Shutdown

I burst out laughing when I saw today’s Daily News headline:

House of Turds

But I’m not sure that House Speaker Boehner deserves the honor he is accorded here.  As far as I can tell, he’s an establishment politician who is somewhat embarrassed by his colleagues who are standing up for their principles and exercising their authority to actually change something.  (After all, it wouldn’t be good for angry Democrats to stand up for their constituencies and work to undo bad Republican policy.)

In any case, the House, driven by Republicans, and the Senate failed to come to agreement last night, and as a result, the Federal government is now ‘shut down.’  Well, not really: the mail will still be delivered, the politicians will still get paid, and essential services are still running.  But the national parks are closed across the country, and some 800,000 Federal employees are temporarily unemployed.

Whom do you blame for the government shutdown?

The direct answer is obvious: the House Republicans, of course.  They could have gotten with the program and kicked the can down the road, as has been done a hundred times before.  But the pollster’s question is loaded: it implies that the Federal government shutdown is a something to be blamed for.

To be sure, it’s not ideal, and not a desirable outcome.  But it’s the first break in our time from the pattern of yowling and wailing about some problem or another and then resolving to change nothing.  At least they’re trying.

Meanwhile, my mailbox is stuffed with missives from the Obamoids about the rotten Republicans who ‘want to prevent 40 million people from gaining affordable, accessible health care.’

No, that isn’t it at all.  It’s that Obamacare insurance is not ‘affordable;’ it’s unclear, given shortages of doctors and the rotten medical care in this country (unless you’re in the 1%, going to a hospital is only marginally nicer than going to jail), how ‘accessible’ care will be; and maybe a third of ’40 million’ will benefit, while the rest of us are bankrupted in the process.  Meanwhile, as a weekend bonus, employers all over the country are cutting their staffs and their hours so as not to have to pay for it.

And for those who say that Obamacare is ‘the law of the land,’ settled and beyond debate, I have three words:

So was Prohibition.

One thought on “Shutdown”

  1. There is an accidental joke in that headline: the lottery jackpot of $189 million listed right beneath it.

    My objection to Obamacare is the unknown cost. There was (and is) a giant unfunded liability of hundreds of billions over a decade just for Medicare Part D. The Medicaid expansion is free to the states for the first three years, then they have to pay 10% of the cost. The fact that there is such resistance to picking up 10% of the cost from some states suggests that the costs are higher than currently estimated, or that the states don’t want to take the risk.

    One of the solutions that I’ve heard suggested is to open Medicare to everyone. This leaves out one important fact: there are about 4 people paying Medicare tax for every Medicare recipient, so the cost of “Medicare for all” might well be 10-12% of payroll, and that is before one pays the Medicare B, C, and D premiums.

    To my surprise, I wasn’t furloughed. My project is funded by money that can be spent in FY 13 and 14, so I can still be paid, at least until the debt ceiling is hit.

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