EDITORIAL: It’s time for a solution

Oct. 10, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

As the federal government shutdown stretches into its second week, it’s getting easier and easier to grow aggravated, or even incensed, at our elected officials.

It can also be easy to distance yourself from the situation because it’s “up there,” in Washington. But the reality is that plenty of people around here have been affected.

Certain workers whose pay comes from federal funds are furloughed — for the time being. Then there are the manifold other effects to our local government entities.

Consider the impact locally, including the county social services, health and senior services departments.

For example:

• The federal subsidies for 484 low-income children in Lee County that will be suspended Friday, impacting 47 day care provides.

• The suspension of services for seven individuals who receive federal funds for the adult day care program.

• The WIC program will see discontinued benefits.

• The local COLTS transportation system that will need to reshuffle staff members to reduce hours because it receives federal funds.

• The Lee County Board of Commissioners has ordered a hiring freeze. Capital purchases, out-of-state travel and travel without training requirements has been halted as a precautionary measure.

The bottom line is while we hear of a federal shutdown, in effect, it’s also a local shutdown of many services.

With our economy and millions of citizens’ livelihoods in the balance, the politicians in Washington should spare no resource in finding a solution and getting our government up and running again.

Because politics is involved, disagreements and power struggles are part of the formula. But the American public who could care less about Democratic or Republican agendas are sick and tired of the partisan games. It’s a public that wants our government to run efficiently and to set an example of leadership for the the world at large.

This shutdown is hurting Americans from coast to coast — and hitting us here at home.

Hopefully, our elected officials in Washington will end the stalemate — and their boorish, childish ways — and broker a solution likes the statesmen they’re supposed to be.

If not, the citizens they represent may make their displeasure known at the ballot box.