Free Markets, Free People

Musing about government shut down

Obviously the first and most important point to be made about the possibility of the government shutting down this week is the fact that had Democrats, who held a majority in both the House and Senate last year, done their basic job of passing a budget, this wouldn’t be an impending problem.

Now, unsurprisingly, it has devolved into a political battle pitting the Republicans on the side of cutting spending as their constituency insists upon (and voted for) against Democrats who, failing to do their job last year, now are dragging their feet in the Senate (the House passed a continuing resolution to fund government 46 days ago) and making veto threats from the White House.

Funny, how politics works, isn’t it?  Those who didn’t do their job last year or provide any leadership on the subject are now actively working against passage of a stop-gap funding measure and prepared to blame those who are attempting to fix the problem for any government shutdown which might occur.

While he had every opportunity to weigh in on the budget last year when Democrats didn’t pass one, now that he sees political advantage in weighing in (he just started his 2012 re-election campaign remember) we finally hear from President Obama:

“What we can’t be doing is using last year’s budget process to have arguments about abortion; to have arguments about the Environmental Protection Agency; to try to use this budget negotiation as a vehicle for every ideological or political difference between the two parties. That’s what the legislature is for, is to have those arguments, but not stuff it all into one budget bill.”

Now he takes a stand.  When his party failed to pass a budget last year?  Crickets.  Apparently fully prepared to live on continuing resolutions during the tenure of the Democratic controlled Congress, now he’s putting his foot down.  Instead of working to ease the situation and negotiate a settlement that would be acceptable to both parties, he threatens a veto.

“On the issue of a short-term extension, we’ve already done that twice. We did it once for two weeks, then we did another one for three weeks. That is not a way to run a government.

No kidding.  But where in the heck was the president last year when Congress failed in its duty and set this predicament up?  The government has been working on “short-term extensions” since October of last year.  Now, suddenly, they’re a problem.

I don’t disagree with Obama’s points, I just am disgusted by the disingenuousness of the argument.  Not that it surprises me, however, at all.

But when government shuts down, and the blame game begins, remember the reason that such a situation even developed in the first place.  Congressional nonfeasance and lack of presidential leadership.



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18 Responses to Musing about government shut down

  • All of his political achievements are based on the outstanding leadership of Nancy Pelosi, so I think it’s just disgusting that our Pres**ent Obama is more than willing to play “whack a duck” with the reputation of the former House Speaker.  That said. the woman is obviously mentally disabled, so for Obama to beat this poor pathetic idiot like a little boy in the midst of a plethora of pinatas is just despicable.

  • IF it comes to a shut-down, those of us with an attachment to the reality of the situation…including the historical components recited by McQ here…have a BIG opportunity to teach our friends, family, and neighbors about the reality of the deal.
    I WILL be grossly distorted by the Collective…

  • I think the Republican leadership is doing about as well as can be expected.
    It will be really important for them to stay calm and mournful as the shutdown starts.
    At least this time we don’t have the Republican Speaker of the House getting all snippity over a seat on Air Force One.

  • Does this mean no more twice a week parties at the White House?

  • The dems have learned that situations like this carry little risk and lots of potential reward for them.  It’s the fruits of decades of building (with much GOP help) the nanny state: people are so accustomed to getting something from Uncle Sugar that they cannot abide the idea that the gravy train might be stopped, even temporarily.  The dems merely have to maintain their position as the party of handouts, and they’ve got a pretty solid plurality (perhaps even a small minority) of the American people on their side from the start.

    As for the fact that the dems didn’t pass a budget when they had a chance… Who among the American public know, understand, or care about this?  This issue is a shutdown – and grandma eating cat food – NOW.  And who is being portrayed as responsible for this?  The GOP.  It’s emotion (“children will starve!”) vs. fact (“we’re broke”), and emotion generally wins, especially when MiniTru can hardly be bothered to report facts.

    It would be of some interest to take a survey of the American people:

    “Approximately how big is the current federal budget?”

    (A) $2.5 billion

    (B) $1.5 trillion

    (C) $4 trillion

    (D) $500 billion

    “How big is the current federal deficit?”

    (A) $2.5 billion

    (B) $1.5 trillion

    (C) $4 trillion

    (D) $500 billion

    “When the federal government pays more money than it takes in from taxes and other revenue, where does it get the extra money?”

    (A) It sells gold from Ft. Knox

    (B) It borrows money

    (C) It raises taxes

    (D) It cuts that amount from the next year’s budget

    • “When the federal government pays more money than it takes in from taxes and other revenue, where does it get the extra money?”
      The answer is “E” … from the Congressional Pension Plan

    • Here’s the reality they need to know: if we don’t fix the deficit, debt, Medicare, and Social Security NOW, grandma will foreverbe stuck eating cat food.  We’re running out of time to fix the situation and the Democrats would rather play political games than face the serious issues of the country.

      • The object for Bambi is to kick the can down the road until he’s crashed the system so it can be ‘fixed’ in a fashion he approves of.

  • Some encouraging news about the space program …

    WASHINGTON – NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden has warned lawmakers that a shutdown of the federal government could delay a public announcement next week on whether Wright-Patterson Air Force Base will receive one of the retired space shuttles.

  • President sticks with not paying the military – nice.

    “Among other consequences cited by the administration:
    -The Environmental Protection Agency would cease issuing permits and stop reviewing environmental impact statements which will slow approval of projects.
    Military personnel would not get paid beyond Friday, but would continue to earn money that would be paid to them once the government resumes.
    – National parks would be closed.
    – Most government websites would not be updated, unless they were deemed essential”
    Yeah, not paying the military, that’s rates with web sites not being updated (unless essential!!!!, probably like his re-election website, I mean, the site).
    Reading that, can anyone really suggest this man ought to be in charge of anything bigger than a corner lemonade stand?

    • So… what about the paper pushers in (for example) EPA, Dept. of Education, HHS, etc?  For that matter, what about members of Congress or the hoods who work for The Dear Golfer?  Jeebus… WHAT ABOUT THE GREENSKEEPER AT ANDREWS AFB???

      I’m guessing that they’ll be paid.

      In other words, The Dear Golfer is holding the military hostage.

      Nice.  REAL nice.

      • During the Clinton administration shut down they WERE paid – so this is something Dear Golfer has done purposely, not a hold over from what has always been done –
        Federal Times –
        When the government was shut down in 1995, military personnel continued to report to work and were paid, but the planning guidance sent to the services and defense agencies says a shutdown this time will be different.”
        Maybe the crew of Marine One should stand down when Dear Golfer wants to fly out to Andrews for a quick round.
        Fortunately for him, our military has way more class than he does.

        • I’ve seen pimps on trial at the courthouse who had more class.

          • Some of them may have been invited to the White House, but given the transparency of the guest list we’ll never be able to prove they were there giving him lessons on class.  I originally typed lesions – the subconscious is a wicked creature, and I had no idea it had an interrupt/override on my typing fingers.
            I’ll give him this, he continues to set the bar lower and lower, amazing if you think about it.  At this point I am fully confident I could be no worse a President.  Now THAT is a standard to strive for, no?

        • I’m betting that the GOP would make funds available in Congress for the troops immediately.
          Let’s see of Teh One and the Deemocrats would care to try to block that

  • Wanna see corruption in action…
    Malkin has emails from “public servants” plotting how they can spin a shut-down.