Government Shuts Down

Overthecliff

When the buffalo fight in the swamp, the frogs lose.

The morons in Washington have managed to bring the government to a standstill. I don’t know if they’ll turn around and do some quick maneuver to stop the free fall or not. I do know that people I represent, people who have bills to pay and families to support, have already been given notice that their jobs are forfeit because of this.

I knew from jump street that the Affordable Care Act was a goldmine for Planned Parenthood. It was right there in the language of the bill. I am also absolutely opposed to the HHS Mandate. At the same time, I know that the President is correct when he says the economy is fragile (at best) and that the credit rating of this debtor nation is at stake. Think what happens when your credit card company raises your interest rate and multiply that by the national debt.

I haven’t written about this before now because I am conflicted.

All I know for sure is that I love this country and I believe that the people we have put in office — of both parties — are doing damage to my country. I honestly question if they care about this country or the American people. It appears that the only thing they want to do with the power we have given them is play political games, serve their various special interests and try to hype things in an unending quest for power and dominance over the other political party.

I’m going to let you good people discuss this as thoroughly as you wish. Just be kind to one another in the process. Good people can look at the same situation and come away with different ideas. That is part of our strength, because different ideas lead to better decisions.

When the buffalo fight in the swamp, the frogs lose.

In this case, the frogs are the American people.

We deserve better than this.

From The Wall Street Journal:

WASHINGTON—After three years of ducking crises with last-minute deals, Congress finally ran out of ways to patch over its differences. Unable to meet a midnight Monday deadline for funding the government, lawmakers allowed it to shut down.

The White House ordered federal agencies to suspend a vast array of activities shortly before midnight, after a day of frantic legislative volleying left Senate Democrats and House Republicans at an impasse over government spending and the 2010 federal health-care law. The next steps to resolve the stalemate remained unclear.

Markets that have slipped recently face a test on Tuesday morning of how they will view the developments, given that a larger deadline for Congress—over the need to raise the nation’s borrowing limit—is less than a month away.

Many federal workers reporting to their agencies Tuesday morning will undertake a half-day of shutdown preparations before more than 800,000 employees in the government’s workforce of about 2.9 million are sent home. While essential functions such as law enforcement and air-traffic control will continue, a large array of federal activities, among them Internal Revenue Service audits and surveillance for flu outbreaks, will be suspended.

  • Bill S

    How did voting to keep the government running become an opportunity to undo previously passed legislation that was also approved by the Supreme Court?

    That was never on the table. The republicans put it on the table themselves.

    • vox borealis

      Seriously, Bill? Bickering over the budget (or rather, “budget”) has always and will always be a legitimate opportunity to apply political pressure. It’s all part of the system. There is nothing new here at all, other than the intransigence of both parties to compromise one bit…and even that is probably not as unprecedented as it’s made out to be.

      • FW Ken

        In this case, what would a compromise look like? Some sort of universal health care that would actually work? The Dems have drawn their line in the sand: Obamacare is it, there is no other.

        • vox borealis

          Compromises to the immediate “crisis” were on the. These included getting rid or at least delaying the individual mandate, and a few other things, in exchange for raising the debt ceiling and thereby funding O-care. Is that a good compromise? I have no idea, and frankly that was not my point.

          My point was only that it is at best naive and at worst duplicitous to accuse the Republicans of some sort of constitutional shenanigans, when all they are doing is using the constitutional power they have (it’s limited right now because they own only a majority in one house) to get what they (and ideally their constituents want). Both sides do this. It’s how the system functions. It’s how it’s supposed to function. That’s all I’m saying.

          You are correct that the Dems have drawn their line in the sand with O-care. They are going to push for it no matter what the polls say. If the polls were more in their favor, even the eeeeevil Tea PArty would not be able to apply as much pressure as they have. It is every bit as much the Dems intransigence in the matter—drawing the line in the sand, as you have said—as the republicans.

          In other words, you are basically saying what I said: a high degree of mutual intransigence is *perhaps* the only thing unusual about the “negotiations” on this issue.

          • FW Ken

            VB -
            My question was sincere. I was unaware that any compromises were on the table, but then, I’ve been getting my news from the networks, who have only one agenda.

            I do agree that both sides are being stubborn, though not sure it’s greater than in the past. And as I said above, these seem to be disagreements over principles and policies, which raise them above garden-variety pig-headedness, in my view.

    • TheodoreSeeber

      Article I of the US Constitution. Read it.

  • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

    I can tell you that it is looking like Hell here across the ocean. While the media have done a good job of blaming the whole thing on the Evil Republicans, nonetheless people are bewildered at the sheer sense of drift and helplessness. Bewildered and vaguely afraid, because we rely on the United States for our own security.

