"U.S. Government: Sorry We're Closed"

government-shutdownWell friends the fools on the hill have done it again! After all the hemming and hawing over government spending and Obamacare it appears Republic lawmakers have dug in and are refusing to budge on their demand to defund Obamacare, making any type of a compromise on a stop-gap funding measure impossible. A move that is certainly not in the best interest of the American people but then why should that surprise us. As the final hour approaches the feuding fools on the hill have released a statement that there will be no more funding votes tonight which sets the stage for the midnight shutdown of key elements of the government, the first in nearly seventeen years.

There won’t be any last minute heroics this time around as Republicans in both the house and senate are being held captive by a small group of  highly ideological, small-government Republican who support the Tea Party Movement. They are refusing to vote on funding unless Obamacare is defunded or delayed.They will accept nothing less.  Democrats and Obama himself have said that defunding Obamacare was a none issue and would not be tied to a vote on government funding. Both sides, acting like spoiled children, have drawn a line in the sand and are standing firm, at least for now.

So is there an out here? The Republican Speaker of the House has made it clear that he wants a measure that has  the support of his parties majority and that’s just not going to happen, He could break the stalemate and override his parties hardliners, but he would have to rely on democratic votes which would destroy his credibility and place his Speakership in jeopardy so you can bet that won’t happen. The president has suggested that he’d be willing to negotiate “around the edges” but will not make any major concessions on his healthcare plan. Tea Party Republicans remain unfazed in spite of the damage the shutdown may do to the party.

There is no solution to the current stalemate, not a conclusive one anyway. Temporary extensions to continue discussion will only bring us closer to the Debt Ceiling battle which looms ahead. The deadline is October 17 and has global implications. The government shut down is real and will greatly affect the American people negatively. Our last last shutdown in  late 1995 and early 1996 lasted 21 days and cost us $1.4 billion, which is equal to nearly double that in today’s dollars. It will be ugly. The spillover effect of a shutdown will slow down the economy, affecting Wall Street and reduce tax revenues. Just what we need, right? A larger bill for all taxpayers. 

All we can do now is batten down the hatches and prepare for the long haul. I, like many people, truly thought that common sense would ultimately prevail on the hill but I guess we should have know better. Tea party Republicans strongly believe in their cause and seem determined to have this confrontation here and now. I believe in fighting for less debt and more fiscal responsibility in Washington but holding the country hostage is not the way to do it. But now they’ve gone and done it and I don’t believe that they’re going to give in easily, it’s now a matter of honor to them. I have a feeling the government may be shutdown for quite some time.

Just a Thought…

JS

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