Shutdown is where the government is headed.
On the left we have the brigade of the wishy-washy: those who think that, while money not be the root of all evil, it can certainly cure all evil. They are idiots. Just throwing money at problems has never solved the serious issues we have faced in this country (which is why we have so many serious problems). These are folks who, while basically well intentioned, seem to forget that sometimes the greatest act of kindness you can perform for someone is to tell them the truth. For example, the truth is that no one is entitled to a particular lifestyle. Don't like you current one? Then work your ass off and get a new one.
On the right we actually have two factions:
Old Guard Republicans who are genuinely interested in reducing the size of government but who also know that "winning" most of what you want is actually a good thing. This isn't the most fiscally conservative crowd in the world, despite how they may crow now. Remember, the size of government has grown just as fast...if not faster...under Republican administrations (even "Saint" Ronald Raygun). This crew is just looking for a way out of the shutdown. This is where "the man with the tan*" resides as well; pay no attention to the tea-bagger tendencies you see him spew...at the moment that group just happens to be his puppet master.
On the lunatic fringe of the Republicans we have the tea baggers who seem intent on just letting the government shut down (there were a few hundred bagger demonstrators in Washington DC shouting "shut it down" yesterday) just to prove that somehow government isn't really needed. Tell that to soldiers in the field and government workers at home. Speaking of government workers, my very conservative younger brother works for the Office of Mine Safety. His comment on all of this: "sometimes people forget that there is a face behind every government worker". It's the tea baggers who seem to feel that any compromise is equivalent to surrender. Mark my words: they will be their own undoing. Government is about compromise.
Where do I fit into all of this? Government does need to go on a diet, we need to spend less and the tax system needs to be simplified. The wealthy should pay more as a percentage of their income simply because they have received far greater benefits from our society. There should be a social safety net in place to prevent those who are destitute from incurring real harm. But for those who are able-bodied work should be the requirement.
In my mind, no one is entitled to money from the government to run a lifestyle. For example, I'm sick and tired of seeing people using an Access card to buy groceries then proceed to pay cash for cigarettes. Oh, and they are talking on their cell phones while they are doing this stuff. Hello! If you need government assistance for food, then obviously you don't need as much since you apparently have the cash on hand to buy drugs (I mean smokes) and talk on a cell.
Society does need a re-order, but it's not going to happen because a bunch of wishy-washy folks on the extreme left or nutty tea baggers on the extreme right have a lock on the truth. The truth, as it has often been said, is to be found somewhere in the middle.
(*) Speaker John Boehner is from Ohio. How is it that he was so tanned in January/February? He is not from some swarthy country and it's not as if he is going home to Florida. The guy looks like George Hamilton. Between the stress of being Speaker, hours in tanning beds and constant smoking, I'm thinking that Speaker Boehner will not exactly be enjoying a healthy later years.