The underlying reality that neither political party wants to address is that three programs account for roughly 60 percent of the federal budget. Those programs are Social Security, National Security and Medicare, and they include automatic spending increases every single year. There is simply no way to reduce government spending without addressing these three budget items. And if long-term fixes are not implemented, there is no way taxes can be raised enough to cover the spending.
These are the challenges our elected politicians prefer to avoid: finding a way to put consumers in charge of health care choices and reforming the three programs that drive federal spending.
Their failure to address these realities is the reason we are stuck with petty partisan bickering over shutdowns and websites.