This morning 800,000 people are either not going to work, or are going to continue to work without pay for an indefinite period of time. The American government has officially been shut down by a party which lost the Presidency, Senate and House by 5 million, 7 million, and 1.7 million votes, respectively, in the last election. After weeks of ceaseless and light-less argument, a decision was made, forced by a Republican resolution that allowed the passing of the ACA at the cost of a total government shutdown.
It is very important to understand exactly what is happening here. One party – the Republican party – is saying they will not fund government’s day to day operations unless they get their way. There really is no compromise here because in a negotiation both sides are supposed to get something and give up something. In this case – these modern day anarchists are saying that in exchange for funding the government they want to delay (slowly kill) Obamacare and with it – the promise that every American is entitled to affordable health insurance. Democrats aren’t getting anything in this “compromise” and it’s the responsibility of both parties to fund the government.
What this means is, and this requires reiteration, that just this morning more than 800,000 people will go without pay, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will continue with only the bare minimum of support, turning away half of the department’s workers (meaning that any outbreak that may occur will most likely be devastating), and effectively killing its annual flu program. Nor will the Environmental Protection Agency continue to run, as Administrator Gina McCarthy stated “…only a core group of individuals [will be] available in case of a ‘significant emergency.’” A further and more extensive list of who this will effect and how can be found here.
As many, if not most, federally funded programs begin to collapse, the world stage is watching in awe as the fire around the United States is growing to colossal heights. Even Syria, a nation who just a few months ago we were prepared to spend billions to bomb, has continued to pay its bills among all of its civil dissent. As the BBC reports HERE: “Elsewhere in the world, such shutdowns are practically impossible. The parliamentary system used by most European democracies ensures that the executive and legislature are controlled by the same party or coalition. Conceivably, a parliament could refuse to pass a budget proposed by the prime minister, but such an action would likely trigger a failure of the government and a new election.”
Leading up to the government shutdown and potential default on America’s debt because of an unwillingness by Republicans to pay for bills Congress has already put in place – this is just the latest in a very sad moment in our history. As the Huffington Post points out HERE – the 113th Congress is on pace to be the least productive Congress in history (following the 112th Congress which was the least productive Congress in history): “The current Congress has had just 15 bills signed into law so far (through July), the fewest in recent history. This is not an insignificant feat. After all, the 112th Congress (2011-2013) was the most unproductive since the 1940s. But even that Congress, by this time in its first year, had 23 bills signed into law. And the low number can’t be blamed on President Barack Obama. He’s vetoed just two pieces of legislation during his time in office, both in 2010.”
Through today – Congress has passed only 36 laws; historical precedent is around 400 to 700 laws per session (source).
And this Republican murder-suicide mission is going to harm the American economy significantly; Bloomberg says a shutdown “would shave U.S. growth as much as 1.4%” in the 4th quarter HERE: “Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics Inc. estimates a three-to-four week shutdown would cut growth by 1.4 points. Zandi projects a 2.5 percent annualized pace of fourth-quarter growth without a shutdown. A two-week shutdown starting Oct. 1 could cut growth by 0.3 percentage point to a 2.3 percent rate, according to St. Louis-based Macroeconomic Advisers LLC.”
The American economy has already been hindered by Republican sabotage; this could be the final straw to completely kill the already slow recovery or worse – it could start another recession if Republicans don’t come to their senses.
And the American public does NOT support the tactics of the Republican party by and large – as Forbes points out HERE, “only 33 percent believe that the health law should be repealed, delayed, or defunded.” A brand new poll by Quinnipiac shows that only 17% of Americans support the Republican party’s approach to governance while 74% disapproved. And as this continues – those numbers aren’t going up.
Threats of government shutdown have recently become nothing but a negotiating tactic in Congress for those who want, but will not or cannot get their way. And by “those”, I do mean conservative Republicans. Much like a child pitching a fit and threatening to hold his breath; only this time, the child has passed out.
The events of the past few weeks have shown that, without much doubt, the current Congress is one of the most dysfunctional and irresponsible in American history. If ever there was a time for compromise, which is something that should be used sparingly, and was attempted by Congressional Democrats, it was to be sure to avoid what happened early this morning.
This is, in short, Republican sabotage. With the resolution passed on Sunday by the Republican led House that was meant to ensure either a shutdown or the delay of the passing of Obamacare, it should be kept in mind, dear reader, that these people were willing to sacrifice two important items: access to cheap healthcare, or almost every federally funded program.
For years under the Obama administration the Republican talking point has been the devastating uncertainty Obamacare would insert into the market. Well, as any environmental scientist can tell you, the Republican party is now suffering from the “Boomerang Effect.” What the Republicans have fought for for years has now been rendered futile and has ushered in an uncertainty in the market that trumps anything they stated Obamacare would have caused. The boomerang came back and hit them on their flat asses. Good job Republicans.