All anyone has heard for months now from the Republican party is that unless the Affordable Care Act is defunded they were going to huff and puff and shut the government down. So in conjunction with the unveiling of President Barack Obama’s landmark health care reform law the Republicans made good on their threats and did, in fact, shut the government down.
The Republicans went on a chest thumping joyous see I told you so tirade with many bragging about how excited they were and how this was the happiest day in their party for a long time. In Short, they were proud of their accomplishments.
However, when the realities of the shutdown started to manifest and the stench started to permeate throughout the land with National Parks being shutdown, thousands of citizens being furloughed from their jobs, food benefits for underprivileged children being halted, and death benefits for our fallen warriors being withheld, we saw a complete pivot from the Republicans who through their right-wing media outlets and talk radio mouthpieces tried to make this an Obama shutdown, a Harry Reid shutdown, a Democrat shutdown. The bottom line is the Republicans obviously had no plan, no clue, and no answer for the push back from the American people who each day started to feel this shutdown side effects that interfered with their everyday lives.
This push back culminated with a shocking Gallup poll this week that resulted in the Republican party receiving the lowest approval marks of any political party ever recorded in the history of that survey, which began in 1992, at a paltry 28 percent. This writer likens that result to the phrase ‘ the shot heard around world”. One can only imagine the conversation going on between the members of the Republican hierarchy and with default looming which most respected economist have noted would not only mean disaster for America but for the entire universe as we know it.
Then here comes the Tea Party seditionists saying that default would not be so bad, that it would be a good thing. With that said, the right-wing media ?has pushed back claiming that the Obama administration is engaging in a fear campaign criticizing Obama administration officials for claiming that the U.S. will default if the debt ceiling is not raised by?October 17,?instead claiming the U.S. could prioritize payments to bondholders as a way to avoid default. But economists note that the threat of default is real and that the prioritization alternative proposed by Republicans is not a long-term solution. GOP mantra “kick the can down the road.”
In response, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew stated to Candy Crowley of CNN on her Sunday show State of the Union “[i]f the United States government, for the first time in its history, chooses not to pay its bills on time, we will be in default.”?Lew told Congress yesterday?that a United States?debt default would “pose serious risks to our global standing” and said there were no good alternatives to raising the country’s borrowing limit by the end of next week.
Debt Limit Explained
The news day on Thursday was a buzz with a planned meeting between the Republicans and President Barack Obama in which the President invited the entire 217 members but the GOP rejected and only sent 20 led by Speaker of the House John Boehner and Eric Cantor and other high-ranking GOP adherents. This whole exercise was big news because it represented for lack of a better term a Republican ‘ drawing back a nub” from the lions mouth after playing King of the forest with their government shutdown antics led by Ted Cruz ( R, Texas) 21 hour fake filibuster sideshow and other bullying tactics and threats from the Republican party.
At the White House meeting between the President and top House Republicans, Speaker John Boehner (R, Ohio) proposed once again a ” kick the can down the road” offer to extend U.S. borrowing authority for six weeks in exchange for an agreement from our President to have a conversation about what the Wall Street Journal described as ” a broad range of budget issues.” Even though, this conversation did represent a thawing of the stalemate that had preceded these ?discussions all indicated reports show that the meeting ended?inconclusively.
Big loser from the 2012 election Paul Ryan ( R, Wis) House Budget Committee Chairman chimed in saying?Mr. Obama “didn’t say yes, he didn’t say no.” Ryan went on to add,??”We put an offer on the table. We had a long, frank conversation about it, and we agreed to continue talking and to continue negotiating.” This news alone sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average soaring. Up until yesterday’s meeting, President Obama had refuse to negotiate with the Republicans until the government was reopened and the debt ceiling raised and don’t even think about touching the Presidents prize legislation the Affordable Care Act.
The statement from White House Officials was virtually identical so why is there any need to keep the government shut down if there is this renewed forum of discussion on the budget? A Democrat who was briefed on the meeting posed this same question and the Republican response was that specifics would be offered which sent Republican staffers into scramble mode to offer some kind of compromise government spending bill.
This is not politics as usual. As Progressives who have enjoyed, over the last several national election cycles, a favorable voting turnout and support from moderates, independents, and the silent majority in this country my research has found that many, even though default would be doom for our country and the world, are not wanting this President to compromise or negotiate with the radical far right Tea Party driven Citizen United and Koch Brothers funded Republicans an inch. The budget that is already in place is a Republican budget. Compromise has been the order of the day in the Obama Administration which has had him in hot water with many Liberal organizations and voters who felt the President has been to compromising to the Republicans already.
Here is the reasoning:
- Republicans are creating a plan of getting their way by creating a crisis point before they will capitulate on issues. ?Alex Seitz-Wald writer for the National Journal stated in an article 19 Times Democrats Tried To Negotiate With Republicans.
- The Republicans are using the Debt Ceiling as a tool for negotiating and stalling the will of the American people for the sake of special interests and their gerrymandered safe zones back home. Speaker Boehner went as far to say that this practice was routine. This statement might fly with a causal observer of politics but; in fact, this is not true. Richard Kogan, a former Senior member of the Office of Management and Budget wrote: Boehner cited seven debt ceiling increases from Reagan to Clinton tied to budget measures but; in fact, since Reagan the debt?ceiling has been raised 45 times.?
Some are actually willing to default. Rand Paul (R-KY), along with a large and growing number of Republicans according to the New York Times aren’t ?buying the apocalyptic warnings that a default on United States government debt would lead to a global economic cataclysm.????I think we need to have that moment where we realize [we’re] going broke,? Ted Yoho (R-FL) told?The Washington Post, arguing for default. ?I think, personally, it would bring stability to the world markets.?
Ezra Klein?called this kind of thinking ?terrifying,? writing:
Analogies between the finances of families and government are typically pretty flawed. But there’s one worth drawing here: That moment when a family realizes it’s broke and stops paying their mortgage, credit card bill, etc? It’s not a good moment for them. It’s a moment that wrecks their credit score and makes it harder for them to be ?not-broke? ever again. To try and improve the U.S.’s finances by sharply and permanently increasing its borrowing costs is like trying to prove to your sister that her house is a fire trap by actually setting it on fire. But Yoho and friends are getting plaudits from the cramped, closed information loop they favor.??
It’s this type thinking coming from the right that had this country in the ditch. It was this type of recklessness that had corruption and the oversight thereof non-existent. Moreover, it was this type of mindset that the American people rejected both in 2008 and 2012. This type of negotiation is not the politics of routine but the politics of the special interest and the bought and paid for politicians they have in their hip-pocket. Which begs the question: Why deal with these extortionist any longer ?this may seem simple but is it not the mandate that in our nation the majority rules. Democrats its time to grow a backbone and tell the Republicans to sign the clean CR because the leverage is clearly on the side of the Democrats.
Edited and published by CB.