Placing blame for the shutdown

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There is enough blame for both parties regarding the government shutdown.

There has been no budget, much less a balanced budget, for years. Irresponsible spending and entitlement programs by both parties are responsible for the current situation.

No family and no government can continue to borrow a large fraction of the money it spends. At midnight Monday night, the federal government lost authority to obligate funds for the fiscal year that began at 12:01 a.m., and a partial government shutdown began.

If you didn’t feel the Earth stop spinning on its axis, that’s because 83 percent of the government is still being funded — Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid (about 64 percent of all federal spending) are so-called “mandatory spending” programs funded separately. The remaining 20 percent or so that is funded as so-called “discretionary spending” are government functions deemed “essential” to national security and public safety — the Defense Department, the CIA, FBI, other law enforcement, FAA flight controllers, FDA meat inspectors, even NSA and TSA agents.

The House has been reasonable. It has sent three continuing resolutions to the Senate funding the government. The first also defunded Obamacare, the second delayed the individual mandate for a year, the third required Congress to live by the same standards as everyone else. The Senate soundly rejected these continuing resolutions along party lines.

It is the Democrats, all but two who crossed party lines, who have shut down part of the government rather than live by the same rules as individuals. It makes you wonder if the president and the Democrats are not trying to destroy this country.

Obamacare, while not implemented, has caused over 20,000 Home Depot employees to lose their company-provided health care as the penalty is less than the cost of employee health care. Many other companies appear to be following suit. Employers are limiting thousands of employees to 29 hours per week to avoid paying health-care benefits. There are multiple exemptions for unions and big business.

Worse, national legislators and staff are being exempted. If Obamacare is not ready for everyone, it is not ready for anyone.

Ted Richerzhagen

College Place

Comments

Igor 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Mr. Richerzhagen is absolutely right. The U.S. Constitution provides that all spending bills must originate in the House of Representatives, which means that our Representatives in the House have the right to decide whether or not they want to spend money on a particular government activity. The House did not vote to shut down the government. Instead its members voted to fund all of government except for ObamaCare. Then, after that bill was rejected, to fund all government activity, including ObamaCare, conditioned on delaying the individual mandate for one year, and, finally to fund all government activity, including ObamaCare, if Obama would simply rescind his waivers for Congress and his political cronies. Each bill was rejected by the Senate. The House has not shut our government down but the Senate and Obama surely have. None of this is rocket science but don't expect any Democrat to understand it.

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stvsngltn 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Absolutely spot on, Igor (as was the letter referenced). I've sent in a letter on this issue citing the commentary of Thomas Sowell as well, who points out that the House representatives are there to fund or withdraw funding and are entirely within constitutional rights to do exactly what they're now doing. It's OBAMA and his administration who is causing the problems now associated with the "shutdown" ... in a very mean-spirited tactic by even closing privately-run parks and those like the Iwo Jima memorial that require no government employees to be available to the public and especially veterans who visit. I think this obvious plan by the administration to try to throw blame at the House of Representatives will backfire.

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Igor 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Thomas Sowell is one of my favorites. Have read many of his articles and books including Inside American Education, Basic Economics, Economic Facts and Fallacies and The Housing Boom and Bust. Milton Friedman, also a classical liberal, runs a very close second and was no doubt more of a "ground breaker" when it comes to the development of neo-classical economic theory. Capitalism and Freedom and Free to Choose are two of his best,

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fatherof5 11 months, 3 weeks ago

This is about the dumbest logic I've seen in a long time. They are spinning it, and you guys are happy to buy it. The House Republicans shut down the government by not sending a clean bill that the Senate and the President could sign.

If I send you a package with a flower and a bomb in it, is it your fault or mine if you don't accept the package?

Boehner and Reed had agreed to a budget this summer, so it wasn't the numbers that mattered; it was the Tea Party's obsession with Obamacare. The Affordable Care Act has been law for three years. If the House sends a budget that leaves it out....or for that matter, if they sent a budget that left out Medicare or the USDA...it is a nonstarter. They knew that. Just because they can't win a majority in the Senate or win the presidency, they can't just undo a major law don't like by not funding it and expect that to stand. That is not the democratic process.

Americans are mostly blaming the GOP for this shutdown. Why? Because the GOP shut down the government. I feel almost stupid having to even explain it.

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barracuda 11 months, 3 weeks ago

We will see who is the most damaged from this at election time. And right now, I am ready to heave all of them out...

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PearlY 11 months, 3 weeks ago

The "bomb in the package" is Obamacare, and it's poised to blow up my budget and those of millions of others, turn millions more into welfare cases for the first time in their lives, and ruin what little remants remain of Americans' trust that the nation's laws will be enforced neutrally, as the Obama Administration dispenses waivers and exemptions liberally to its friends (or should I say "to its liberal friends"?) and penalties and broken promises to the rest of us.

I wonder if you were as frustrated and annoyed by the effort to defund the NSA phone metadata surveillance program, that failed by only 12 votes in the House. 111 Democrats had no problem voting to defund that program - in your eyes, I guess they were subverting the democratic process, right?

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PearlY 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Hey, you started the bomb analogy, I just followed your lead.

