At midnight Monday, the federal government will shut down unless Congress passes a Continuing Resolution to authorize the government to spend money for the next fiscal year. Republicans are hell bent to make sure that does not happen. And even if a last second deal is reached, it will only last a week or so before the next manufactured crisis.
In 2009 Speaker John Boehner, then Minority Leader, said if Obamacare passes, it will be “Armageddon.” This was a self-fulfilling prophecy. Boehner was predicting that if the Affordable Care Act passed, Republicans would rather destroy the government and the economy than allow the law to take effect. His prophecy is just three days away from coming true.
Boehner is not a psychic, he just knows his party. Shutting down the government is what Republicans do. It is their way of throwing a temper tantrum to get attention given their low approval rating in the polls.
For good reason, Republicans were in the minority in Congress for decades prior to 1994. Except for a few brief periods, Republicans were in the minority in one or both Houses of Congress since the election of 1932. In 1994, voters gave Republicans control of the House and the Senate. Newt Gingrich became Speaker.
What did Republicans do? They shut down the government—not once, but twice. Voters slapped Republicans and re-elected Bill Clinton who was trailing Bob Dole before Republicans punished the American people by a shut down. Republicans lost seats in Congress, and eventually lost their majority.
In 2010 Republicans took advantage of the suffering American people were put through by the Bush Recession. They regained control of the House of Representatives. What was the first thing they did in the majority? They tried to shut down the government—repeatedly.
Their antics resulted in the first downgrading of our AAA credit rating ever, and caused the DOW to drop over 2,000 points wiping pout wealth and IRA accounts.. It slowed the Recovery, and hurt the economy.
Every year since Republicans took the House Americans have been subject to one manufactured crisis after another over passing a budget to allow the government to function or a refusal to raise the debt ceiling to pay the bills the Congress already authorized. This uncertainly continues to hold the economy down and keep the unemployment rate high. Perhaps that is their objective.
The Executive Branch has made plans to notify at least 800,000 federal employees to stay home next week without pay in anticipation of the shutdown at midnight Monday. These are deemed to be non-essential workers. If the shutdown persists, eventually all federal workers including the military would either work without pay in facilities with no electricity, or stay home. Social Security checks, checks for Veterans, and all government services would halt. The morale of our troops in harms way in Afghanistan would drop.
No government in the history of this nation has ever shut down the government with troops on the front lines except the Boehner/McConnell Tea Party Republican government.
The last Republican shut down cost taxpayers over $1 billion dollars not counting damage to the economy and individuals. This shutdown, even if it is just as short, would cost more.
Economist, business leaders, Republicans who lived through the last shut down have all warned against using a government shut down to blackmail Democrats and the president to de-fund or gut Obamacare. So far, House Republicans are not hearing the call. They are doubling down on their demands—upping the ransom.
The bigger problem is that Republicans are not content with extortion on funding the government; they are refusing to raise the debt ceiling forcing the government to default on its debts. Everyone said this would be worse on our economy, and the world’s than a government shut down. Still, most Republicans do not care. That is what they do. It is in their DNA.
President Obama said he will not negotiate over the faith and credit of the Unites States. He is right to take that position. Ronald Reagan did in the 1980’s. It would be a disaster to set a precedent of allowing extortionists to use the faith and credit of the nation and the economy as a hostage to extort things that they could not pass under the procedures set forth in the Constitution.
Meanwhile, as of this writing Friday, the stock market is down in anticipation of the Republican hostage taking.
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