Robert Montgomerie: Government Shutdown

October 13, 2013 12 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Midnight September 30th, 2013, the Federal Government shut down amid the banter of a President unable to adequately sell the American people, and the opposition party, on a plan known the Affordable Healthcare Act. In response to several attempts to thwart a law inspired by their own party's "brain trust" in the 90's, the GOP opted to ask for a stunning set of demands, many of them actually favored by the President, in return for an increase to the debt ceiling.



The President perhaps would have been intrigued by the offer, perhaps, if it hadn't included his pet project, the ACA - better known as Obamacare. He hasn't exactly been very staunch against cutting Medicaid, Medicare, or even Social Security, and in many cases has spoke out in support of attacking these institutions created during the New Deal era. Just earlier this year Derrick Thompson reported in The Atlantic, the President announced plans to cut between 200-to-380 billion more from Social Security and Medicare over the next ten years; an interesting move considering that the "Baby Boom" generation will be retiring in bulk during this time. Senator Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan approved of the cuts and were willing to throw the doors completely open to further rendering a generation of grandparents to a future of eating catfood, panhandling, and wantonly searching for a position at their local Walmart passing out shopping carts. Clearly neither side is interested in promoting the general welfare of the elderly.


So what goes through this President's mind? Surely he doesn't believe that market reorganization of the ACA will be sufficient to absorb the grief of defunding public programs that have proven to help Americans. Obviously the right is openly against anything that might provide at least a minimal means to help the poor and, no doubt, their President - whom they "simply can't seem to bring themselves to agree with" - is willing to follow them down the road to further austerity, albeit a bit slower than they'd like, if they'd just "like him a bit more". Clearly Barrack Obama is not interested in anything other than protecting some monument explaining that someone has, in fact, served as President of the United States since 2008 and that he is as good a Republican as Richard Nixon was - though not as, arguably, vile.

The Republicans in the house included in their offer to the President, in addition to shelving the ACA for a year, permission to allow oil companies to set up shop on federal lands set aside by Teddy Roosevelt a century ago. President Obama has been very open to allowing the oil industry to use the controversial technique known as "fracking" provided they disclose the chemicals used in the process, which was very unpopular to businessmen who would rather the public not by concerned with such "tedious" details. The New York Times reported in 2012 that over 700 million acres of the commons set aside is used by companies to extract oil and natural gas. Although this has been largely in effect since the Reagan administration, we are now starting to see the effects of fracking as it is poisoning hollow aquifers in the areas where it is allowed.

Yet the President despite the news that it is becoming more unsafe to drink water still marches in step with the oil industry. Also House Republican Leader John Boehner, listed a demand that the President support the XL Pipeline - which he does along with many other democrats - unless the environmentalists start complaining. Since 2012 the President Obama has supported a southern extension that would pipe oil from Alberta, Canada, to the refineries in Texas which could pour even more money into the pockets of "public servants" such as the GOP's top ambulance chaser, Ted Cruz. The trouble is that every time Barrack Obama wants to step forward and be Reagan - such as the case in attempting to champion war in Syria - he always seems to be faced with the inconvenience that he ran as a Democrat.

The offer sheet from the "so called" Tea Partiers in the House was everything the President could want with the exception of one thing: sacrificing what he believes to be his legacy as a president. The ACA will more than likely fail as it offers too many outs for business and insurance companies. As so many legal loopholes were written into the law that, in reality, it will still leave 31 million people uninsured(an improvement of 9 million) and the subsidies will not address the price of service. In all truth that is not much of a legacy to leave a country that would have rather had single-payer(71% in 2010 according to the PNHP).

Despite the ridiculous claims that it is either the GOP or the Democratic Party's fault alone, it isn't; they're both equally at fault despite what the shills and partisans would have us all believe. But aside from that, one can't help but wonder if even the ACA was worth a partial government shutdown, even if only for two-weeks, or if the two-party monopolization of our federal government is going to be what ultimately ruins us as a nation.