For the eighteenth time in American history our government has shut down. This is not a new phenomenon, obviously. However, the fact that neither side is willing to compromise and negotiate in good faith is unique. So much can be said here, and none of it beneficial to the American people.
Obamacare is the law of the land. Surprisingly, the Supreme Court ruled it constitutional as a tax when the Obama administration denied it was a tax during oral arguments. It was like a defendant pleading guilty and the judge ruling him innocent. Very strange indeed, but it is now the law of the land.
Republicans have been chastised for shutting down government by demanding that funding for this expensive new entitlement be cut. But can America add more to the deficit? Either cut Obamacare or cut something else. America cannot afford an additional $2 trillion in expenses at a time of runaway deficits. That is the problem and the argument.
Critics appear to miss another central point. Although it is the law, the Constitution has placed spending money in the hands of the House of Representatives. Is it irresponsible to add to an already bloated budget? Refusing to fund something is their right… their duty if it is fiscally responsible. That has happened before. Remember Democrats defunding the Vietnam War?
Is it smart? Likely not. It would be best for Republicans to make a public stand disavowing anything to do with Obamacare and let Democrats endure the anger of voters once this rushed piece of intrusive legislation is enacted. Since it did not go through the proper legislative process (“pass it so you can read it”) there are many problems in this law which are already surfacing. Given time it will likely sink of its own accord. It is bad law. Let those who passed it suffer the consequences.
Republicans should take the position that Democrats have a choice: balance these increased costs by cutting other entitlement programs. Democrats can’t have both. Let them choose. The underlying theme being that government expenses must be cut…not increased!
As for President Obama, his actions are sad. Punishing the American people in a quest to gain votes in 2014 is despicable. Presidents are expected to represent ALL of the American people and rise above partisanship, not become its active promoter. Perhaps he should check his poll numbers. A majority of Americans DO NOT support him according to recent Associated Press/Gfk survey (53%-37%).
There is no justification for closing public monuments, blocking access to National Parks, shutting down all government websites that are on servers and have no cost, nor spending money erecting barricades and placing guards in places that have always been free and open to the public. Such actions are petty, manipulative, and reflect a certain arrogance of power. They also demonstrate a total disregard for the American people that is unbecoming of any President.
The two sides are at loggerheads and both refuse to constructively work with the other. If you expect to fund Obamacare, then you have to cut somewhere else. Then and only then is it acceptable, not responsible, to raise the debt limit.
This is critical because America faces a debt crisis. No one wants the government to default on its debts. However, how long can we continue to print money to pay for entitlements we can longer afford while creating adding additional entitlements? It is like having a child with a credit card who spends to his limit while continually demanding that the limit be raised with no intention of changing his spending habits. At some point a responsible parent must step up and cut off the credit.
One would think that everyone realized our fiscal problem and would work together to fix it. However, once again, we are faced with a Democratic refusal to cut any programs while adding new ones, and Republicans making demands than will not be accepted. The Shutdown and Fiscal Cliff are linked because Obamacare threatens to add so much to an already out of control deficit. .
The United States is broke! It cannot pay its bills because there is not enough money coming in to cover expenses. To continually borrow against our children’s future should cause an eruption of outrage. Both political parties must come to table and negotiate, compromise, and cut…cut…cut. Floating checks and printing money is grossly irresponsible and in the private sector would be criminal. It’s called fraud!!!
Perhaps both Democrats and Republicans should consider this. The approaching 2014 elections might have a surprise in store for both parties. Americans just may be fed up enough to elect true Independents who will control the votes. A true revolution and a pox on both parties!
by Ron Chapman, columnist, businessman and professor from St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana