Letter: Where’s the principal? | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Where’s the principal?

Where's the principal?

The current political brawl taking place in Washington reminds me of a school playground fight which ends only when the principal steps in to break it up. Of course, each child tells the principal that the other child started the fight or that his grievance is more worthy than hers. If the principal sides with one child, the fight will probably start all over again when the principal is not looking.

Unfortunately, it's unclear whether there is a principal around to stop the political fight in Washington and this particular fight is hurting a lot of people. Sure, defunding the new health insurance law was never in prospect — the law is in place and much of it is on auto-pilot. But that doesn't mean that the other side has no legitimate points to make, and in their final offer to the Senate Democrats before the shutdown the House Republicans did just that. Their offer was to ask that members of Congress and their staffs be subject to the law's requirements like every other person in the United States, and to request a one-year delay in the individual mandate similar to the exemption from the law for one year that the president has given to big business. Individuals could still participate, they just would not be forced to.

That's a meaningful offer that would benefit most Americans and should have been seriously considered by the other side. Instead, the offer was rebuffed by the Senate without any consideration. In fact, that's been the history of the law since it was first introduced in Congress five years ago, despite the predictable adverse consequences of the law for individuals, business and the economy and without a single Republican vote. No wonder the fight is still going on. Where's the principal?

Frieda K. Wallison

Chair, Pitkin County Republican Party

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