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Editorial: Extortion not solution for deficit problem

8:08 pm by | 0 Comments

Rep. Mark Sanford is right: There is a constitutional issue with the current shutdown of the federal government.

If three years after a democratically elected House, Senate and president enact a law either party decides to hold hostage funding the government until the law is undone or weakened, then our democracy no longer functions as designed by our Founding Fathers.

Where does this end? Should the Democrats shut down the government until the Republicans agree to reverse the Bush tax cuts, or until they agree to pass immigration reform or sensible gun control? No, each of these laws must stand or fall on its own merit. The Affordable Care Act has zero to do with a continuing resolution to keep the government operating. It is a hold-up, pure and simple. This is wrong for both sides. And it would be a terrible precedent for either side to give in.

The congressman is also right that the deficit must be addressed. But what we have here is a radical minority that has been wishing for months that it could shut down the government to extort the repeal of a law enacted more than three years ago. Their wish is a sickening side show not worthy of America. The Senate's continuing resolution would pass the House in 10 minutes with bipartisan support if brought to a vote.

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Sanford is right about the deficit problem, but he is wrong about extorting the American government as a solution.

Doug Nichols

Bluffton ___

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