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Why Is The Government Shut Down?

Democrats Government ShutdownIt’s a simple question. Why is the federal government of the United States shut down? A simple question that has a simple answer. The mainstream media will not tell you the truth about the government shutdown. All you will hear out of them is how the Republicans are causing trouble for everyday American citizens by their refusal to compromise their right-wing ideology. It sounds bad when it’s said like that, but it gets even worse when you finally understand just how much of a lie that statement really is. The Republicans are not to blame for the government shutdown.

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The Democrats took control of the House of Representatives and the Senate in 2007. Since that time, the federal government has relied on continuing resolutions to fund operations. Even after the Republicans regained control of the House in 2010, that process continued. This is mainly due to the lack of compromise by the Democrats. They have refused to budge on their left-wing ideology that requires more and more government spending. That’s the plain truth of the matter.

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Let’s be clear about this. The Republicans have tried to offer compromises that would fund the government. My feeling is that they should pass a real budget, but that is probably out of the question, at least for the time being. Instead, they have offered up several different continuing resolutions that would fund certain areas of the government. They originally wanted to defund Obamacare and when that failed, they moved to the continuing resolution that would delay the individual mandate and repeal the medical device tax. That offer was refused by the Senate. They didn’t even vote on the bill.

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Currently, the Republicans in the House are considering three different proposals that would allow veterans benefits to continue, reopen national parks, and allow the government of Washington, D. C. to continue its operations. Those proposals will likely be approved later today, but President Obama and Harry Reid have already said they would reject them, out of hand. The White House called them “piecemeal” and “no way to run a government”. In other words, give us all or give us nothing. The government is shut down because the Democrats refuse to compromise.

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Why this refusal to compromise? Another simple question that has a simple answer. The government could have continued its operations, unhindered, had the Democrats not been busy filling the airwaves with their lies and rhetoric. Remember how President Obama has portrayed himself as “fighting for the middle class”? Since the time he started campaigning for President, he has consistently harped about the evils of large corporations. I believe that play is one reason he won reelection. As that rhetoric moves into his second term, we find reality to be much different.

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President Obama has granted delays and waivers from the rules and mandates to a number of groups and organizations. Unions have found themselves to be exempt. The mandate that big businesses provide health insurance to their employees has been delayed for a year. The most notable delay that is missing, the delay that could help Americans who are hurting because of the mandates of Obamacare, is the one year delay of the mandate that every American buy health insurance. That is a no-starter for President Obama. That seems to be awfully strange, coming from a man who casts himself has a President fighting for the common man. In my view, his refusal to compromise and delay the individual mandate shows him for what he really is; a politician who cares nothing for the constituents he supposedly serves. So much for hope and change.

About LD Jackson

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LD Jackson has written 2053 posts in this blog.

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Founder and author of the political and news commentary blog Political Realities. I have always loved to write, but never have I felt my writing was more important than in this present day. If I have changed one mind or impressed one American about the direction our country is headed, then I will consider my endeavors a success. I take the tag line on this blog very seriously. Above all else, in search of the truth.

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  • Too bad Karl Rove doesn’t spend some of his war chest in ads that inform the public the truth since the msm isn’t. Oh, he would rather see the conservatives be blamed and spend his money defeating them next time around. I am sure sick of seeing him.

  • I’m pulling out what hair I have left trying to figure out why the Speaker of the House, the third most powerful politician in the United States, does not have a better PR apparatus. Why is Boehner allowing the communists to control the narrative? Okay, they have the media in their pockets … but there is a way around this. In the UK they have “PM Questions Time.” Boehner could hold hour-long Q&A sessions with the press once a week and take control of his own destiny. I certainly agree that Rove is an idiot… and I’m beginning to think that Boehner is his older brother.

    • I have often wondered that myself. John Boehner has allowed himself to be muzzled and as a result, the Democrats are able to tell their version of what is transpiring, unhindered. He should at least challenge the assertions they are making and show them for the liars they are.

  • Otto Matic

    This shutdown is not happening because both parties won’t compromise. This shutdown is happening because Republicans in the House of Representatives have refused to pass a budget bill without a bunch of amendments tacked on to it, chiefly amendments nullifying ACA.

    ACA is not directly tied to this budget bill in any way. It is a separate piece of legislation, already passed and signed into law back in 2010. The House Republicans are just saying, “We don’t like this law, Obamacare, that was already passed, and because we do not have the votes to repeal it in the manner laid out in the Constitution” — they don’t; they’ve already tried to repeal it 42 times, yes, that is true, 42 times — “we’re going to instead DEMAND that the law be repealed or delayed, or else we won’t pass this budget legislation necessary to keep the country running.”

    ACA was signed into law, in the fashion laid out in the Constitution of the United States, in 2010. It was not, like, laid down by martial law, unless you think a bunch of congresspeople and senators voting for a bill counts as martial law.