    • Dale

      Fabio, I suspected as much. The current situation makes me feel ashamed at our government’s ineptitude and stupidity. I also feel frustrated and angry because there is nothing I can do to make the clowns in Washington act responsibly. The whole thing sickens me.

  • Jennifer Fitz

    From an acquaintance:

    “As most of you know, I am a federal civil servant and a single mom.
    Effective Tuesday, I, along with 97% of my Agency will be sent home
    indefinitely without pay. Due to procurement laws, I cannot seek other
    employment, and I cannot apply for federal aid. I am ready, willing,
    and able to work. I love my job (SO MUCH!), and I want to work.
    Depending on the length of the shutdown, leave without pay can and will
    have devastating financial consequences for me. How long could your
    family go without pay?”

    This is evil.

    • Bill S

      Do you think that the Senate should have allowed the House to hold the government hostage to assert the will of the Tea Party on the entire country?

    • TheodoreSeeber

      “Due to procurement laws, I cannot seek other employment”

      I thought contracts that prevent employment were unconstitutional.

  • Dave

    As far as I’m concerned, I’d be ecstatic if the federal government never started back up again. I’d rather have a federal government 0% as big as the Founders intended than one that is 9999% bigger than they intended.

    The human toll, as mentioned by Jennifer below, is the only thing that makes me sad about the shutdown.

    Our country is getting to see what a bunch of incompetent fools is governing us. I don’t really blame the GOP for using all of their power to try to stop Obamacare from ruining us financially, but since they ruin us financially only slightly less when they are in office, it rings pretty hollow.

  • vox borealis

    the government’s workforce of about 2.9 million

    That’s the real frightening number…

  • FW Ken

    From another perspectice, this is clash over principles and policies.

    Do we really want a miserable piece of legislation like Obamacare to go unchallenged? I read yesterday that in a few years, about 30 million people will still lack insurance. Of course, they won’t lack health care, but I’ve made that argument before.

    Even if you accept that Obamacare is anything other than a budget-breaking bureaucratic swamp, should our Congress simply yield to the will of the president? That’s not how the founders designed the government. Would those questions be answered differently if a Republican was president?

    • Sus_1

      I honestly don’t know if Obamacare is the answer to this country’s problem with health care but I do know that there are HUGE problems with the current system.

      There are people without insurance that have cancer that do not get the same life saving treatments as people with insurance. One drug can cost $25K every three weeks. The uninsured people do not have access to those drugs.

      Why is it okay for some to have access to every single thing they need during a serious medical crisis like cancer but not other people because they don’t have the money for insurance?

      To say that people do not lack health care is incorrect. Bitch all you want about Obamacare but don’t think that we are all set in this country with health care.

      • FW Ken

        We’ve had this discussion, Sus and I’ll repeat myself: in my community, we have public health services that are every bit as good (better in some ways) than what I get through my insurance. Sounds like you have some work to do in your community.

        In the meantime, your faith in insurance is touching, but not very realistic. I just finished paying off an emergency appendectomy from almost two years ago, and neck surgery is possible in the near future. These are services available to everyone in my community, whether they can pay or not. In fact, my co-pays and co-insurance are significant.

        While my point wasn’t Obamacare, I’ll put in a paragraph I cut out: single-payor would be better than Obamacare. Heck, expand Medicaid and Medicare to cover the indigent while leaving the larger system intact. Possibly through those means, fund public health services so that everyone can get services such as we have here in Fort Worth. Another option would be a sort of “health stamps”, like food stamps, to purchase health care or health insurance.

        Yes, I will “bitch” about Obamacare, since it is likely to still leave 26 million people (corrected figure) without health insurance.

        http://www.businessinsider.com/obamacare-wont-cover-everyone-2012-6

  • Emily Carling

    What will the effect be of 800,000 jobs being cut?

  • pagansister

    Yes, Rebecca—morons indeed! As I mentioned on another one of your posts yesterday—those that folks elected to “represent” them are children with ONLY their own interests at heart—not that of the folks they are supposed to represent. How does shutting down the government HELP anyone?? It ONLY hurts everyone.

  • perpper

    There have been many shutdowns before. Some for no reason at all. This one is about very big reasons, very big effects on our liberties and our way of life.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/09/25/here-is-every-previous-government-shutdown-why-they-happened-and-how-they-ended/

  • pagansister

    Love the visual, Rebecca! Good representation of just what has happened.

  • TheodoreSeeber

    I was against the shutdown until Obama told me why it was necessary- because he thinks separation of powers is blackmail.

    He’s right. It is. And it is a necessary blackmail for the government to function.


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