04/06/11 — Shutdown? The argument is age-old -- keep spending or make a statement?

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Shutdown? The argument is age-old -- keep spending or make a statement?

Unfortunately, much of a government shutdown is pomp and circumstance.

Officials cannot keep the government's doors closed forever, so at some point, it will be back in business.

It really is not a matter of if, but when.

But the lesson that some hope will be taken away from this latest down-to-the-wire budget discussion is that the American people are serious.

They understand that the nation is spending too much -- and they want to see something done about it.

And, if truth were to be told, there does not seem to be any easy way to get that done -- other than making sure there is no money in the bank account to spend. That is why this government shutdown business is such a weapon for those who want change. It almost always forces a discussion about living within our means as a nation.

But whether the government shuts down or not, there is a lot of work to be done. The nation cannot continue to amass debt and to throw money around like there is a grove of trees in Washington, D.C., producing it. At some point, we are going to have to get tough -- really tough -- on how much money we are spending.

So the discussion remains interesting in Washington -- and voters are continuing to watch to see how their leaders handle this latest challenge.

Will they cave or will they stand strong and say no more spending, no more out-of-control deficits? When the shutdown clears, will there be substantive work on getting our monetary house under control?

We will just have to wait and see.

Published in Editorials on April 6, 2011 10:40 AM