The media is dramatically reporting that the federal government shut down on October 1 - yet hardly anyone has noticed. This is because it is not really a "government shutdown." If only a few non-essential government functions have been temporarily halted, it is misleading to characterize it as if the entire government has shut down.
Congress came to an impasse on passing a budget last week, which left it up to the Obama administration as the executive branch to pick and choose which federal government programs to temporarily shut down as negotiations continue. Taking a cue from the government shutdowns of 1995-96, Obama knows which parts of government to shut down in order to ensure that Republicans again receive the blame. He's left in place the parts of government that people really need, like the military, federal prisons, the Post Office, operating the power grid, guarding federal property and mailing out Social Security checks. He's shut down the parks, museums and national monuments, because that will affect Americans' vacations. Having their vacations ruined is not enough to really hurt people, but it's enough to irritate them.
Obama furloughed 800,000 non-essential government employees out of 2.5 million federal civilian employees. He knows this sounds appalling to average Americans, who are struggling to make a living in the Obama economy. Wonder why there hasn't been a peep from the federal employees' unions? Obama is well aware that most of the media, which is in the tank for him, will not report that the "furloughs" are nothing more than extra free vacations. After previous government shutdowns, federal employees who were furloughed were retroactively paid. Sure enough, the House passed a bill on October 5 granting retroactive pay for the furloughed employees, which the Senate and Obama are expected to approve. more >>
The federal government shut down and right now House Republicans look really stupid but so do the President and Senate Democrats. None of the three want to do the jobs they were elected to do: serve at the behest of "we the people." Everyone needs to grow up and if non-essential government workers don't get paid, I don't think the President or members of Congress should either.
But I want to focus on the Republicans' antics because it's not a good look for the party. First, Senator Ted Cruz went on his defund Obamacare rant in the Senate, which did nothing to change things. The Senate passed a bill to fund the government for only six weeks, stripped of any House Obamacare defunding language, tossed it back to House Speaker John Boehner for a vote.
Enter Cruz again, the indefatigable defund hero, who riled up over 50 House Republicans who insisted on attaching Obamacare to the House's temporary government funding bill. Cheered on by Cruz, the House Republicans contorted and passed several funding bills ornamented with Obamacare delay or defund language. Before the stroke of midnight Monday, the last and final House bill rejected by the Senate included delaying Obamacare for a year and repealing the exemption from the healthcare law for members of Congress and their staff. more >>
Defunding ObamaCare does not really require an active decision by the U.S. House of Representatives. It is the default option-as in what happens if you don't do something.
Constitutionally, the people's House holds the government's purse strings. It does not need to pass a law requiring an agency to stop spending money. It can simply withhold authorization to spend it. That is, the House can simply refuse to act.
Suppose you have a child who is profligately spending your money on things that you disapprove of and that are very harmful-by charging them to your credit card. If the card is about to expire, you don't have to use force to restrain the child, you could simply decline to renew it. more >>
"Raising the debt ceiling, which has been done over a hundred times, does not increase our debt….the average person thinks raising the debt ceiling must mean that we are running up our debt." --Barack Obama
I am not the least bit concerned about the federal government shutdown. My worry is that it might open back up.
All of this could have been avoided if Washington politicians didn't have the budgeting skills of an Ole Miss frat boy. more >>
As the federal government "shuts down," the media are busy doing their usual stellar job of obscuring the facts and shilling for the Democrat Party. According to the typical (yawn) media meme, Democrats are trying to preserve civilization, and Republicans want people to die. How often do we have to see this same tired lie play out?
Have we forgotten what political leadership looks like?
Here is a page from our past that gives us a little glimpse of our future . . . more >>
Christian leaders have criticized Congress today, arguing that its failure to solve a "completely avoidable budget and financial crises" would leave the country's poorest most at risk.
In a letter released Monday, 33 Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders expressed deep concern that "shuttering the federal government or defaulting on the nation's financial commitments is likely to reverse our fragile economic recovery, punish the middle class, and deeply harm our most vulnerable neighbors."
They also called on the House of Representatives' most conservative members to rethink the effect of their actions, warning them that "to hold our governance processes and financial credibility hostage to narrow priorities is not only dangerous to the nation's near-term financial well-being," but that "it threatens the very foundations of our democratic process and our capacity to live united in community." more >>