We’re taught to fight for what we believe in. Stick to our principles, they tell us.
But at what point does a lack of willingness to compromise become detrimental to those around us?
Consider the Michigan budget. Lawmakers have been well aware of the looming deadline, and the ramifications of not having a budget deal on time.
Yet, it’s made no difference. Democrats insist on some new tax revenue to help close the deficit. Republicans say cuts are the only way.
That’s it, so far. That’s the way it was in the beginning, and the way it stands with only a couple of days before the deadline.
And lawmakers didn't even meet Monday.
Some speculate it’s a lack of political prowess among those in charge. Granholm, Dillon and Bishop, they say, don’t have enough political clout to broker behind-the-scenes deals that result in compromise.
That may be. But, how willing are lawmakers themselves to compromise?
At some point, they probably will compromise. There’s really no other way. But why do we have to be so proud as to shut the government down before we DO compromise?
So, why don’t lawmakers just compromise early, and get the job done?
It apparently has something to do with their philosophy; the fundamental differences in how they think the problems should be solved.
Representative Larry DeShazor (R-Portage) thinks he has an idea that will keep his lawmakers in check on the budget: Dock their pay. No budget by a certain date (he suggests May 15th every year), no pay. The governor, Senate and House lawmakers and state department heads included.
Thing is, it's the lawmakers who would have to decide that for themselves. Would you vote for a pay cut for yourself?
Meantime, perhaps we as voters should turn up the heat on lawmakers to get the job done by vocalizing our opinions directly to them.