The definition of dictatorship
For as long as I can remember, history has defined politics as "the art of compromise" The president has made significant changes to his Affordable Care Act on 19 separate occasions over the past year - illegally so in the eyes of some Constitutional lawyers. Yet he adamantly declares that he will not negotiate with Republicans on the act in order to reach a settlement of the government shutdown. In other words, only he has the option of changing the law. In my seven decades of life, that has been defined as dictatorship.
R. J. Toner, Colorado Springs
This is now about Obama's ego
For 237 years there has been negotiation and compromise between the houses of Congress and all presidents until Obama. This is now, given the abandonment of defunding, about Obama's ego and nothing more. He needs a strong reminder that he is not king and his ego is not a national priority. Negotiate now.
Jackie Gehring, Cripple Creek
Remaining demands strictly symbolic
The current state of the budget impasse is now almost comical.
The House proposals now concede full funding of the Affordable Care Act, although the Congressional Budget Office has declared it fiscally unsustainable.
They fund the IRS management of our most private information, although the IRS has demonstrated that they are willing to abuse their power. They fund billions of dollars in premium subsidies, although the government has no process to determine whether people's claims are legitimate. They fund politically appointed medical review boards to second-guess physician-directed procedures, although the Supreme Court has recognized a constitutional right to privacy that prohibits the government from interfering between a doctor and his patient.
The House's remaining demands are strictly symbolic, the most futile being a delay of the individual mandate that does not really exist, since Chief Justice Roberts re-interpreted the law, changing the penalty for not purchasing a medical insurance policy into a tax.
This means that people are free to not purchase health insurance, and must pay a very small tax if they choose not to.
In the mean time, the Senate has achieved all their demands, and is refusing to pass the continuing resolution in order to prevent an extremely small tax decrease, although it is likely that most of the people who would benefit would be low and middle income earners.
It is possible that the money saved by not paying 800,000 civil service workers already makes up for the potential lost tax revenue. Even if it did not save that much, the dollar amount of lost revenue involved is so small that it will not significantly accelerate the impending national bankruptcy that is inevitable from runaway entitlement programs.
So the bottom line is, the House is falling on its sword over a symbolic concession, and the Senate is shutting down the government to prevent a tiny tax cut for mostly poor people.
Mike Baker, Colorado Springs
Wicked men treating us as children
I am a political scientist. What does that mean though? It means I understand the inner workings of the clock while others only see the face. And I may be slow to anger, but I do get tired of "overly knowledgeable" people who have never set foot inside an upper level course on politics telling me how I am wrong or uninformed.
There is no such thing as a good person in the Capital or the White House. As long as we allow just one standing person to stay, they hold all the cards to a rigged game. And any good person we send in there is forced by hook and by crook to play the game.
This whole situation, this government shutdown, is the fault of every single one of the voting populace. "We the people." As long as we think we choose the "lesser" of two evils, when in fact we merely keep the tested evil in place because we fear the untested one, we won't make any difference.
It is better to take the keys to the castle away and give them to another, then take it right back and give it away again. If we only give them a few years to do the right thing, maybe they won't spend a lifetime doing the wrong things. Barack Obama, John Boehner, both these men are the same - wicked men treating us as children, "doing what is best for us," when in fact only we know what is best for us. Or at least we should know, if we had the courage and the wisdom to make little black dots next to the names of people we do not know instead of next to the names of incumbent kings who should be stripped of their robes and thrown in the streets.
But what do I know? This is a world where people get medical advice from a web site, and legal advice from a billboard. Why not get political advice from a media that gets its information from Wikipedia? I am a political scientist. What do I know of these things?
Aaron Sims, Colorado Springs