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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

GOP hostage-taking « Previous | |Next »
September 30, 2013

The US Republican Party is at it again--political grandstanding in their gun-to-the-Obama head style and turning brinksmanship into standard operating procedure on the Hill.

House Republicans refused to pass a budget unless it involved a delay to Barack Obama's signature healthcare reforms. The resolution passed by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives makes funding the government until the middle of December contingent upon a one-year delay of the Affordable Health Care Act. It also strips the new healthcare law, which is due to come into force on Tuesday, of a key tax on medical devices.

MoirAUSAcuttingnose.jpg Alan Moir

Senate Democrats and the White House have said that they will block any budget resolution that is tied to the healthcare law – the flagship legislative achievement of Obama's presidency – which was passed three years ago and upheld by the US supreme court last year. The Senate is expected to wait until Monday before stripping the Republican motion of its references to healthcare and, for the second time in a week, returning a "clean" bill to the House that would fund federal departments, without also impeding the introduction of mandatory healthcare for Americans who are uninsured. The Republicans may then try one more gambit to chip away at Obamacare, but time is growing short. The deadline is Monday at midnight.

This will be the first government shut down since 1996, when House Speaker Newt Gingrich and President Clinton clashed over spending. That shutdown left a deep political scar, with Clinton's approval rating skyrocketing after the shutdown and Republicans shouldering much of the blame. This shutdown will have far reaching effects.

It's only a small faction of the GOP congressional caucus (30, to be exact) that wants to shut government down. The Republican Party is trying to sure that the working poor don't have access to affordable health care: or that rich people will see their taxes go up slightly in order to help non-rich people get decent access to medical care. The GOP, as a national party, will suffer because of using government shutdown to disrupt the implementation of Obama's healthcare.

The next standoff is raising the debt ceiling, which will have to be done in the next few weeks or the US government will default and possibly trigger a financial crisis that could go international. The GOPers are angling to prevent an expansion of the government's borrowing authority unless Obama agrees to accept deeper spending cuts, defund healthcare and approve the Keystone XL pipeline.

Not raising the debt ceiling means that the US ouldn't borrow more to pay for the spending Congress has already authorized. It would have to pay what we owe out of tax receipts and rolled-over debt instead. But as the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) points out, tax receipts and rolled-over debt would only cover 68 percent of our bills. So they'd have to cut the rest--- an immediate 32 percent austerity.

Basically the rightwing Republicans, are threatening that if they don’t get their way they’ll close down the government and cause the nation to default on its debts. Tea Party Republicans are part of a social movement that explicitly defends the interests of the rich and the almost-rich to de-tax themselves. The rhetoric is one of was selling the notion that if the rich bear less of the burden of government, all of us will somehow end up better off. The modern Tea Party demands that a congress and president—elected by the people—lack legitimacy and must reduce taxes, especially on business and owners of capital.

The minority Tea Party Republicans are doing so less than a year after its party lost the presidency, lost the Senate (and lost ground there), and held onto the House in part because of rotten-borough distortions. They are doing so even though the US is exceptional for being a place where 45,000 deaths a year are related to a lack of comprehensive health insurance coverage. That’s about ten 9/11′s worth of death each year because of the US's exceptional position as the only industrialized nation without a universal public health care system. The consequence is that medical bills are the country’s single largest cause of bankruptcy.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 2:59 PM | | Comments (20)


"The Republicans may then try one more gambit to chip away at Obamacare, but time is growing short. The deadline is Monday at midnight."

House Speaker John Boehner. He has two options: He can allow a vote on the Senate bill that passed (with Democratic votes) on Friday to fund the government until Nov. 15.

Or he can permit the shutdown to go forward, as a way to pressure the White House and satisfy his most conservative-Tea party---members in the GOP.

US media headlines on October 2:

"Republicans shutting down the government over Obamacare."

Obamacare refers to the Affordable Care Act. The Republicans will lose this particular battle.

Will the GOP refuse to raise the debt ceiling, even if that creates a huge financial crisis due to the US failing to honour our debts because they are opposed to Obama's health care reforms?