    Otto Matic

    • EstablishmentByProxy

      The power of the purse is not given to the Senate. What you are watching is a game of political chicken where the Senate hopes to control the House by naked threat. The House is exercising its proper power, including the right to deny funds to any ACA related line items they may choose. The Senate is playing the role of a spoiled child, refusing to act in good faith while hypocritically demanding ‘compromise’ in the form of total capitulation.

      >> ACA was signed into law, in the fashion laid out in the Constitution of the United States, in 2010.

      What portion of the Constitution was cited as providing for an enumerated dispensation of federal authority with respect to regulating any aspect of citizen health? Well, none, specifically at least…so weasel words and intentional misinterpretation/co-opting of intent has been harnessed instead.

      I submit that congress didn’t really care if what they were doing had good constitutional foundation or not. In practical terms, they simply assume their power is unlimited. A turn of a phrase has become their modus operandi: ‘pass them all and let the courts sort it out’. Why even bother to read what you pass? They’re just there to do power brokering anyway. So: mission accomplished; a.k.a. “winning”.

      Having hail maryed the fundamental authority question to the courts, a federal judge did throw out the individual mandate and find it inseparable from the act in general, thereby overturning all basis for this ‘constitutional’ law. That ruling didn’t set well with the Democrats (what restraint on federal power would?) so they appealed to the SCOTUS.

      In embarrassing opposition to contrary claims made by executive branch litigants, it turns out that an abused interpretation of the ‘general welfare’ *taxing* authority is the SCOTUS approved foundation for this act’s individual mandate.

      With such precedent, what’s to stop passage of literally *any* ridiculous follow on law of similar ilk? The gates of statist hell (for every citizen) are swung wide indeed if the only limit to federal power over our private affairs is that they attach a punitive tax to each bill and chant ‘think of the children’. All is well and good so long as your flavor of the month political disciples are at the helm. This won’t always be so.

      Besides, if being constitutional were a real concern to ACA proponents, they would have immediately corrected its language to identify the ‘penalty’ as a tax and put it up for vote once again. Since that would have dangerously imperiled the legislation, no such action was taken.

      The fight that has ensued stems from a basic recognition of the flawed claims of lawfulness/constitutionality. Opposition that has followed is not only a good idea, but part and parcel to the oath taken to serve constituents through protection of their hard won liberties from the assault of a power mad state.

    • I believe Proxy has fairly well refuted your arguments against the Republicans and their tactics to rid our country of the Affordable Care Act.

      Yes, the bill was passed by Congress, but in a most underhanded way. Not a single Republican voted in favor of doing so and the polls clearly showed a majority of Americans didn’t want health care reform shoved down their throats.

      Trust me, I am hoping the Republicans can gain control of the Senate in 2014 and solidify their control of the House. If they do so, I hope their first move on the legislative court is to repeal Obamacare. It should be their number one priority.

  • You hit on something here Larry. People are forgetting the reason why we are living on CRs in the first place and that is the fact that the Democrats have refused to live up to their constitutional obligation of passing a budget in the first place. If we had a budget as we are supposed to this wouldn’t be happening and too many people, and the MSM, have forgotten that.

    • That’s the thing, Steve. These CRs shouldn’t even be in existence. The Democrats have ignored the Constitution since they took over the House in 2007, but few people call them out for what they have done.

  • Otto Matic

    “The Democrats have ignored the Constitution since they took over the House in 2007, but few people call them out for what they have done.”

    The Democratic Party? Really? Wow….

    Remind US who is the Speaker Of The House of Representatives is in 2013? Which political party controls the House Of Representatives today?

    “the bill was passed by Congress” AND IT IS LAW!

    ” That ruling didn’t set well with the Democrats … so they appealed to the SCOTUS.” The RepublicanT Party raced their desperate appeal of the ACA to SCOTUS.

    Want to change the law? Then go through the USA Constitutional process. (You know you can’t win so try an end run.)

    As for the RepublicanT Party winning back power in 2014 and 2016? Buena Suerte (Spanish for Good luck).

    Yuk yuk yuk.

    • EstablishmentByProxy

      >> ” That ruling didn’t set well with the Democrats … so they appealed to the SCOTUS.” The RepublicanT Party raced their desperate appeal of the ACA to SCOTUS.

      Being a ‘nice guy’, I’ll help you do some homework so you don’t continue to get this point wrong:

      :: On January 31, 2011, Judge Roger Vinson in Florida v. United States Department of Health and Human Services declared the law unconstitutional in an action brought by 26 states, on the grounds that the individual mandate to purchase insurance exceeds the authority of Congress to regulate interstate commerce. Vinson further ruled the clause was not severable, which had the effect of striking down the entire law.

      :: On August 12, 2011, a divided three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Judge Vinson’s decision in part: the court agreed that the mandate was unconstitutional, but held that it could be severed, allowing the rest of the PPACA to remain.

      :: In September 2011, the Department of Justice decided not to ask for an en banc review by the 11th Circuit, and instead asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case. On November 14, 2011, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case.

      Read that again….the DOJ ask SCOTUS to hear the case in 2011. That, good sir or madame, is the lackey arm of the Democrats pushing their party appeal of the lower court rulings to the SCOTUS.

