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As of midnight tonight, we will very likely have a partial government shutdown due to the lack of a continuing resolution. The Republicans passed one that stripped funding from Obamacare (although it’s not that simple; stopping Obamacare requires statutory changes). The Senate bounced it. Now the Republicans have passed a CR that delays Obamacare a year and voids the medical device tax. This has also been rejected by the Senate for fairly obvious reasons. Among other things, most of Obamacare will start to be implemented tomorrow, regardless of what Congress does. And the Democrats will never accept delaying Obamacare a year. Their only hope is that the inevitable Obamacare clusterfuck becomes less of one by election time. They’re not going to accept a deal that puts maximum clusterfuckery right on top of the election.

So here we are.

Ted Cruz says this is the Republicans “listening to the people” but it really isn’t. The public is opposed to a shutdown. This is Cruz listening to the sliver of his supporters that do. Just to be clear: whether or not the government should be shut down to stop Obamacare shouldn’t be dependent on polls. But the idea that public is demanding a shutdown is simply wrong.

While a shutdown is not as bad as hitting the debt ceiling, I still think it’s a bad idea. The perpetual budget crisis is creating massive uncertainty for businesses — remember when uncertainty was a bad thing? — and hurting our economy. Maybe you could justify that if there were a hope of tossing Obamacare, but there isn’t: not with the Democrats in control of the Senate and the White House. And as the shutdown goes on, it is only going to strengthen the Democrats’ hand. Any problems with Obamacare will be ignored in the wake of the larger crisis or blamed on the shutdown. And the shutdown is very likely to blow up in the GOP’s face, politically. It’s very hard to turn this around to blame Obama when a) you’re the one who wants changes to existing law; b) your party is opposed to government anyway (or claims to be); and c) parts of your party are running around saying a government shutdown isn’t a bad thing.

(The shutdown is also a great unknown and is likely to have some very bad effects. I work with some active duty military and they’re staring down having to work without pay while the shutdown lasts. There’s some word about passing a bill to pay the soldiers, but no word yet on where it’s going.)

So ultimately, while this might make for good sound bites, I believe it is making for bad politics and making the permanent installation of Obamacare more, not less, likely.

The situation with the debt ceiling has, however, gotten even worse. The Republicans have issued a list of demands for suspending the debt ceiling for three months. There’s no word on if it was written with letters cut out of magazines:

Tax Reform Instructions

  • Similar to a bill we passed last fall, laying out broad from Ryan Budget principles for what tax reform should look like.
  • Gives fast track authority for tax reform legislation
  • Energy and regulatory reforms to promote economic growth

  • Includes pretty much every jobs bill we have passed this year and last Congress
  • All of these policies have important positive economic effects.
  • Keystone Pipeline
  • Coal Ash regulations
  • Offshore drilling
  • Energy production on federal lands
  • EPA Carbon regulations
  • REINS Act
  • Regulatory process reform
  • Consent decree reform
  • Blocking Net Neutrality
  • Mandatory Spending Reforms

  • Mostly from the sequester replacement bills we passed last year
  • Federal Employee retirement reform
  • Ending the Dodd Frank bailout fund
  • Transitioning CFPB funding to Appropriations
  • Child Tax Credit Reform to prevent fraud
  • Repealing the Social Services Block grant
  • Health Spending Reforms

  • Means testing Medicare
  • Repealing a Medicaid Provider tax gimmick
  • Tort reform
  • Altering Disproportion Share Hospitals
  • Repealing the Public Health trust Fund
  • They also, at a late stage, added a provision to remove the birth control mandate.

    Look, most of those are good ideas. The problem is that the Republicans ran on those ideas in 2012 and lost the election. Romney lost by four points and 126 electoral votes. And before you say, “he wasn’t conservative enough”, remember that he polled better nationally than the rest of the party did. The GOP lost eight seats in the House and two seats in the Senate, at least partially because of the primarying of moderates. To threaten the credit of the United States in an attempt to enact a rejected agenda would be absurd if it weren’t so repulsive. Again, the question I asked last week: do you want the Democrats doing this to President Rubio?

