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Alan Erickson, Fargo, Published October 03 2013

Letter: New perspective on the ‘shutdown’

Thank you to my former professor, Lloyd Omdahl, for his safety net discussion (Forum Sept. 30). And the next day, yet another safety net is in the news.

American Crystal will forgo making cash government loan payments to instead of let the government sell sugar in warehouses at low prices. Taxpayers are sweetened up to cover the difference.

We historically support farm bills, price supports for sugar, SNAP programs and many safety nets. But with the focus on welfare, things are changing. Since the 2008 election, the party of “no” submits it has brought into focus forms of welfare historically hiding in a fog of safety nets. But they now shut down government to bring into focus what is not welfare. Further, the CBO claims the ACA will not increase the deficit. In any event, it has been law since 2010, survived each election, each vote to repeal, each legal test and all assaults. Individuals are now contracting with private industry for health insurance – thank you – a function not shut down by children in Congress.

In 2001, President George W. Bush inherited national debt of $5.2 trillion with an annual budget hitting surplus. Perhaps the party of “no” should have shut down the government before letting it go to $7.6 trillion at his second inauguration, then leaving $10.6 trillion in 2009 along with a massive recession. Both parties fail to implement any version of Simpson-Bowles. We need to cut programs, spending and government, so quit whining and get back to work.