      >> Want to change the law? Then go through the USA Constitutional process. (You know you can’t win so try an end run.)

      When a law is itself unconstitutional (even if everyone states otherwise), it remains a non-law. There is a supreme court Justice quotation to that effect made upon overturning of another such law but I’m not going to bother looking it up for you. However there is an instructive Ben Franklin quote of tangential pertinence: “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.” The lambs are speaking up today and the wolves don’t much like it.

      Furthermore there are states in this union with tenth amendment challenges to ACA today. Sure, the 10th is an ‘end run’ to those that believe in the fantasy world of federal supremacy in all things, but I assure you its use is fully constitutional. I reside in one such state and voted for our nullification action a couple years ago. It passed with over 70% support. Let’s see if the federales (Spanish for luck) can manage to make me participate. Around here, the people are not friendly to that idea. Heck, the IRS doesn’t even have the authority to collect their non-participation fines as straight up tax evasion – because the text of the ACA has refused them that right. Odd huh?

      • EstablishmentByProxy

        BTW – That case content section above was from a Wikipedia article.

        Also, I went ahead and located the sources that I was vaguely recalling but didn’t have at hand when posting earlier.

        As summarized from

        :: An unconstitutional act is not a law. It confers no rights. It imposes no duties. It affords no protection. It creates no office. It is in legal contemplation as inoperative as though it had never been passed. Therefore an unconstitutional act purporting to create an office gives no validity to the acts of a person acting under color of its authority. -Norton v. Shelby County, 6 S.Ct. 1121

        :: An “unconstitutional act” constitutes a protection to no one who has acted under it. and no one can be punished for having refused obedience to it before the decision was made. A legislative act in conflict with the Constitution is not only illegal or voidable, but absolutely void. It is as if never enacted, and no subsequent change of the Constitution removing the restriction could validate it or breathe into it the breath of life. -In re Rahrer, 43 F. 556, 558, 10 L.R.A.444

        The SCOTUS is composed of mere mortals who have made the wrong call on the mandate. It’s not the first nor the last time that sort of thing will happen. I, for one, don’t need the SCOTUS to affirm to me that a federal edict to engage in unwilling commerce is both unconscionable and *not* any part of what the founders intended or enumerated.

  • Mike

    Are you at all concerned about the precedent being set here? The slippery slope suggests that if the tables are turned in the next election then maybe Dems try to leverage public support for certain gun control measures or perhaps immigration reform against passage of a budget that results in another government shutdown. I have plenty of problems with ACA but I’m terribly bothered by the direction this shutdown is taking us and the implications for future governing, or lack thereof.

    • Yes, I am concerned about the direction America is headed. Our government should not be so dysfunctional and both parties are to blame.

      At the same time, I am sick of hearing the media and the Democrats complain about how this is all because of the Republicans. They refuse to bear any responsibility for their part in driving our country off this cliff. It is time that changed.

    • EstablishmentByProxy

      True enough, political winds can turn this into a headache for any and all over time and apparently over any topic. The legislative process in general is hobbled by its amendment methods, including the infamous pork barrel riders attached to topically unrelated bills.

      In my view, fund allocation methods like selective de-funding seem wholly appropriate, while efforts to amend (e.g. delay for a year some portion or other of a law) do not. Outside of fund allocation actions, that later part should instead be held to affirmations of the law, e.g. ‘enforce as written’, overturning the whim of our present dictator in chief. There is more than one way to skin a cat, as they say.

      For the time being, dirty methods are afoot and being asserted by both sides whenever it appears to politically benefit or substantively define them ideologically.

      Remember how the late Senator Kennedy’s seat loss motivated the Democrats to avoid another vote on ACA, as would be considered normal, effectively short cutting that process using procedural means?

      Politics will be politics and when you lay with pigs, you’re sure to get your hands dirty…

  • Driftforge

    Interestingly, in Australia, failure to secure supply is grounds for the dismissal of the government. If a budget passed by the house is refused repeatedly by the senate, there is a joint sitting to resolve it. If that doesn’t lead to supply, both houses are dismissed and new elections held.

    Of course, we don’t have a separate executive branch to further complicate the passage of legislation – our executive is made up from members of the house.

    • It’s been a while, Drift. Glad to see you coming back around.

      I sometimes wish we had a provision to dismiss the government when such an impasse raises its ugly head. That probably wouldn’t be a good idea, given our system of government, but it would give us an excuse to get rid of a lot of dead weight in Washington.

  • Driftforge

    Ah well, I have been lurking every now and then when I want to get a perspective on how things are progressing on the other side of the Pacific.

    We’ve only had the problem arise once in the hundred odd years since federation. It does give a good chance to clean the place out and get a new lot in, especially in the senate which is all up for re-election rather than our normal half senate election.

    Actually, the new senate we have now elected to begin July next year looks promising. A lot of small parties represented for the first time, and a number of those people are libertarian in nature which will be a real novelty in our senate.

    Best wishes and all.