    It’s also, to me, fundamentally unserious. Even if Obama were amenable to the GOP’s wish list of issues, no agenda like that could be passed in three months, let alone a few days. It makes me more and more suspicious that the GOP’s actions are more about talking a big talk and raking in donations from the Tea Party than about seriously changing the course of our country. A serious group of conservatives would be trying to actually, you know, accomplish something, not breaching the debt ceiling so that they can prove how “tough” they are while accomplishing fuck all.

    I would be remiss if I didn’t note that this sort of thing has happened before. Congress has previously attached debt ceiling hikes to legislation. Most of it was fiscally related; but several hikes were linked to other issues, such as in 1973, when Ted Kennedy and Walter Mondale tried to attach campaign finance reform to a debt ceiling hike.

    But I would submit that when you’re following in the footsteps of Ted Kennedy and Walter Mondale … maybe you need to rethink your strategy.

    Comments are closed.

    1. Seattle Outcast

      I’m not exactly sure what “conservative enough” means any longer, but I’m pretty sure that not only has “conservative” lost most of it’s past meaning, it now means pretty much something else entirely, and I certainly don’t like the feel of it. Feels like a pack a nutjobs screaming for something that they’re not even sure what it is.

      Barry Goldwater would have rejected these modern “conservatives” in a heartbeat, and I’m fairly certain Reagan wouldn’t have done much more than given continued lip service and attempted to steer them off a short pier someplace.

      Thumb up 3

    2. Xetrov

      “As of midnight tonight, we will very likely have a partial government shutdown due to the lack of a continuing resolution.”

      I have need to travel out of the country in November. Put in a new passport request last week (current processing time at four weeks). One of the services that will be shut down? Passport processing. *mutter*

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    3. Miguelito

      Look, most of those are good ideas…. To threaten the credit of the United States in an attempt to enact a rejected agenda would be absurd if it weren’t so repulsive.

      What you’re essentially saying though, is that it can’t be done now, and it’ll likely never be done because the majority of people voted against all of it, which means they likely would continue to do so. Unless something happens to drastically change the minds of a lot of people. With the media nearly completely in the pocket of the dems, and such a huge % of the people in this country getting handouts from the gov’t, I just don’t see it happening anytime soon.

      Sometimes I think maybe it is too late to stop the system from collapsing, and can only hope that when the time comes, some progressive/marxist jackholes don’t somehow take control and drive most of the planet into another dark ages.

      Thumb up 6

    4. West Virginia Rebel

      Would the Republicans have gotten more headway if they hadn’t made it all about defunding Obamacare? I personally hope that Obamacare collapses under its own weight and unpopularity once people see what it’s really like, and will cheer when its repealed, but that just seemed to be a losing strategy IMO. And John Boehner will probably pay the price for it.

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    5. Mook

      Ted Cruz says this is the Republicans “listening to the people” but it really isn’t.

      It’s revealing Hal how you put such weight on THAT survey posted by your fav hack “journolist” Ezra Klein when a Rasmussen poll last week found results differently

      http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/september_2013/51_favor_government_shutdown_until_congress_cuts_health_care_funding

      51% Favor Government Shutdown Until Congress Cuts Health Care Funding

      ..Fifty-six percent (56%) of Americans think that when government agencies are forced to cut their budgets, they generally cut popular programs first to make the cuts seem more significant.

      Not once in your post did you address the fundamental libertarian/conservative question as to why government shutdown is such a supposed economic negative but reckless borrowing and spending isn’t? You claim the shutdown will “hurt” the economy without acknowledging that the economy is being hurt worse with the extreme deficit spending particularly, the growth of deficit spending on unearned entitlements
      —-

      The problem is that the Republicans ran on those ideas in 2012 and lost the election.

      More “journolist” spin. Republicans WON the House and 30 governorships.. but don’t let those details get in the way of your narrative.

      Again, the question I asked last week: do you want the Democrats doing this to President Rubio?

      Are you fucking kidding me Hal? After illegally siccing the IRS on the Tea Party, after shipping guns to Mexican drug lords to try and undermine the 2nd amendment, passing Obamacare without a single Republican vote (first time in US history transformational legislation was passed without a single vote from the opposition party), after Obama’s executive orders to drone murder ‘enemies of the State’ without a trial including US citizens, and topping it off by not passing a budget for years at a time when Democrats controlled the House, Senate and Presidency?

