Share and share alike

Thoughts from Behind the Pressline

I’m not sure the phrase “share and share alike” makes much sense but it was an old saying and its meaning was simple; quit fighting and share the things you have with those who don’t.

Is sharing with those less fortunate no longer a quality we value? Or have those who have been generous enough to share in the past feel their contribution hasn’t been appreciated?

As I draft this column on Sunday night, the country’s leaders continue to play tug of war with the U.S. economy and are threatening to shut down the federal government. It’s difficult to comprehend why our so-called leaders can’t get along, as they have so much in common. Republicans and Democrats are intent on getting everything they want and both want to blame the other side for causing the government to shut down. With those two key factors as their highest priorities, it seems the issues are really not all that important and could easily be solved, yet they would have to use common sense and each give a little ground.

Like kids fighting over a toy, they’d rather destroy the toy than share it.

By the time you read this column, chances are cooler heads will have prevailed and our nation has avoided the dreaded shutdown, but they could have achieved this long ago and accomplished the task without all the theatrics and threats. Both sides are likely claiming victory in the process. The major issues — rising debt ceiling and the Affordable Health Care Act — are sadly only throwaways compared to who claims victory. Plus any increase in ceiling limit is still a short-term bandage; both sides will be back at the issues before the week ends.

What the politicians don’t fully comprehend is that both sides lose when they allow our nation to appear inept at addressing fiscal responsibilities.

Dan Alexander is associate publisher of New Market Press and publisher and CEO of Denton Publications. He may be reached at dan@newmarketpressvt.com or dan@denpubs.com.

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