Shutdown and Priorities

Shutdown and Priorities October 1, 2013

Plenty of others are discussing the government shutdown in the United States, and so I won’t try to cover the whole story. What I consider most noteworthy is just how much it says about our priorities. Not everything that is part of the government’s budget is actually shutting down. “Essentials” such as military activities are continuing without interruption. It is only “non-essentials” such as many health services, and national parks (I know of a school that had to cancel their annual field trip for this reason).

That there are representatives who would rather shut down the government rather than make even slight improvements to the state of health care coverage in our nation says a lot about them. But how the rules work when a shutdown occurs, what actually stops and what doesn’t, says a lot about our country as a whole.

And that Congress can bring about a government shutdown that doesn’t affect their own pay, but only that of others, is a disgrace that needs to be rectified.

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  • Just Sayin’

    Take my advice: emigrate to Canada. Nonsense like this doesn’t happen there. Or anywhere else, other than the USA.

  • David Pickett

    “…there are representatives who would rather shut down the government rather than make even slight improvements to the state of health care coverage in our nation…”

    Somewhere, we have to learn how to have conversations across the ideological aisle. While I disagree strongly with what the GOP house has done, I’ve also been frustrated with Affordable Care Act proponents in the media who, rather than trying to accurately illustrate how the political process has broken down and suggest ways to get it back on track, instead increase the division and hostility with caricatures and misrepresentations of their opponents’ positions and motives. This shuts down any chance of constructive engagement right at the start.

    • sarah

      my thoughts exactly. upon reading the quote you mention, i don’t like what the republicans are doing, i am an independent and don’t support either party per se. but they would not say they are doing it in order to avert ‘even slight improvements to the state of health care.’ one cannot intelligently oppose a position one does not truly and honestly describe. to do this is just to ‘spin’ their side, and create an easy straw man to knock down. it’s cheap and inflammatory and dishonest.

    • Andrew Dowling


      Respectfully, the process “broke down” because a major component of the GOP refuse to bring up bills in the House that could pass without majority GOP support. They also, with NO precedent, have shutdown the government via demands to defund/delay a law already signed by the 3 branches of government and upheld by the SC. If they want it repealed/defunded, they need to get enough of their proponents in the various branches of the U.S. government. They had a chance in 2012 and failed. If they want to talk about reforms to the ACA or other budget issues, they can reconcile the House and Senate budgets in conference (something the Republicans have also refused to do)

      Their actions since then more than provide justification for “hostility and vilification” because they are behaving like schoolyard bullies. The Tea Party aren’t interested in olive branches because they want to burn down the whole tree.Just go to their websites like Breibart/Red State and see the hateful apocalyptic langauge thrown around there with abandon.

      • David Pickett

        Agreed on all points, except that I don’t think hostility and vilification will do anything except exacerbate the mess we’re already in. It’s just stooping to their level, although it’s certainly tempting to go in that direction. I can only hope that the gerrymandered districts that voted them in as a majority will somehow revert to the will of the true majority.

        • Sonnie Boulware

          I don’t know David, the left is usually the ones who are willing to talk and compromise, that’s why we lose so often. Maybe it’s time for a little hostility