      Sorry Hal, Obama and the Dems jumped the shark years ago. That horse has long left the barn and you’re refusing to see it out of dishonesty or extreme ignorance. Make no mistake, the well was poisoned by Obama and the Dems. If the Republicans don’t reciprocate in kind if we ever regain the Presidency then we have lost ground as a country.

      Hilarious to see you thinking yourself so profound in asking “What would a Republican President do” ? as if Obama hasn’t already obliterated the lines and set precedent with his lawless hyperpartisan actions. Please stop pretending otherwise

      Thumb up 7

    6. Hal_10000 *

      Not once in your post did you address the fundamental libertarian/conservative question as to why government shutdown is such a supposed economic negative but reckless borrowing and spending isn’t?

      Did you see the line about uncertainty? Also, Rasmussen’s poll indicates 56% agree that it will hurt the economy.

      Rasmussen’s quesiton on the healthcare law is strangely worded. Here is its:

      Some members of Congress refuse to approve a budget unless it slows or stops funding for the new health care law. Would you rather have Congress avoid a government shutdown by authorizing spending for the health care law at existing levels or would you rather have a partial government shutdown until Democrats and Republicans agree on what spending for that law to cut?

      a) we’re not shutting down over funding the law, but over delaying it; b) surveys that ask if we should shut down the govt to stop the healthcare law show opposition; c) this is Rasmussen who completely bolloxed the 2012 election.

      More “journolist” spin. Republicans WON the House and 30 governorships.. but don’t let those details get in the way of your narrative.

      They lost seats in the house and got only about 50%, only retaining control because Democrat votes are concentrated in urban areas. And how many governors ran against Obamacare? Talk about being selective! The man who ran on repealing Obamcare lost, his party lost seats in both Houses but you claim a mandate because some governors won? Good Lord.

      You don’t need to persuade me that Obama sucks. You need to persuade me that Obama sucks enough to wreck the system.

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    7. AlexInCT

      I personally hope that Obamacare collapses under its own weight and unpopularity once people see what it’s really like, and will cheer when its repealed, but that just seemed to be a losing strategy IMO. And John Boehner will probably pay the price for it.

      Considering this has not happened with a plethora of other programs that are absolutely terrible, and I concede nothing that came before is going to match how bad, costly, and destructive this program is to our economy, I would not pin my hopes on that. Especially since the goal of this monstrosity has from the start been to destroy the existing healthcare system and collapse all private healthcare. By the time most people see Obamacare do what it was designed for and decide it should go, it will be too late. And the pols in Washington D.C. that see this as their way to grab 1/6 of the economy and expand their power, will never really give up on the idea that they should control healthcare money, decisions, and access.

      No, I would not count on Obamacare being a disaster and then going the way of the Dodo. Most of us already see it for the disaster it is, and it has not made a difference for the idiots that want government to take over healthcare. They all admit their premiums have gone up. They are all hearing from their doctors that the doctors are thinking of bailing. This thing is going to screw over so many people, especially those least likely to absorb the punitive additional costs that it will take to now either get healthcare or pay the graduated penaltax, that anyone currently pretending that’s not happening is a lying fuck. And yet, the nanny staters are not backing down.

      If we do not fight to kill this thing we will be left with a destroyed healthcare system and we will all have to get our healthcare from government. And because the donkeys used a scorched earth policy to get us there, you can bet your ass it will be low quality, low access, and politically abused healthcare for the serfs, and a top tier system for the elite. We will be like Cuba, which the left tells us has an awesome healthcare system.

      Me, I love government shutdowns. I wish we shut ours down for 9 months out of the year, to be honest with you. The fucking thing is bloated and corrupt beyond belief, and all it does is fuck over people while it is running. Most of the government services provided won’t be missed by the majority of people. And you know that they shut down the ones that cause the most pain specifically because then they can get people to complain. We Americans should not lecture anyone on how corrupt their government is considering how bad things have gotten in the last 5 years. Our media is just better at hiding it, and the sheep here are willing to suck donkey & RINO cock and believe the lies, but our country is run by a gang of crooks and feudal masters.

