Trouble again in Washington

As Republicans and Democrats play a foolish game of Russian roulette over a government shutdown, it is interesting to note that some of the people who would be hurt most are our heroes in uniform.

According to a story in USA Today, military personnel would continue to accrue pay throughout a government shutdown but they would not actually receive those funds until an agreement is reached. The story said soldiers could miss their first paycheck as early as Oct. 15.

Last January, a bipartisan effort to assure that military folks were paid in the event of a shutdown went nowhere in Congress. The legislation introduced by Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado and Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas stalled immediately.

That means, the story said, that if there is a government shutdown, our military will be given IOUs. Try buying food or making a rent payment with an IOU.

There is enough blame to go around for both parties. The Republicans are tying their proposal to fund government operations to defunding Obamacare. The Democrats are refusing to discuss this or other budget cuts.

There are problems with Obamacare. Even organized labor asked the White House to be exempted from some of its provisions last week. And just about everyone is asking why Congress exempted itself from the law’s provisions.

But the GOP attempt at absolute defunding of the law is last-minute grandstanding that only promises to drive up costs. Not to mention shutting down the federal government.

We keep hoping a mature consensus will emerge in Washington that truly wants to work on the federal government’s ongoing budget problems. The Band-Aids that are applied each time a funding resolution or debt limit crisis arises simply kick the can down the road.

That same group of mature politicians should also get to work immediately to fix Obamacare. Business was given a one-year delay on implementation, labor wants an exemption from parts of the law, and Congress has exempted itself completely from the law.

Doesn’t that indicate some fundamental flaws that need to be fixed before it is imposed on anyone?

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.