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fatherof5 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Mine was an analogy....a metaphor. Yours was attempting to depict a near-apocalyptic reality. Your budget, by the way, you wrote earlier will slightly benefit from Obamacare once you include the subsidies.

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PearlY 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Only if I choose to go on welfare and accept them. Just because I'm getting mugged doesn't mean I'm morally entitled to mug the taxpayers myself, nor does it appeal to me to give up my dignity and self-respect in exchange for a few hundred dollars a month, even if it creates a considerable hardship. But my hardship is, I know, irrelevant to you and the Democrats. You're far more interested in "helping people" and those who don't want to be infantilized and become wards of the state apparently don't count as people. I just happen to be one of the eggs that gets broken so you can make this country into the omelette that suits your taste.

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blommer 11 months, 3 weeks ago

This writer starts talking about dumb logic and then uses dumb logic himself.

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namvet60 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Right On Mr Richerzhagen - During the Clinton shutdown he had the sense to negiotate to end the shutdown. Along comes 2007 with the PLS (Progressive Liberal Socialists) Pelosi-Reid carrying there "Rules for Radicals" bible. The cumbersome duo kept bringing partisan legislation but fortunately most of it was turned down. "Any President that has to raise the debt ceiling is un-patriotic" 2008 (Barack Hussein Obama) in his campaigning rhetoric. In the end results were still GW Bush's fault. 2013 the House of Representatives are following the Constitution of the United States of America with trying to curb the continual spending in D.C. There efforts are shunned with a non-negiotating -PLS- Senate and a deaf President. The spin is - its the Houses fault? Is the President un-patriotic for asking to raise the debt ceiling? Is it un-patriotic to place a Socialist Health Care System in America?

The Quote of the Century "Raising the debt ceiling will not raise our debt" 2013 President Barack Hussein Obama? Is that the mentality of a college graduate?

Now you can spin that however you would like but if you check out the "Rules for Radicals" you will find that Socialism (constantly laying the groundwork) is the end of America as we know it today!

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namvet60 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Just reported the House is running out of paper but there last funding legislation was rejected by the Liberals babies Reid, Murray, Cantwell and the rest of the dimwit Majority in the Senate. Yep - this shutdown sure is the House's fault? What a joke!

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fatherof5 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Yeah, if the ransom is too high, do you expect the hostage's family to just accept anything? Re-start the government (i.e. "do your job") and pay the bills (i.e. "do your job") and then lets find compromise. Spending has already been cut drastically due to the sequester. The deficit has almost been cut in half.

So, let's talk about some additional, strategic ways to cut spending and generate new revenues. But not under the threat of harming hostages.

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PearlY 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Drastically? Can you really say that with a straight face? The 2012 fiscal year spending budget was $3.54 trillion vs. $3.60 in 2011. That's a 1.7% cut. If your family budget last year was $100,000 and you trimmed $1,700 off of it, you would call that drastic?

And if last year you had a unique confluence of family financial crises (your house burned down, your car was totaled the day after your insurance lapsed, and your daughter insisted on a $70,000 wedding) drove you into by far the worst deficit you'd faced in your entire life, it should not be a source of pride that you "almost" cut that unique deficit in half.

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fatherof5 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Due to the nature of the sequester, many of the cuts have been unwise and yes, drastic.

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PearlY 11 months, 3 weeks ago

So now what you're saying is that, while spending has NOT really been cut drastically, it is being misallocated, so that some programs are cut drastically that shouldn't be, while others that should be cut are left unscathed. That's a different argument altogether from where you started. (And you'd never get an argument out of me that government spending is misallocated.)

Both parties agreed to put the sequester in place as a back-stop IF they couldn't reach agreement on more targeted cuts. So in fairness, the blame for the sequester should be placed on the party that has been most resistant to targeted cuts. That's the Dems, since their solution to budget shortfalls always looks to the revenue side for solutions. And remember that the sequester back-up was put in place IN EXCHANGE for the Dems getting revenue increases that they demanded.

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fatherof5 11 months, 3 weeks ago

The cuts are across the board. Some are drastically misallocated. How's that? This went into effect, though, because the Tea Party doesn't understand compromise. They are zealots.

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PearlY 11 months, 3 weeks ago

How's that? Much better, and maybe you can also try to get your party to stop trying to hyper-exaggerate the puny spending cuts that have actually taken place and concentrate on the allocation issues.

I don't personally know a single person who is a member of the Tea Party, but maybe their understanding of compromise is similar to mine - namely, that it is not just a synonym for surrender. I guess that makes me a zealot too.

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barracuda 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Pearl.... I think that it should be noted that although the Republicans voted to draw the purse strings tighter (by a very small amount) it is the choice of the President to decide what programs etc. to cut the money....

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PearlY 11 months, 3 weeks ago

If you're talking about the sequester, both sides voted to do that initially. It was only after it went into effect that the Dems wanted to renege on their prior agreement.

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namvet60 11 months, 2 weeks ago

In a speech on the floor of the House by (D) Sheila Jackson Lee (the person that was in the running to replace Janet Napolitano for Homeland Security) stated that if all else fails that the Gov't shutdown should be ended with Martial Law! There are some of these people that should be taken off the floor with a white coat and with the help of security. Harry Reid is another!

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