Stop using government shutdown as a bargaining chip

By The Courier-Gazette Editorial Board | Jan 03, 2019

Our leaders in Washington should stop using government shutdown as a stick to beat the opposing party with.

As 2018 drew to a close, about a quarter of the federal government was shut down as President Donald Trump promised to hold his breath until he gets funding for his largely symbolic border wall with Mexico. Democrats dug in to oppose this, Congress gridlocked and 350,000 government workers were furloughed.

This is the second-longest such shutdown in a decade, according to the The Washington Post.

We reported at the end of last week that more than 100 Coast Guard crew members based in Rockland were among 42,000 active Coast Guard members across the country who would go without a paycheck after the shutdown began.

These are the people who go out into the storms at sea to save lives when everyone else is coming in.

Meanwhile, however, due to a constitutional loophole, the president and lawmakers on Capitol Hill continue to get paid no matter what.

Lawmakers should avoid these shutdowns to take care of government workers, including our Coast Guard friends, and to ensure that the government is providing those needed services to the people.

Imagine if the Rockland City Council and city manager could not agree on something in the budget, and as a result, the roads didn't get plowed during a snowstorm and the work crews went home without pay. We would never tolerate it, and we would hold those leaders accountable.

Why, then, do we tolerate these tantrums from our leaders in Washington?

Another factor to consider is that these shutdowns don't really seem to work. Trump's presidency is losing approval and power in this showdown. The issue is ideological and neither side will change its mind or its votes on something this important, so what good comes from holding the country hostage in the process? Vote to pay our Coast Guard and other government workers and then continue to bash your heads against this wall on your own time.

So much of what we see these days in Washington is no more than political theater, but it comes at a steep price.

We urge our representatives and senators to do what they can to avoid these shutdowns, and we urge readers to make note and remember these breakdowns in the system next time they vote.


Goodbye Janice, you will be missed

We were very sorry to hear of the passing of Janice Cross.

Cross owned and operated Dorman's Dairy Dream for many years, following in the footsteps of her father, Kendrick Dorman, who opened the iconic local ice cream shop on Route 1 in 1951.

Cross was much more than a local business owner, however. She was a woman of faith and served as an inspiration to the many young people who worked for her over the years. She was known for treating those young employees well while teaching them the finer points of customer service. Cross had a terrific sense of humor, and could make a work shift enjoyable.

Her creativity and interactions with the customers helped her develop many of the flavors enjoyed by generations.

She also helped raise money for worthy causes with charity jars at the ice cream stand.

Cross was a member of The Courier's extended family in that her son, John Cross, is part of our design team.

We offer our condolences to her family, and we know she will be remembered and missed in this community.

If you appreciated reading this news story and want to support local journalism, consider subscribing today.
Call (207) 594-4401 or join online at
Donate directly to keeping quality journalism alive at
Comments (1)
Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Jan 03, 2019 13:40

Dorman's was the stop I made in summer daily. Condolences....

If you wish to comment, please login.