      Thumb up 5

    8. AlexInCT

      Did you see the line about uncertainty? Also, Rasmussen’s poll indicates 56% agree that it will hurt the economy.

      That’s because too many people have now just accepted that our economy is kept from suffering the painful correction it has to undergo, and it needs, because of government printing & borrowing money as well as manipulations, to prevent the inevitable pain.

      The fact of the matter is that our economy can not be kept form said correction by government meddling into perpetuity. The longer it takes for the correction to happen, the worse things will become when it finally can no longer be avoided. We can not keep pissing away other people’s money the way our politicians have been doing, for decades now, but at an unsustainable and insane pace for the last 5 years, while basically hamstringing the private sector and milking it dry, because the money tree is dying, if not dead already.

      We might not want to take this medicine because it tastes like ass, but the alternative is worse. Far, far, worse. The people that hate others making profits and think it is a good thing to steal from others to buy votes with that booty, are either going to drag us down into a real economic dark age, or they will have to be defeated, so we can go back to growing wealth. Crony capitalism and the social justice crowd need to go or we will all pay the price. I for one do not want to live, or for my children and grand children to live, in a world that resembles the USSR, and on the course we are that is where we are going to end if the class warriors keep getting their way.

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    9. Mook

      c) this is Rasmussen who completely bolloxed the 2012 election.

      Yet they were at the top of the heap in their election predictions in 2008 and 2010, weren’t they? Glad to see you “cherry picking” in a pathetic attempt to discredit a poll where you don’t like the results, a poll which ran counter to the narrative you were pushing.

      The man who ran on repealing Obamcare lost, his party lost seats in both Houses but you claim a mandate because some governors won?

      I never claimed a “mandate” Hal, and you’re a lying dirtbag for saying that I did. You should retract that statement, but I won’t hold my breath waiting.. I was responding to your bullshit broad brush claim that the Republicans “lost” in 2012 when in fact they won quite a bit.. you chose not to recognize those wins because, well, because acknowledging them would be inconvenient to your argument.

      You need to persuade me that Obama sucks enough to wreck the system.

      Yet you haven’t provided a shred of evidence that this shutdown (there’s been lapprox15 shutdowns since the late 70’s) would “wreck” the economy, a shutdown which went into effect because the Republicans refuse to submit to Obama’s temper tantrum. You’re quite the drama queen.

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    10. Xetrov

      Why, oh why have we not seen this headline –

      “Guy elected to execute the law, illegally changes the law, then scolds those elected to change the law, for trying to change the law.”

      Thumb up 6

    11. Xetrov

      Thank heavens. On the State Department’s website this morning –

      “In the event of a lapse in appropriations, the Department of State will continue passport and visa operations as well as provide critical services to U.S. citizens overseas.

      Processing time for passport applications remain at four weeks or less for routine service and two weeks door-to-door for expedited service.”

      Thumb up 4

    12. AlexInCT

      This is ultimately what happens when Career Politicians care more about being re-elected than actually governing.

      Reelection keeps you right by the trough so they can keep gorging themselves on other people’s money.

      I read last night that the Clintons now are for example worth over $200 million. Then you have Al Gore whom some claim is a billionaire. I ask you WTF these people have created to earn said money? Shit, at least Kerry did it the old fashioned way: he married into it. And before you tell me some pols don’t just go after the money and try to use Biden as your example, let me point out that the guys is dumber than a box of bricks, so that he is not a homeless fuck giving hand jobs for booze money, is a miracle.

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    13. Hal_10000 *

      Mook, Rasmussen routinely leans right. They also missed 2010 by quite a bit. It’s you who is cherry-picking, citing their one correct pick in 2008. Aside from that in this specific case, in this particular case, their results are at variance with Quinnipanic, CNN, NYT, National Journal, PPP and everyone else. There’s a reason they call you outliers.

      I never claimed a “mandate” Hal, and you’re a lying dirtbag for saying that I did. You should retract that statement, but I won’t hold my breath waiting.. I was responding to your bullshit broad brush claim that the Republicans “lost” in 2012 when in fact they won quite a bit.. you chose not to recognize those wins because, well, because acknowledging them would be inconvenient to your argument.