The GOP appears to be driven by the Tea Party members who generally reject the scientific consensus on climate change and reject the theory of evolution.

"Will the GOP refuse to raise the debt ceiling...."

If that happens then there would be a huge and immediate spending cut, followed by the US defaulting on its debt. This would create a financial crisis because it would destroy confidence in US Treasury bonds – the bedrock of the financial system.

It's shutdown. What a way to govern a country.

Three separate attacks on the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) were staged by the House of Representatives, only to be rejected in turn by the Democrat-controlled Senate

The Republicans trying to overturn a law that was passed four years ago, ratified by the supreme court and endorsed by voters at the last presidential election.

Will the Republicans remain unified on their war on health care concessions if a shutdown lasted for some time?

The US government is closed for the first time in 17 years, but the Affordable Care Act remains in place, and takes a leap toward implementation today Whatever happens in the coming days, the fact that the Affordable Care Act survives--that's a big defeat for the GOP.

Every day brings the country closer to reaching the debt ceiling -- whether the government is closed or not. A failure to raise it would result not in delayed checks and closed government offices, like a shutdown, but instead in national default and potentially a catastrophic shock to world markets.

Internal GOP politics are toxic. Boehner and other GOP leaders no longer control the Tea party members of the GOP and their hammer-headed reactionary politics.

Just another example of America pulling its dick.
C'mon America! Your broke. Your not in charge of the world anymore. Get over yourself.

The strategy of the Tea Party Republicans is to wreck the place. They have turned the debt ceiling into a political weapon.

Turner says "C'mon America! Your broke. "

It does cost more to run the US federal government than it collects in revenue; eg., total expenditure in 2013 will be roughly $3.803 trillion, while revenue will come in at around $2.902 trillion.

This year's budget deficit is $901

So they run budget deficits and to cover the difference the government borrows money.

The Republicans are trying to bring down a government. They see shutting down the government as a good thing

The budget fight is looking more and more likely to merge into the upcoming debt ceiling fight, setting up one larger showdown. That also likely means the shutdown will continue until October 17, when the Treasury will hit the debt ceiling limit.

Unable to win elections to regain the Senate — ironically in part because the deeply conservative base supported unelectable Senate candidates in primaries — the Republicans have created their wish list of things for their starting point for negotiations with President Obama on the debt ceiling.

The list is every policy priority of the Republican Party. This is hostage-taking, not politics.

The Tea Party position: if you can't win at the ballot box, and you can't win in the ordinary legislative process, and you can't win at the Supreme Court, then it'll have to be blackmail.

In a recent blog comment, Prof. Krugman speculates that Obama may be able to carry on without Congressional approval to raise the debt ceiling.

If that happens, the US will have abandoned both the Constitutional requirement that Congress consent to wars (ever since Tonkin Gulf this has been a dead letter), and Legislature control over spending. That would leave the Congress in the position of third wheel on a bicycle, and America with an elective dictatorship.

The Tea party conservatism extends beyond ideology to its tactical extension, eternal and maximal opposition to Barack Obama and everything he wants to do. Fighting Obama is a strategy that can never fail.

If failure happens, it can only be because the GOP didn't fight him hard enough. The only possible way for Republicans to lose is if they give in too soon.

The Tea Party are supposed deficit hawks who tolerated skyrocketing government spending under George W. Bush So why do they say that its is government that is the problem?

The government as the enemy, an oppressor of white folk because government under the Democrats works primarily as the protector of and provider for African-Americans, to the detriment of everyone else.

Government is synonymous with “welfare,” and “welfare” is synonymous with lazy people, and lazy people is synonymous with African-American.

Obamacare recipients are blacks. Republicans are using a shutdown to try to get rid of a law, not merely excess spending.

For the hardline conservative Republicans (Tea Party caucus) all that matters is who has captured government and whose interests it serves.

The object of the political war is not really to shrink the state or shut it down; it is to capture the thing and run it—or run it into the ground—for your constituents’ benefit.