Itís been over a week since the government shutdown started, and I cannot think of a single American whose life is better because of it.
As elected officials, we have a responsibility to serve our constituents. This government shutdown is hurting the livelihood of almost every American citizen. Those who have temporarily lost their jobs have bills to pay and children to feed. Others have encountered a lack of important services as well as ďclosedĒ signs on museums, memorials and hunting refuges, and the longer this goes the worse it will get.
We shouldnít be expected to wait while lawmakers in Washington stare each other down in a dangerous game of chicken. Itís irresponsible and completely unnecessary, and Iím proud to say I donít envision a similar situation ever happening in Vermont. Regardless of our party differences, we donít gamble with the well-being of those we serve.
Itís not to say we havenít had our contentious moments, but when all other means of resolution have failed we find a room, shut the door, and donít come out until a solution is agreed upon. We never let it reach the point where Vermontersí livelihoods fall victim to our inability to see eye to eye. There is always a solution.
It seems as though, in the current environment, every side is trying to declare victory at any cost. With that as a goal no one wins. In fact, every one of us loses. The longer the House, the Senate and President Obama perpetuate this finger pointing and name calling, the harder it becomes to reach a resolution.
At the end of the day, this debate defines who we are as people. With that in mind I ask our leaders to, please, seize this opportunity to prove to current and future generations that, even when the debate is heated and the challenges are great, there is no obstacle Americans cannot overcome when we work together.
I urge every side to lead by example: Find a room, shut the door, hammer out a solution, and then get back to governing. We all have work to do.
Phil Scott, a Republican, is lieutenant governor of Vermont.MORE IN Perspective
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1618, English author, poet, soldier, adventurer Sir Walter Raleigh is beheaded for conspiring to overthrow King James I, but more likely to mollify offenses to Spain. His executioner has to implore him for silence.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1492, Italian explorer, admiral of the ocean sea, Christopher Columbus, sailing for the Spanish crown, 'discovers' Cuba; on this day in 1964, U.S. officials deny American involvement in bombing North Vietnam.
- Video: Fire engulfs house on Pine Street
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1936, Mrs. Wallis Warfield Spencer Simpson, mistress of King Edward VIII, is granted her second divorce, enabling her to marry the king. The government, the Church of England and the London Times have another idea.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: V-2 No. 13, launched this day in 1946 from White Sands, New Mexico, takes first photographs of Earth from the edge of the planet's outer atmosphere; 1947: Walt Disney testifies before HUAC, names employees he says are communists.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Vermont's brand discussed at Killington, state's attorney candidates Marc Brierre and Rose Kennedy profiled, Curtis reports about Rutland police chief's new job, and four arrested, charged for heroin, crack sales.