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Oct 11

New Voice For Politics’ Guide to Understanding the Government Shutdown

Fire and Water

By J. A. Gedra

There once was a wise and wonderful woman named Wendy walking down the way. She came across a man sitting in a casino whose head appeared to be smoking. As she neared, Wendy noticed that this man’s head was actually on fire. Despite flames rising higher and higher from his head, the man continued to lose large sums of money as he gambled, oblivious to the flames. Wendy was alarmed by the damage that was being done to this poor man’s head. If she did nothing, things would only worsen. Given her predicament, she did the only rational thing. She ran into the casino’s kitchen, grabbed a giant pot, filled it with water, ran back into the gaming area, and dumped all of the water on the man’s flaming head. Splash! The flames went out, and a formerly flaming fellow was now saturated from the soaking.

Wendy had expected the man to be grateful for the good deed that had been done to him, but he was not. He began to yell at Wendy, “How dare you throw water on me. I was perfectly happy with my gambling, and then you come along and douse me. You will regret, lament, deplore, and rue the day young lady for tossing water upon me.”

Wendy was quite taken aback by the man’s reaction and she said so, “I am quite taken aback by your reaction. If it was not for me, you would have continued to burn, doing ever more damage to yourself and those around you, until the entire casino would have burnt down. I would think that you would be happy.”

The man replied, “Well that is your prediction of what would have happened, but you do not know for sure that I would have been consumed by flame. Furthermore, I did not ask for you to intervene. You acted in an extreme and unprovoked manner. I will denounce you and tell everyone that you are an evil water extremist.”

At this point, Wendy broke down and cried.

The man replied by shouting, “What is wrong with you? No more water!”

What is the moral of this story? No one likes to have water dumped on them; even when they need it. Presently in the United States Congress, there are two opposing groups: those who like to continue to spend and spend, consuming all that they can as the government slowly collapses under the weight of ever increasing debt, and others that would like to prevent the country from defaulting on their debt by reining in spending. The big spenders want to continue to spend ever increasing amounts of money that they do not have as the country slowly starts to burn. In contrast, the protectors wish to save the country by raining on the spending parade that has been growing for decades in the nation’s capital. Unfortunately, no one likes rain on their parade; even when their float is on fire. It does not matter that tuba players are starting to combust; “the spending must go on” remains the cheer from the big spenders. Sadly, if they continue to burn through money, the spending parade will inevitably end with the cheerleaders marching off a fiscal cliff to their financial doom.

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