Ben Stein to GOP: Just chill on the gov't shutdown talk

(CBS News) The political drama that's likely to continue all this week and into next month has caught the full attention of our contributor Ben Stein:


Now for a few words about the latest budget crisis gripping Washington, and thereby gripping us all.

To simplify it a bit too much, the Democrats under our President, Mr. Obama, want to raise the debt ceiling, maybe possibly raise taxes, and keep spending and thereby enact Obamacare.

Now, no one seems to know exactly what Obamacare is, but anyway, that is the Democrats' wish.

The GOP wants to make sure the government keeps cutting spending under the so-called "sequestration," which cuts military and domestic spending automatically as time passes.

Some Republicans are so opposed to Obamacare that they are willing and ready to let the whole government close down rather than let Obamacare go into effect.

Naturally, the parties differ. That's why they are in different parties, and we should not be surprised by that.

And if the GOP-controlled House of Representatives wants to send a bill to the Senate cutting off Obamacare, that is its right. If the Democratically-controlled Senate sees it differently, that's its right.

There are procedures for resolving these differences. They are called conference committees, and they would work perfectly well -- if everyone had a good attitude.

But not everybody has a good

The problem is this idea of letting government close down. That is just plain nutty.

It might be fun for children to threaten it, but it will not be fun to drastically cut defense, law enforcement, medical care for the poor and the elderly.

To shut that down seems to me a flight from adult responsibility that is just not defensible morally.

Yes, let people on Capitol Hill yell at each other. Let them call each other names. But to even think of closing down the government is wildly dangerous.

Yes, as a Republican for a long time now, I'm upset at the growth of federal government spending under Mr. Obama. But at the end of the day, we are all Americans. We don't just pick up our toys and go home if we disagree.

It is wonderful to take a stand. But sometimes the patriotic thing to do is compromise today, gear up to win elections tomorrow, and work like adults for America every day.

Be cool, Republicans. Our day will come. But let's not have it be Doomsday.

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