Letters to the Editor

Letter: Harmful faction

October 12, 2013

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To the editor:

Our government’s mandate is the good of its citizens. The preamble to the U.S. Constitution outlines those purposes, among them promoting “the general Welfare.”

When our government ceases to function as it should, we’re all harmed. And each political faction blames the other. But it couldn’t be clearer where the blame lies.  The faction whose guiding principle is that “government IS the problem,” is not invested in the constitutional purpose of government doing good toward its citizens. Their “good” is rather that government cease functioning, as we now have.

All of Kansas’ congressional delegation (and most of our state government) is of that faction. My own congresswoman, Lynn Jenkins, approvingly quoted that Reaganite principle in last year’s campaign, but she’s hardly alone in espousing it.

It becomes clearer every day that the philosophy of anti-government governance is unworkable, and harms our country. Perhaps we can hope that that anarchist faction will disavow their principles. Politicians often do.

But in the meantime, blaming the other faction for government shutdown is de facto acknowledgement that their principles do great harm — for which they don’t want the blame.

Comments

Richard Heckler 1 year, 9 months ago

Who wins under the default umbrella? Certainly not the lions share of citizens … as always.

If House Republicans don't agree to raise the nation's debt ceiling the nation's borrowing costs would spike, as would interest rates for average Americans, and the stock market could plummet. Of course only the wealthiest of investors can withstand another round of Wall Street going up in smoke.

But not everyone will lose if a default causes an economic catastrophe.

Those who could profit from a financial calamity are short sellers, investors in gold and silver, bitcoin investors, currency traders,pawn shops, bankruptcy lawyers, mortgage servicers and the canned and freeze-dried food industries. http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/10/who-would-benefit-government-default

Considering all of the above plus all that’s been lost as a result of stupid political games why are republicans are STILL refusing to increase the debt ceiling as they should?

The GOP claim they are willing to approve a short term increase which is about long enough to get them through the upcoming election cycle.

Will more shenanigans allow the very smart and very rich who invest in USA bonds and such to rest easy? Likely not from what I read.

Can we say what’s with our dumb GOP politicians?

Michael Shaw 1 year, 9 months ago

Congresswoman Jenkins is to be commended for her participation in the "problem solvers," the only Kansan on the list of fifty House members, a bipartisan group that will surely play a role in getting beyond the factionalism that has bedeviled the House.

Richard Heckler 1 year, 9 months ago

Actually Lynn Jenkins has gone on record as among those willing to compromise the nations economy in favor of killing Obamacare.

Of course the closer to election time she is now taking a different stance although still only supporting a short term increase in the debt ceiling which is enough to see Ms Jenkins through an election period.

Failing to approve the debt ceiling is irresponsible beyond reality.

Cait McKnelly 1 year, 9 months ago

The problem is, we have elected people to govern us who don't believe in government.
And then we get surprised when they don't? Really, folks.

Steve Hicks 1 year, 9 months ago

Realizing "states' rights" is part of the (falsely so-called) "conservative" agenda, a basic moral criteria applies. Divisiveness, inherent in the "states' rights" doctrine espoused by "neo-cons," is another political principle harmful to our country. It didn't work under the Articles of Confederation (which Mr. Groenhagen cites), and it was disastrous for those who followed it to secession in 1860-61.

The simple moral recognition is that unity is good for a nation, and divisiveness is harmful. As someone glossed "E Pluribus Unum," the founders' intent was that America's core operative principle should be that "we're all in this together." Even those unable to distinguish between good and bad principles should nonetheless take a lesson from what our history has shown results from "states' rights' " divisiveness.

Nor do neo-cons' ideas of individual "rights" (as propounded by Mr. Groenhagen, Paul Ryan, and others) evidence honest or thorough thought. Their idea of "rights" is in essence entitlement: human beings are entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

That may or may not be so in human beings' secular relationship with their human government. But the assertion that the God of Judeo-Christian tradition (presumably the One referenced in the Declaration of Independence, and by neo-cons) ENTITLES individuals politically is manifestly contrary to Judeo-Christian scriptures. "Rights" as entitlements appears in those scriptures only as "the rights of the poor:" that those in need and hunger are entitled to the care of a righteous society. This scriptural idea of "rights" is, of course, anathema to neo-cons.

John Cunningham 1 year, 9 months ago

The U.S. national debt now exceeds its GDP. Historically, it is rare for a country to survive this dangerous condition. It requires a commitment to fiscal responsibility that most current members of Congress do not have.

It's possible that those promoting fiscal sanity, referred to here as the "anti-government" faction, will prevail. A more likely scenario is that he socialists will prevail, the dollar will be destroyed by hyperinflation, and the economy will continue its current slide and eventually collapse altogether.

The lessons are not that hard to understand. You cannot continue indefinitely to spend money that you do not have. You cannot increase taxes beyond a certain point without discouraging the producers from working. You cannot sustain a global empire and welfare state with more than half of the population on the dole. It will collapse.

For America to survive, we need a rebirth of liberty. And we need to boot out the rest of the socialists from Congress!

Scott Burkhart 1 year, 9 months ago

There is a lot of frustration and passion over the recent actions of the two political parties in Washington, D.C. Both sides of the aisle are guilty of reactionary type rhetoric. The author, Mr. Hicks, refers to some as "anarchists" and "anti-government."

I would like to point out that our system of government is working exactly the way it was designed. Three branches of the federal system that check and balance each other. When the legislative branch puts on the brakes and says to the executive branch, "Hold on. We don't like what you're doing," then, really, all is well.

Now, you may not like the actors and you may not like the outcomes but our government is functioning the way it was designed. I'm not going to spend time trying to refute the names or defend one side or the other. What I would like to do is take a look back at local history and what transpired back in the 70's.

The left marched in different cities all over America to end the Vietnam War and protest Johnson's and Nixon's administrations for their prosecution of it. There were slogans painted on signs warning of "Big Brother" watching you. People were worried about wiretapping and government invasion into our personal lives. Back then, the left was sure, "Big Government" was not the answer. So I ask you, "What changed?" When did "Big Government" suddenly become the answer? The same people that marched and yelled these warnings in the streets, are now in charge of the Executive branch of the government. People friendly to Bill Ayres, who released from custody after which he was arrested for bombings was quoted as saying, "Guilty as hell and free as a bird." People friendly to Bernadine Dohrn who's participation in a bombing resulted in the death of a policeman. These same people, now, want this big, intrusive government. So I ask you again, "What changed?" Why is big intrusive government good now but it wasn't 40 years ago?

Seth Peterson 1 year, 9 months ago

"The Founders' principles would be considered extremist by those on the left if uttered by Republicans today. The left attacked Paul Ryan last year when he said, "Our rights come from nature and God, not government." Of course, that's merely a reiteration of what Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence."

Your very premise is laughable if you consider that 'fact'

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