For me at this point in time, neither Obamacare nor a government shutdown has much meaning. That would be subject to change, of course, if the so-called Affordable Care Act becomes unaffordable for senior citizens depending on a healthcare program enacted half a century ago by a president who couldn’t possibly have foreseen to what lengths it would be carried. Medicare pays nearly all my medical expenses, though at a monthly premium that effectively wipes out my federal tax liability (yes, I’m one of those 47 percent, or whatever it was).
If I were a substantial federal taxpayer, however, I’d be rather concerned over the increasing amount of my tax dollars going to fund studies on the mating habits of electric eels, or bridges to nowhere, or you name it.
Our elected representatives used to be able to negotiate these things and come up with workable solutions. But the Sam Rayburns and the Gerald Fords and the Richard Lugars and even the Newt Gingriches have been ousted and replaced by a new breed of intransigents.
And ne’er the twain shall meet.
Jim Bailey’s column appears on Thursday. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.