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Time to end partial shutdown

We believe it’s time to set our differences aside and get down to business in Washington.

Opinions about the severity of the partial government shutdown that began several days ago vary — some apparently believe that few Americans are being affected and others say that it’s having a direct and dire impact on their lives.

We’ll leave arguments about the shutdown’s impact to our letter writers, columnists, readers who comment on articles and bloggers — they’re having a field day.

In our view, the severity of the partial shutdown is directly tied to the individual — if your job is one of those affected by forced federal furloughs, you have good reason to believe the problem is severe.

If your company relies on government contracts and oversight to do business, then you may have insider knowledge about just how bad the situation is and could become.

If, like many Americans, the partial shutdown has not directly affected your life — your check is still in the mail and all the services you rely on are up and running — then you’re more prone to believe the entire situation is much ado about nothing.

The issue that we find so alarming is not the alleged causes of this entire mess — a move to defund the Affordable Health Care Act, demands for cuts in federal benefit programs or reducing deficits (you need to buy a program to keep up with this ongoing debate) — but that there seems to be little urgency to resolve differences and move forward.

Hey, we realize that this situation is political — we do call the men and women who have been squabbling for the past few days politicians, after all. But we also submit that these people are elected and sent to Washington to do a job, to represent our best interests, and we don’t believe that a government shutdown — partial or otherwise — is in anyone’s best interest.

Yes, like we said, you can debate for hours about this situation’s impact, but the fact remains that our leaders seem more interested in personal agendas than what’s best for the people they represent.

Sure, there have been small concessions here and there, and this whole situation could be resolved quickly if one side or the other caves or is willing to modify its stance on certain issues.

Or, the standoff could continue for several days and more Americans will be affected. That seems to be one of the few areas of agreement — the longer the shutdown continues, the worse the effects will be.

We know there are reasonable voices in Washington — many of them are from Texas — and we hope they are heard as this impasse continues.

As someone said a few days ago, this is no game. There is too much at stake to let this situation continue.

Our nation’s continued economic recovery and the well-being of many Americans are at risk. We need to put an end to this nonsense and go to work.

And once the current situation is resolved, we need to make sure that it never happens again.

This is no way to run a government.