Thursday, October 17, 2013

Government Shutdown Aftermath.

Some of the dust is settling over the GOP manufactured crisis of the government shutdown. If you can recall, the original goal of the "suicide caucus" led by Ted Cruz, was the destruction of the affordable health care act (Obamacare). Obama and the Democrats refused to negotiate over it because it's settled law. The 2012 election was fought, in large part, over "Obamacare" (affordable health care act) and President Obama won re-election handily. When a president is re-elected, that is traditionally seen as a mandate from the people for that president to continue his policies. Therefore, continue implementing the affordable health care act. In addition, though, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the affordable health care act was constitutional and thus, legal. This was by a conservative supreme court! This wasn't a liberal leaning court. Additionally, the Republicans in Congress have tried--and failed, nearly FIFTY TIMES to defund "Obamacare." At some point, when will they respect the will of the voters?

But, Republicans argue that they won an election, too--control of the House of Representatives. True. However, that's only one-half of the legislative branch of government; the U.S. Senate being the other half. The U.S. Senate is controlled by Democrats. Therefore, the two kind of cancel each other out. However, don't forget the presidency. Technically, the U.S. president makes up the executive branch, and not, the legislative branch. However, he does have the legislative power to veto congressional bills. Therefore, technically, the Democrats have over-all control of the U.S. government. The Republicans have the House; and the Democrats have the Senate and the White House. That's 2-to-1. That's why Obama wasn't going to negotiate on defunding the affordable health care act or "Obamacare."

The GOP was holding the U.S. economy hostage unless President Obama defunded his signature achievement, in exchange for simply raising the debt ceiling; which is a perfunctory function of good governance. Raising the debt ceiling isn't creating additional debt, despite it's misleading name. It's simply paying for the debts that we've already accrued. If we would have gone with the Republicans plan to NOT raise the debt ceiling, it would have been like not making payments on a truck that you already bought through a car-loan. That's irresponsible economic policy and bad governance.

To say we wouldn't pay for our debts was terrifying the world because they are the bank. They are the ones from whom we borrowed the money in the first place. In our comparison, they are the bank that gives you the loan to purchase that new truck. A default would have destroyed our good credit rating, which would have sent the economy into another slump, just now that we are barely starting to improve from the Great Recession. I'm not saying Democrats are saints, or that they don't sometimes deserve to be voted-out. I am saying, however, that not all issues have two-sides that are equally to blame. Sometimes, just one side is to blame. This time, it's the Republicans. Other times, the Democrats. Democrats haven't acted perfectly in this government shutdown debate but the polls clearly show that most voters blame the GOP. We can debate issues of debt further but you don't threaten the U.S. economy to get what you want. That's hostage taking and should never be rewarded.

1 comment:

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

What can I say? There has always been a lunatic fringe engaged in self-parody; but never in the course of American history has a fringe group dominated the news and preoccupied our thoughts as they do now. Ignored, the rabble would slink into irrelevance. I blame their ascendance and newfound legitimacy on mainstream media - shameless purveyors of drama and sensationalism and merchants of mass ignorance. I blame Republicans, yes! But I also blame junk journalism.