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All of this means steadily declining quality of life for tens of millions of Americans. Factor in taxes and inflation, says the AP, and it’s the largest decline in real personal disposable incomes in 50 years.

What is Washington doing about these “furloughs” and lost incomes?

No wonder few Americans sympathize much with the furloughed federales — and many question why we need two million federal bureaucrats and congressional staffers, cranking out more job-killing laws and regulations that do little to improve health, welfare or environmental quality, and much to diminish it.

Democrats, Republicans and the president need to negotiate like adults, fix Obamacare, trim the budget, rein in the regulatory behemoth — and restore our nation’s ability to do what it once did so well: innovate, create jobs, attribute dignity and responsibility to work and make the pursuit of happiness available to all.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and author of “Eco-Imperialism: Green Power Black Death” (Merril, 2010)