive without some of the things that, frankly, the federal government is proving we can live without.

I must admit that if this word has resulted in someone you know being placed on furlough, the fear is very real. However, I would remind many of these same government workers that furloughs, layoffs and unemployment are terms the rest of us have had to deal with since the economy collapsed in 2008. Welcome to my world.

As I listened to all the talking heads blaming each other and using their talking points to make their, well, talking points, I finally found someone actually saying what this is really all about. This person reminded us that the federal government is borrowing $2 million every minute of every day. We are accumulating $1 trillion in debt every year with no signs of slowing down. If we personally had these borrowing habits, we would have lost everything we owned a long time ago.

The truth is you cannot borrow yourself out of trouble. And whether you want to blame Obamacare for all our troubles or not, our spending habits as a nation are not sustainable.

The sequester was necessary because we are spending 200 percent of every 100 percent we are taking in and neither side could agree to cut any portion of their favorite spending. If you want to blame the Tea Party for something, blame them for pressuring their elected officials to stop this kind of spending now. And, if you hate the fact that portions of the federal government are shut down now, just think how you are going to feel in two weeks when our leaders are forced to decide whether a debt of $17 trillion just isn’t enough.

Disagreements are a part of life. They are obviously a part of running a government. Hopefully, what we are discovering now is that at least the House of Representatives is getting a backbone and saying, “enough is enough.”

Whether we have Obamacare or not is only one of the pieces of the pie. If we keep spending like we have in the last five years, we won’t have an economy that can support any spending, let alone “affordable” health care.

— Dave Matthews, Chairman, Floyd County Republican Party

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