published Friday, October 18th, 2013

The shutdown was not a 'good fight'

GOP’s shutdown: demands, results

Defund Obamacare — NO

Delay Obamacare — NO

Delay individual mandates in Obamacare — NO

Deny health care coverage to the president and vice president — NO

Deny health care coverage of congressional staffers — NO

Deny health care coverage for the cabinet — NO

Deny birth control coverage — NO

Approve Keystone Pipeline — NO

Raise limits on means testing for Medicare — NO

Change federal employee pensions — NO

Expand oil drilling on federal lands — NO

Block net neutrality — NO

Tort reform — NO

Weaken EPA rules for coal-fired plants — NO

OK Paul Ryan’s tax code proposed changes — NO

Thwart EPA coal ash regulations — NO

Repeal tax on medical devices — NO

Change debt ceiling rules — NO

Require guarantees for income verification for certain low-income people who are going to get subsides for Obamacare — YES. (It’s already in the existing law.)

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, acted as though the end of the American government shutdown was just another game of inside baseball in the nation’s capitol.

“We fought the good fight. We just didn’t win,” he said.

Guess what, Speaker Boehner: Nobody else won either. Are you so myopic that you can’t see there are no winners in this misguided debacle you called “the good fight”?

While you and Sen. Ted Cruz and his band of 30 or so government haters frittered away 16 days and badmouthed federal workers who were going without paychecks while you did some grandstanding to toss away barricades at national parks and veterans monuments, the country lost $24 billion in economic output.

These were real losses to real people. Not only did federal workers lose paychecks, so did small businesses dependent on these workers. State coffers took hits, as did our own country’s cash box. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which costs $60,100 a day to operate, uses that money from Uncle Sam to attract $3.3 million a day in tourism businesses. Over the shutdown, that one park alone tallied losses of more than $50 million in northwest Tennessee and western North Carolina communities. Other closures meant children were removed from Head Start programs. Did they miss the day when the light would flash and they would grasp the concept of adding? Scientists didn’t get expected government grants. Did we miss the next great invention or drug?

Where’s the “good” in this “good fight”?

Even the conservative Heartland Institute’s Ben Domenech late Wednesday told a television audience that the country suffered for the Republican failures in Congress this year.

Speaker Boehner could have let Democracy work 16 days before, rather than waiting until Wednesday night to allow a vote. Instead, he let the tea party anarchists disgrace the country and very possibly ruin their own Grand Old Party. Tennessee’s Rep. Chuck Fleischmann and Rep. Scott DesJarlais were among those voting against ending the shutdown Wednesday.

And what great goal did they and the anarchists have? They wanted to undo the Affordable Health Care law — Obamacare— a law three years on the books. Obamacare is a law that guarantees affordable private, portable health insurance for every American and already is partially enacted. It is a law upheld by the Supreme Court and endorsed by the American people when they resoundingly re-elected Barack Obama for a second term even while his Republican opponent promised that if the GOP won the White House and Congress, the law would immediately be undone. Apparently, despite what the GOP repeats over and over, that wasn’t what Americans wanted. If it had been, we would have a different president.

If there is a “good” in the radical Republicans’ “good fight,” it will come in 2014 mid-term elections when Americans can just say no to more government officials who are more interested in their own names and party than they are in the American people. Perhaps the good will come when Americans can just say “no” to more tea party and anarchist candidates whose reason for being is simply that they hate government and they’ve gained currency saying America is spending beyond its means.

Let’s be clear. In the past four years, the U.S. deficit has been cut in half. Already. Without undoing Obamacare or pretty much anything else in our government. The only thing the chants of the radical Republicans have succeeded in doing is to slow our economy, to keep us from growing back still more of the jobs lost after the Bush-era induced Great Recession.

Government can be too big, but it also is needed. It is not just a taker. It also is a giver. Its taxes provide needed and appreciated services, like roads and bridges, schools and teachers, parks, jobs, clean air, clean water, security.

Certainly there should be accounting and transparency. But shutdowns don’t prompt those either. They just shut the doors and turn out the lights.

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conservative said...

I scrolled down the article to see if it was worth reading, then I got my answer at the bottom when I read this bamboozelment:

"Government can be too big, but it also is needed. It is not just a taker. It also is a giver. Its taxes provide needed and appreciated services, like roads and bridges, schools and teachers, parks, jobs, clean air, clean water, security."

Well government is too big simply because it greatly surpasses the functions she mentions.

Socialism Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Unafordable Care Act, Prescription Drugs, are the big "takers" that have bankrupted our nation.

How did this all come about? Greedy Americans abandoned God for government. Government is their false god and idol.

Judgment is sure and coming, God will not be mocked.

October 18, 2013 at 7:17 a.m.
soakya said...

the U.S, deficit has been cut in half only after the president more than doubled the bush deficits. so, the deficits are still higher than the bush deficits, the same deficits the liberals complained about before.

he has added almost 7 trillion to the debt he thought was way too high and dangerous to our nation at 10 trillion. he will have added almost as much debt to our nation as all the presidents before him. the debt is projected to be 20 trillion by the time he leaves office. Good job.

October 18, 2013 at 8:18 a.m.
moon4kat said...

President Obama inherited a financial catastrophe from the Bush Administration. Obama acted wisely to right the economic ship, even though doing so was costly and not part of his original agenda. Of course, as with the shut-down, extremists on the right would have gleefully watched the national economy capsize, drowning everyone on board (i.e., the American people).
Once again, it's crystal clear that right-wing extremists (now controlling the GOP) are irresponsible and cannot be trusted with power over our government. They can break it, but they can't -- or won't -- fix it. They keep showing us that they haven't the mental capacity to think beyond having tantrums at our expense.

