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Government Shutdown: Congress Fails Americans, Embarrasses Itself

US government failure, US government issues, US government fails Americans

Yesterday, the Government of the United States of America began the process of shutting down all nonessential operations.

The sticking point between Republicans and Democrats is the Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare). The House of Representatives, controlled by Republicans want to include provisions in the federal budget that will defund Obamacare, essentially killing President Obama’s biggest accomplishment. The Democrat controlled Senate refuses to pass the same bill.

My political views are generally moderate, leaning towards the conservative end of the spectrum. I do not think Obamacare is the answer to national healthcare reform.

But shutting down the government over it is absolute crap.

Republicans continue to argue various points about why they want to defund Obamacare as part of the federal budget package, but in reality they’ve already lost that fight. They’ve forced dozens of votes to repeal Obamacare and lost each time. The Supreme Court has ruled against the notion that it’s unconstitutional. With this latest attempt to repeal the program they are holding the entire nation hostage, and hurting thousands of government workers in the process.

During election time, it seemed both parties tried to outdo each other to prove just how much they wanted to help the middle class. I would bet that the vast majority of the people that got sent home from work yesterday fall into that category. If the members of Congress actually knew anything about the middle class, they would understand that they are throwing many families into financial crisis by taking away their job for even the smallest amount of time.

That emphasizes just how out of touch with the average American they really are.

Members of Congress, meanwhile, continue to get paid. I’ve heard some members of congress will donate their paychecks to charity while the government is shut down. That’s a great gesture, but it’s easy to give away money when you are well off enough to have the reserves and means to survive not getting your paycheck from the government.

Each party blames the other for the government shut down, which is the thing about this situation that makes my blood boil the most. The situation should have never been allowed to escalate to this point. Congress was at the exact same impasse at the end of 2012. In January, Congress voted to extend the debt ceiling and push the battle further into 2013. Since then, no progress has occurred, Congress just waiting for the situation to become a crisis again.

To illustrate the lack of urgency our members of Congress have shown with thousands of people’s livelihood at stake, consider this: With a passed bill from the House of Representatives sent to them late Saturday, the Senate took Sunday completely off. On Monday evening, with a shutdown just hours away, House leaders called for a conference committee to meet and hammer out differences. A call that Senate leaders refused.

They have failed to create and pass a budget in 9 months. They have debated and voted on countless other bills, but failed to resolve their differences and pass a bill that is fundamental to the running of our country.

Could you run your household without a budget for 9 months?

Do the members of Congress realize how silly they look?

Brought to you courtesy of Brock

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  • Excellent. This is pretty much exactly how I feel, even though I am a moderate with liberal leanings. I am so done with our government “leaders.”
    Shared this on FB.

  • If “budget” means tracking and controlling your spending, then no, we couldn’t go 9 months not knowing how much we’re bringing in for income or what is going out in expenses, and what to expect on both in the next week, month or year.

    I use a spreadsheet + Quicken to track our spending and plan for the next 2-3 years out. We can deviate from the plan, but I can pop that number in and see how it affects everything else. It seems, and I only see what the media says on this, that our federal government is spending like there’s no tomorrow (or yesterday). I’m a moderate and will see both sides of a debate, and I also lean more towards the conservative side (but not Republican…that’s a big difference. Just plain conservative when it comes to money), but I agree that this is just ridiculous. They can pass much less meaningful laws and bills and not get to the core issue of the budget.
    I understand why the healthcare reform/Obamacare issue is budget-related, and why the Republicans felt it was right to attach it as a rider to the budget (if it costs money and they don’t agree with it, they can’t approve of a budget that spends that money, period), but both parties are to blame, including the president himself for going around Congress to push his agenda into law.

  • 1. They’re rich.
    2. They want more money/power.
    3. They control us via front- (jobs) and back-end (social programs).
    4. We’re hosed.

    Those are my short list. Sadly people align themselves with social issues rather than the criminality of what these men and women do so the cycle continues election after election.

    Let’s just hope they make 0.0 progress until 10/18. Come on default!

  • This crap has just gotten out of hand. The problem is that there is no recourse on their actions. Most people will not vote them out because people tend to vote for their political party. Not everyone, but a majority, which is what wins elections. I am so tired of how both parties are acting. If us normal people did this in our jobs, we would be fired.

  • I agree but the issue remains is that we keep electing these people. How many people that have pushed us close to shutdowns over the past few years are still in office to lead us into this one? The answer, I’m afraid, is probably far too many. It’s interesting that these shutdowns never happen around election cycles and that they never become issues when deciding whom to vote for. Some of the blame for that falls on the voters.

  • @CleverDude – It’s crazy to think that we’ve gone so long without an approved budget. Yes, Obamacare is a spending/budget issue, but regardless of what the GOP says, this has nothing to do with spending/budget and everything to do with trying to throw egg on the President’s face. I read an article that explained that the GOP has actually WON the budget battle. The current spending level is where Republicans wanted it – which is much LESS than what Obama originally proposed. They did this by winning battle after battle with respect to spending cuts. Great to hear from you!

  • @Dan – oh, I hope it doesn’t get that far…..this shouldn’t be about teaching someone a lesson – this should be an exercise of what we can achieve when everyone puts their minds together!

  • @Grayson – so true….there’s no way that we could run our household budgets this way, and there’s no way that business could operate this way. But this is how we run the greatest country on the planet? Complete B.S.

  • @Simon – Exactly – People that work to be elected into an office of public service are supposed to be looking out for the people they represent…NOT the party they align themselves with – these people forget that as soon as they get to Washington.

  • @moneybeagle – YUP, and I hope the American people respond to that. Personally, for the next few election rounds my voting will be pretty simple – look for the word Incumbent, and vote for anyone else. LOL.

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