Government Shutdown Going According To Plan

As this is written, the US government remains in “shutdown” mode. The shutdown prompts federal agencies to suspend a large range of activities and furlough around 900,000 of the US government’s more than two million workers, according to plans filed with the White House last week. However, much of the public may be relatively unaffected, as services deemed essential continue. Among these are services related to national security, mail delivery, air-traffic control, law enforcement, the military, etc.

shutdownTo end the shutdown, the House and the Senate have to agree to a “continuing resolution” (CR) to continue funding the government for a few more months. So far, the House Republicans have demanded that the CR must include provisions for defunding Obamacare or at least delaying it for a year. The Senate has refused to approve anything related to Obamacare. I think the Republicans will cave; it’s just a matter of when.

Just in case anyone has any doubts, this whole matter is nothing more than pure partisan politics. President Obama has made it clear in recent weeks that he welcomed this fight and even the government shutdown if necessary. He sees this (correctly) as a way to make the House Republicans look very bad. In fairness, if the tables were turned and the GOP controlled the White House and the Senate, they might well be doing the same thing to the Democrats.

So what happens next? No one knows for sure but it will not surprise me if the partial government shutdown continues until around October 17 when we hit the debt limit. That’s the next big battle and the point at which the government faces defaulting on our debt.

Obama vowed again yesterday in a White House meeting with congressional leaders that, unlike in 2011, he will not negotiate on the debt ceiling this time around. Since he is not up for re-election, I think he means it. If so, things could get really ugly just ahead.

There are really only two questions that we need to ask. First, is President Obama really ready to allow the US government to default on its debt? If you watched the film documentary “2016 – Obama’s America” (as I repeatedly urged), you probably would answer YES. I might just agree.

The second question is, will the House Republicans cave in the end and give Obama everything he wants if that’s what it takes to avert a government default on our debt? I obviously don’t know, but I would not rule it out.

The point is, everything is going according to Obama’s plan. If you doubt this, just listen to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi who are absolutely giddy over how this charade is playing out, with them demonizing the House Republicans daily.

Obama’s ultimate plan is to win back control of the House in 2014 and then shove through the rest of his liberal agenda in his last two years in office. It’s that simple.

What the Budget Battle is Really All About

I would venture that a sweeping majority of Americans have no clue as to what the budget battle is really all about or how the process works, other than what they hear on mainstream media outlets. Even fewer, I suspect, have any idea how the budget and government spending are tied to the “sequester” – the automatic spending cuts that went into effect on March 1.

Given the level of public unawareness of the budget fiasco playing out before us, I looked around for an explanation that would put the budget debate in layman’s terms.  Of all places, I found the following explanation at none other than the liberal-leaning New Republic, written by Kevin Mahnken. While I disagree with Mr. Mahnken on whether the sequester is a good thing or a bad thing (he thinks it’s bad), he does a very good job of explaining how the budget process works and how the sequester plays a critical role in coming years.

In a nutshell, Mahnken explains that the mandatory budget cuts required by the sequester will continue to haunt Congress in the ongoing budget debate. He maintains that even when (not if) the government shutdown is solved, the sequester will, “…prove to be much more difficult and politically charged going forward.”  That’s because all of the easy cost savings have already been made, so future cuts required by the sequester will be harder to make. Of course, if Obama succeeds in regaining Democratic control of the House, the sequester will almost certainly be abolished.

To read Mahnken’s entire article, click on the following link.

Posted 10-03-2013 6:27 PM by Gary D. Halbert
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