October 18, 2013 at 8:30 a.m.
soakya said...

one more thing Pam, the deficit has been cut in half after being more than doubled by the Bush deficits by the sequester which this president opposed.

in case you haven't noticed the nation is drowning, drowning in debt and unfunded liabilities. the debt ceiling is not the problem and you can't fix a problem if you can't identify the problem.

October 18, 2013 at 8:31 a.m.
moon4kat said...

soakya, what were you saying about "drowning in debt" when Bush and his cronies launched an expensive, unfunded, ill-conceived, incompetently-managed war in Iraq?

October 18, 2013 at 8:40 a.m.
Rickaroo said...

Moon4kat, when Bush was in office these teabaggers were heeding the "sage" advice of Dick Cheney when he said, "Deficits don't matter." Of course, from day one of Obama taking office the deficit suddenly and miraculously became problem numero uno.

Mrs. Sohn has written an excellent article. Every word of it is true and to the point. It amazes me how the brain-washed righties keep flailing social security and Medicare, all the while many of them are no doubt benefiting from both of them, even as they speak. And EVERYONE has had elderly family members whose quality of life has been enhanced, thanks in no small way, to those government programs. How anyone can fail to see what a blessing both have been to this country is truly astounding. They have run efficiently and smoothly for decades and are certainly in need of tweaking now, but on the whole they are still sound and sensible programs. To dismantle either of them would be a huge mistake.

It goes without saying that we should always be wary of government overreach and intrusion but to deny the good that government is capable of and simply refer to it as incompetent and/or evil is a sign of a mind that has truly been brainwashed and incapable of thinking objectively and rationally.

October 18, 2013 at 10:11 a.m.
soakya said...

what were you saying moon4kat?

October 18, 2013 at 10:47 a.m.
AndrewLohr said...

You know why I got a Libertarian Party card? Some liberal (more polite, as I recall, than most of the liberal groupies here) said something like "taxes provide needed and appreciated services, like roads and bridges, schools and teachers, parks, jobs, clean air, clean water, security" and I noticed that not just in theory, but in actual practice, business already provides those things. The first road reserved for cars in the US was a private toll road; and the Chunnel shows that huge infrastructure can be private. CCS, GPS, Baylor, and the like--besides Covenant College, Harvard, and the like: private schools. Disney : parks. The private sector: jobs. Clean air? Tokyo used to have oxygen vending machines. (OK, some regulation here is reasonable. Instead of testing every car, test cars going down the road and pull the big polluters. It can be done.) Clean water? Tennessee-American. (In Britain, streams can be privately owned, and the owners have an incentive to keep them clean.) Security? Walden Security?

Not that what government does is wholly useless, but business has to keep its customers happy, but government gets paid whether its customers are happy, or not. So business keeps improving and government keeps bloating. And government is loathsomely paternalistic: do these bureaucrats really know how we ought to live so much better than we do ourselves? And the US government is loaded with unsustainable promises, whereas businesses have to keep enough money coming in to sustain themselves. And if a business goes broke, it's not a train wreck like liberalism.

October 18, 2013 at 12:28 p.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

Lohr, did your libertarian party card come with your food stamps?

October 18, 2013 at 6:09 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Andrew Lohr, you entire last paragraph is complete nonsense. Government's role cannot be compared to that of a business, in the sense of "keeping customers happy," but it is to do that which keeps the nation as a whole sustainable and productive. The realization that there are some things that government can do better than private enterprise, free from the profit motive, and some things that business can do better, is a balance that must be maintained if we are to have a society that benefits the most number of people. You anti-government yahoos' hatred of government is so intense and beyond the bounds of reason that you don't make any sense at all. You act as if we libs want government to do everything and we despise the free market in all its forms, but nothing could be further from the truth. We simply see the need of having sensible regulations in place because the free market, left to its own devices, always - ALWAYS - will gravitate to greed and to serving its own interests over those of society at large. Of course there are many business owners with a social conscience and who strive to do the right thing beyond their own welfare, but it only takes a small number with dreams of building grandiose empires and unlimited wealth who can make life hell for a whole country. We are seeing those people now - they are the few at the top, the one-percent, who have tipped the scale and rigged the system completely in their favor. And you guys think that their unrestricted freedom is your freedom. But it ain't. Not even close.

No matter how much you might hate the term, "the common good," there really is a common good that must be taken into account in all things political, social, and economic. That is, if we are to have any sort of balance and social justice (another term most of you pathological, rabid righties and libertarians detest) in this country.

The teabillies and anti-government nuts have infiltrated the inner workings of our government and have been allowed way more influence than they deserve, as they kiss the butts of the corporate fat cats and willingly do their bidding; and you brainwashed lackeys keep voting for them, even when it means voting against your own best interests. While you think that you are the true patriots, more and more people are seeing you for the anarchistic, self-centered know-nothings you really are. With every insane act you teabaggers commit, like this latest government shut-down, which is attributed solely to the wacked-out Tea Party faction of the GOP, and every bilious, ridiculous thing you say, you continue to drive another nail into your own coffin and bring to a much needed end the reign of terror and torpor that you knuckle dragging wing-nuts have had on our government and our society for too long. Your time is coming to an end and I can't wait for you nuts to take your place in the dust heap of history.

October 18, 2013 at 6:10 p.m.
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