Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb: Permit us to wax philosophic about transcendent topics

Published: Sunday, July 7 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

We need to have a polite and intelligent discussion about how we protect the sanctity of the family, society's most basic unit, and the value of traditional marriage, while also acknowledging the human rights and happiness of our friends and loved ones with same-sex attraction. I believe we can do both, and the Supreme Court action compels us to move forward.

Congress suffers from its lowest ratings in history, and President Barck Obama's support is also dropping. Is Washington beyond hope in solving the nation's pressing problems?

Pignanelli: When a collective of elected officials cease their frustrating divisiveness and petty bickering and peacefully adopt a policy … democracy has ended. Washington is frustrating, but there are signs of slow resolution of issues. Immigration and tax reform have real potential.

Webb: Washington is in a deep paralytic funk, nearly comatose. It's downright discouraging.

But then a few weeks ago on a long airplane flight, I thumbed through a number of business, technology and science magazines. I was amazed at the ever-accelerating pace of scientific breakthrough in every area of life — energy, health and medicine, computing, consumer electronics, artificial intelligence, nano-technology, transportation, and on and on — and the many startups and vast entrepreneurial business activity associated with these things. It's downright exciting.

So we have a dynamic private sector wanting to explode with economic activity, and a moribund federal public sector that needs to provide the right policy framework. Washington can't seem to lead, but could it at least get out of the way?

Republican LaVarr Webb is a political consultant and lobbyist. Previously he was policy deputy to Gov. Mike Leavitt and Deseret News managing editor. Email: lwebb@exoro.com. Democrat Frank Pignanelli is a Salt Lake attorney, lobbyist and political adviser. Pignanelli served 10 years in the Utah House of Representatives, six years as minority leader. His spouse, D'Arcy Dixon Pignanelli, is a state tax commissioner. Email: frankp@xmission.com.

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