      My specific claim was that the claim that the GOP is representing the will of the people is belied by the fact that Republicans ran on repealing Obamacare and lost. Your response was that they won a bunch of races that had nothing to do with Obamacare.

      A shutdown will not have as negative effects on the economy as a debt ceiling crash would. How much of an impact it would have is debatable. But my comments were more aimed at wrecking our system of government by turning it into a series of crises that accomplish nothing.

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    14. AlexInCT

      BTW, I am surprised that the LSM and Team Blue have not tried or found a way to blame Boosh for this yet too….

      At this point I think if the republicans had any smarts, they should pretend to compromise, allocate about $1K to Obamacare, and claim they funded the thing. After all, it was supposed to save us money according to Pelosi and Black Jesus, so why does it need more money to function…

      Force the debate to be about how much money this fucking thing is going to suck up, and how shitty things are going to be despite that. Once people see the details they will freak out.

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    15. Mook

      Your response was that they won a bunch of races that had nothing to do with Obamacare.

      It’s a flat out lie for you to say that all those races had “nothing” to do with Obamacare. It’s also a lie to suggest that Obama and Senate Democrats won their seats solely or mainly because of their support of Obamacare.. especially given the polls opposing Obamacare.

      But my comments were more aimed at wrecking our system of government by turning it into a series of crises that accomplish nothing.

      You’re still incapable of offering a shred of proof or argument that any of this will “wreck” the system or “accomplish nothing”. Even with a debt ceiling crash, money would still be coming in to pay bills, albeit not all of them. The govt. has $2.7 Trillion to pay bills with and that money could and would be used to pay bills. With a debt ceiling crash, bill payments would need to be prioritized. Do we continue funding Planned Parenthood or do we reduce social security payments types of priority decisions. Given the extremeness of our debt and unfunded liabilities, those priorities need to be forced sooner rather than later to prevent a worse situation in the future. Eventually, those priority spending decisions would be FORCED upon us.

      You see, what’s going on now is how it’s SUPPOSED to work. It’s why we have divided govt with checks and balances. It’s why Congress has the power of the purse. If one Congress strongarms through a monstrous unconstitutional piece of legislation like Obamacare, another congress can say “Thanks for playing, but we ain’t funding this shit”. And that’s exactly what’s happening now.

      Most conservatives and libertarians understand this. You apparently do not.

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    16. AlexInCT

      There we go Xetrov, it came up organically anyway. Brilliant.

      I know you are beyond mental help CM, but Al Gore came up, like the Clintons, in the context of earning a shit load of money through government coercion. Scratch his name if it bothers you so much and replace it with Pelosi, Boxer, Daschle, or even Rangel. There are so many choices, active or retired, it is easy to prove my point. But you can keep harping on arguments you lost, and lost ugly, as if you have ground to stand on.

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    17. CM

      “But you can keep harping on arguments you lost, and lost ugly, as if you have ground to stand on.”

      I would ask ‘which argument(s) are you talking about’ but that would be off topic so I won’t.

      Thumb up 2

    18. Mississippi Yankee

      “Love to, CM, and some day I will. But I’m not going quite that far, just headed south of the border to Cabo San Lucas”

      Millions and millions of illegal aliens have proven “joo don’t need no steenkin’ passports”

      BTW, will any of the broken features here be repaired… or is it just ME????

      Thumb up 1

    19. Xetrov

      The Obama Admin proves once again what dicks government can be.

      http://dailycaller.com/2013/10/01/obama-admin-knew-about-wwii-veterans-request-and-rejected-it/

      “The White House and the Department of the Interior rejected a request from Rep. Steven Palazzo’s office to have World War II veterans visit the World War II memorial in Washington.”

      It’s a fucking outdoor monument. It requires MORE money to actually barricade it up and station capitol police around to keep people out than to just let people visit.

      Thumb up 3

    20. Mook

      It’s a fucking outdoor monument. It requires MORE money to actually barricade it up

      Has there ever before in our history been a US President this petty and childish? Obama goes out of his way and at added expense to taxpayers to create problems for these vets just because he’s having a temper tantrum over the budget fight.. What kind of person would do that?

      It’s a fricking open air monument, and the Park police there are unaffected by the “shutdown”. This exemplifies who Obama is. His supporters are equally despicable.

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