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Thread: The Worst Parts Of the Government Don't Get Shut Down, Unfortunately

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    Dolphins9954's Avatar
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    The Worst Parts Of the Government Don't Get Shut Down, Unfortunately

    If you have survived the imminent doom of a possible government shutdown and are somehow reading this today, you might be surprised that very little has actually changed.

    Despite the apocalyptic rhetoric and the finger-pointing, the threats of government shutdowns are not a new occurrence in American history and actually distract from far more important fiscal and economic issues.

    Since 1976, there have been 17 (now 18) occasions on which there was no agreement on funding the federal government. The longest one lasted all of three weeks during the Clinton administration, without any of the dire consequences we are constantly being told will inevitably come to pass.

    So why is there such gloom and doom coming from the Beltway and the media?

    The cynical answer would be that it's just another political sideshow, but perhaps there is some truth in this. The two political parties may be bickering back and forth and fractions of a percentage of cuts may or may not be made, but even if there is technically a government shutdown, will any of what lies at the heart of the state's power be shut down?

    Of course not. President Obama's fleet of flying robots will still be firing incredibly expensive missiles into multiple countries. It costs $1 million per year per soldier and $400 per gallon to occupy Afghanistan, but they won't be sent home. JSOC Special Forces will continue to spread across Africa. The NSA will still spy on and monitor us like free-range cattle, the FBI will still break the law to enforce it, the DEA will still punish victimless crimes, and the rest of the alphabet soup of violence and coercion will still loot and plunder us.

    The essence of state power — the supposed right of some to use the threat or the application of lethal force against the innocent — will remain intact. The "fireman first!" strategy of threatening cuts to programs for the poor and needy (programs people actually want) is used to scare us into dependency. While politicians bicker over a few fingernails, the central nervous system of government power, like the military-industrial complex and overseas offensive bases that dot the planet's face like acne, are never on the chopping block.

    How can these government programs and operations still continue indefinitely despite threats of a supposed shutdown? Because the U.S. government makes more promises than it could possibly pay out, it must either borrow money, print it, or both. As of this writing, the official U.S. debt is $17 trillion with perhaps as much as $200 trillion in future unfunded liabilities.

    As Linda Yueh notes in the BBC, this debt problem "could now prevent the U.S. from borrowing to pay the interest on the money that it has already borrowed." Read that sentence again. The U.S. government has now come to a point where it has to borrow and print money to pay the interest on money that it has previously borrowed and printed.

    Even in the face of numbers like these that should put serious doubts into trusting both a political system that would allow this to occur and the operatives who insist that nothing is wrong, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) lashed out at those who oppose yet another entitlement program. "We're not going to bow to Tea Party anarchists who deny the mere fact that Obamacare is the law," Reid recently said with a straight face. "We will not bow to Tea Party anarchists who refuse to accept that the Supreme Court ruled that Obamacare is constitutional."

    This is what I mean by a sideshow and a distraction. Anarchists? Really? With the exception of Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Congressman Justin Amash (R-Mich.), the Republicans who oppose Obamacare can't be taken too seriously. This is the same party, after all, that gave us the largest expansion of government medicine in history, record budget deficits, torture memos, and multi-trillion dollar wars.

    But since when did organized opposition to a law become such heresy? Just because some old, robed men and women decree that something is law does not make it just or fair. What about the Fugitive Slave Act? Citizens United? Roe v. Wade? Congressional rubber stamps on bills that abolish much of the Bill of Rights? Under this mentality, it makes all levels of authoritarianism, from oppressive regulations to internment camps, "legal."

    But don't mind that, folks, there might be a government shutdown! Except for all the killing and spying, of course.
    If Americans realized the financial and economic mess the U.S. government has put us in, they'd beg for a government shutdown. Not a phony one like this, but demand that the empire and national-security state be dismantled immediately.

    And as for the programs and social services that they always threaten to cut? These are much better handled by the free market, civic society, voluntary organizations, and local governments anyway.
    http://www.policymic.com/articles/65...eserve-it-most





    "Politics is the Art of Looking for Trouble, Finding it Everywhere, Diagnosing it Incorrectly, and Applying the Wrong Remedies"
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    Eshlemon's Avatar
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    I am disappointed. Got to party at this end of the world while I was in Vegas...and have to go back to work tomorrow.

    "unusual confrontation" for Reid today at his press conference and further Obama-Congress meetings scheduled.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/...y.html?hpid=z1
    D.C. mayor Gray confronts Reid on Capitol steps over shutdown’s impact on city

    “Sir, we are not a department of the government,” Gray told Reid moments after the mayor concluded his own press event about 50 yards from where Reid held one. “We’re simply trying to be able to spend our own money.”

    “I’m on your side, don’t screw it up, okay? Don’t screw it up,” Reid (Nev.) told his fellow Democrat.

    The intraparty tension comes after the Republican-controlled House voted last week to pass a bill allowing the District to use its locally raised tax funds to maintain operations until Dec. 15. But Democrats, including Reid and President Obama, have held fast in opposition to piecemeal funding bills, saying Republicans must come to a deal to fund the entire government, not just favored segments.
    Gray thanked Issa for his support and told a supportive crowd of hundreds to push Democrats to “act now” on a D.C. funding bill. As soon as the event wrapped up, Gray walked over to the separate event being held by Senate Democrats on the east steps of the U.S. Capitol.

    After Reid left the steps, Gray got into a heated exchange with Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), who attempted to explain the Hill Democrats’ position to the mayor. “We’ve got to open up this government for all the good people, in D.C., Maryland, Virginia,” she said.

    Gray replied to Boxer: “We’re just asking to spend our own money — our own money, not the federal money.”


    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politi...b_story_4.html
    Obama to meet with lawmakers on shutdown; Pentagon scrambles to ensure death benefits

    The White House on Wednesday announced a series of meetings with lawmakers from both parties to focus on the government shutdown, looming debt crisis and festering fiscal stalemate, but a dispute promptly erupted over a presidential confab with House Republicans, and the Pentagon was forced to scramble to ensure death benefits for the families of fallen service members.
    Obama was particularly unhappy to learn of one consequence of the shutdown: the Defense Department’s inability to pay death benefits to the families of troops killed in the line of duty. Carney told reporters Wednesday that the Pentagon had informed Congress of that consequence before the shutdown but that it was not specifically addressed in legislation to ensure the continuity of military pay. Obama ordered the Office of Management and Budget and White House lawyers to find a solution, and he “expects this to be fixed today,” Carney said.

    Shortly after Obama directed that the $100,000 payouts be made as scheduled when necessary, the House voted 425 to 0 to approve a measure that would ensure the Pentagon is able to pay the death benefits.

    The bill is expected to be ignored by the Senate, where majority Democrats oppose approving piecemeal short-term spending measures instead of reopening the entire federal government.
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