Perhaps since I am an optimist by attitude, I had thought that 536 seemingly intelligent people in Washington, D.C., would put together a deal by now.

But that optimism has not been rewarded. So in a brief space and time, I will give you some positive things to think about while we show our irritation or apathy in various ways.

First, in the past 17 instances of governmental shutdowns, workers have received every nickel of back pay whether they had gone in to work or not. Uncertainty is a killer, however, and we know many federal employees who naturally fret about whether this would be a first time, and when their EFTs would be translated into spendable cash in checking accounts.

How about the debt-ceiling decision? Since the limit doesn’t seem to amount to a tinker’s dam (whatever that is) in slowing our slide into a national financial slough, I would just go ahead and get it over with. Raise it to $100 trillion if you want to.

What I personally am confident about is that a compromise will be reached, and that a year from now, we will not think anything more about it than we do now about the last major upset of August 2011. In the meantime, the stock market indexes will fall more than is warranted.

So you have two choices: You can sell some things you should have sold earlier and then buy back at lower prices, or you can forget about it, and have faith that history will repeat itself the way it always has and does.

Send me an email and tell me which way you decide (or decided), to act, or to refrain and wait them out.

(This should be considered general opinion. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.)

Ron Finke is president of Stewardship Capital in Independence. He is a registered investment adviser. Reach him at