With persistent threats to stall government, national Republicans seem unaware — or indifferent — to their radical tactics carrying real-world implications for the general populace. If partisanship in Washington D.C. delays a budget agreement beyond Oct. 1, negative economic consequences will be felt in Connecticut and nationwide.
The GOP has lost the capability to compromise. Apparently, moderate Republicans are helpless to balance intractable, shortsighted extremism of Tea Party counterparts. Seeking repeal of Obamacare, uber-cons have coerced a majority of their peers into taking America hostage unless Democrats agree to defund the law. Of course, neither the Senate nor the White House will consent to destruction of President Obama’s landmark achievement. Government shutdown looms. Federal jobs and Social Security payments hang in the balance. Further economic turmoil is probable.
In Connecticut alone, 1,914 active duty and 2,625 military personnel would stop receiving paychecks should government operations freeze, according to a Sept. 24 CT Mirror report. Even a short-term shutdown could prompt affected staff to abandon federal jobs. Many employees already struggle to get by after forced furloughs took effect post-sequester. Additional workdays lost could cause irreparable damage to household budgets, the frightening prospect of foreclosures and deep debt.
Moreover, first-time applicants for Social Security or veteran’s benefits would not have requests processed during government cessation. People already entered into such programs would still receive benefits, but checks could be slowed. Aptly stated Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut, on the impending situation: “A handful of Washington Republicans are being awfully cavalier with the livelihoods of seniors, military personnel, veterans, small businesses and families across our state . . . But this isn’t a game, and it’s time for these members to acknowledge that.”
Republicans are right to voice ideological opposition. But it is time for them to wake up from fanatical delusions and realize that countless citizens stand to lose for GOP refusal to compromise. Rather than continue impotently contending a law passed four years ago — legislation which Democrats in majority would never dismantle — Tea Partiers would do well to consider what strategies foster effective government. Which is when both sides of the aisle negotiate toward the middle with bipartisan intent — instead of one party demanding everything in return for nothing, emboldened by an irresponsible willingness to gamble away America’s future.