The latest government shutdown is over, but alas the broken federal budget process allowing shutdowns remains unaddressed. Highlighting this is the Jan. 26 CNN opinion piece “Lara Trump Was Right about the Shutdown” by Carrie Sheffield.

Sheffield believes Lara Trump has been unduly criticized for supporting the shutdown. She claims Trump’s “critics failed to acknowledge America’s history of shared sacrifice as a means of preserving our prosperity for future generations, and chose instead to portray her as indifferent to everyday Americans. Rather than accurately portray Lara Trump’s point about short-term sacrifices that government workers — whose job is to serve the public — have endured during this shutdown, critics chose to attack her.”

I guess her point is that federal workers should be proud to be used as pawns during policy impasses. She defends the act of government shutdown as a legitimate tool for leverage in these disputes.

Whether pundits show proper empathy for those affected by shutdowns may spawn debate about the qualities of said persons, but I believe it misses the point. Shutting down government for political leverage is an abomination and must end. It’s unethical, bad business, bad politics and should be illegal.

The list of issues that are important for “preserving our prosperity for future generations” is virtually endless and political debate about them should and will occur. However, the threat of government shutdown must no longer be an available tactic or we’ll never see the end of them.

Fix the federal budget process. End this destructive ploy and insulate the day-to-day functioning of our government from shortsighted manipulation.

As for Sheffield and Trump, should another shutdown occur, how about the both of them give up their cushy lifestyles and go try living paycheck to paycheck without one.

Roy Estabrook
North Monmouth

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