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The Shutdown in 10 Infuriating Sentences

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: abuse, americans, congress, corruption, democrats, dishonesty, elections, ethics, Govtfearmongering, healthcare, lies, media, obama, politics, propaganda, republicans, socialsecurity )

- 1724 days ago -
At its core, the dispute over the budget and the debt ceiling isn't complicated at all. But it is full of misconceptions and urban myths. Here are the 10 facts worth remembering past all the obfuscation:

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Kit B (276)
Friday October 4, 2013, 7:54 am
Graph from Mother Jones

At its core, the dispute over the budget and the debt ceiling isn't complicated at all. But it is full of misconceptions and urban myths. Here are the 10 facts worth remembering past all the obfuscation:

1. Democrats have already agreed to fund the government at Republican levels.

2 .Despite what you might have heard, there have only been two serious government shutdowns in recent history, and both were the result of Republican ultimatums.

3. Democrats in the Senate have been begging the House to negotiate over the budget for the past six months, but Republicans have refused.

4. That's because Republicans wanted to wait until they had either a government shutdown or a debt ceiling breach as leverage, something they've been very clear about all along.

5. Republicans keep talking about compromise, but they've offered nothing in return for agreeing to their demandsóexcept to keep the government intact if they get their way.

6. The public is very strongly opposed to using a government shutdown to stop Obama care.

7. Contrary to Republican claims, the deficit is not increasingóit peaked in 2009 and has been dropping ever since, declining by $200 billion last year with another $450 billion drop projected this year.

8. A long government shutdown is likely to seriously hurt economic growth, with a monthlong shutdown projected to slash GDP in the fourth quarter by 1 percentage point and reduce employment by over a million jobs.

9. No, Democrats have not used debt ceiling hostage taking in the past to force presidents to accept their political agenda.

10. This whole dispute is about the Republican Party fighting to make sure the working poor don't have access to affordable health care.

By: Kevin Drum | Mother Jones Magazine |


JL A (281)
Friday October 4, 2013, 9:30 am
Thanks for refocusing our attention on the facts and realities rather than the mythical tangents some would prefer Kit!

I wonder how much the GDP impact of shutdown will reduce revenues and worsen the debt equation...

Bryna Pizzo (139)
Friday October 4, 2013, 10:24 am
Thank you for sharing the truth! Too much of our media peddles lies or pablum. The bullies and thugs are simply evil. (p, t)

Arielle S (313)
Friday October 4, 2013, 10:43 am
As Jon Stewart says, "asinine budget shenanigans!"

Jason R (67)
Friday October 4, 2013, 1:32 pm
This is a serious coup!!! I'm reminded of the illness of greed, with severe narcissism. This is a cocktail of insanity, like we rarely see...times 80!

Avril Lomas (0)
Friday October 4, 2013, 1:33 pm
Repugs clain that they have WON,(and one called it FUN!!!.)
No there is ONE LOSER>>>>AMERICA. (and the repugs OWN IT)

Avril Lomas (0)
Friday October 4, 2013, 1:36 pm
Quick addition. Boehner is a spineless WUSS.

ewoud k (68)
Friday October 4, 2013, 1:55 pm
School-kids at kindergarten-level, that's what they are.

Thanks Kit!


pam w (139)
Friday October 4, 2013, 2:04 pm
Thanks for posting this, Kit! I sent it to everyone I know. It's been a long time since I was so ASHAMED of my government. I guess it's the ''downside'' of democracy.

I guess.

Frances Darcy (133)
Friday October 4, 2013, 2:14 pm

David C (129)
Friday October 4, 2013, 5:54 pm
factual...succinct....did I spell that correctly????

Suzanne O (33)
Friday October 4, 2013, 7:36 pm

"Said a senior administration official: "We are winning...It doesn't really matter to us" how long the shutdown lasts "because what matters is the end result."

I put this here to demonstrate that this is not a game to win or lose. Both sides feel winning is everything. Who are the losers in all of this mess? Certainly seems like none of our leaders are thinking about this.

Kit B (276)
Friday October 4, 2013, 8:56 pm

Quite true Suzanne, it's a game and neither has "skin" in this game.

This is the conversation between Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, with a hot Mic:

"I just did CNN and I just go over and over again 'We're willing to compromise. We're willing to negotiate.' I think... I don't think they poll tested we won't negotiate. I think it's awful for [Democrats] to say that over and over again," Paul said.

"Yeah, I do too and I, and I just came back from that two hour meeting with them and that, and that was basically the same view privately as it was publicly," McConnell agreed.

Paul added, "I think if we keep saying, 'We wanted to defund it. We fought for that and that we're willing to compromise on this', I think they can't, we're gonna, I think... well, I know we don't want to be here, but we're gonna win this, I think."

Craig Pittman (52)
Saturday October 5, 2013, 4:54 am
And these clowns are being paid by the citizens to run the country. Whoa!
Thanks Kit for the clarity.

Timothy Spurlin (29)
Saturday October 5, 2013, 7:18 am
One sentence is all I need.
1) Dumb ass Tea Baggers got the GOP by the balls!

Freya H (357)
Saturday October 5, 2013, 7:40 am
To say nothing of all the people who are suffering horribly because of this infantile B.S. Here is an article about a girl with a rare and painful disease who was going to get an experimental drug, but now can't thanks to those GOP suck-a-thumbs:

Next election, let's have a serious political bloodbath and vote out as many incumbents as possible - Democrat as well as Republican!

Esther Z (94)
Saturday October 5, 2013, 12:26 pm
I keep thinking of all the people who have been turned away from their cancer treatment, especially those 30 children. Anyone ( you hear that, Michele Bachmann!) who is having "fun" while people are suffering during this governmental shutdown, is a seriously deranged human being, lacking in empathy, heart and soul; but then, most of us all ready know the Repugs are severely lacking in this humane qualities, don't we?

Esther Z (94)
Saturday October 5, 2013, 12:28 pm
Oops! Forgot to thank Kit for this much needed refresher course on the facts of this shutdown.

Lona G (79)
Saturday October 5, 2013, 12:41 pm
Thanks, Kit, for the the explanation of the whole problem in a nutshell.

Elizabeth M (65)
Saturday October 5, 2013, 1:08 pm
Thank You Kit for clarifying the shutdown!

Lois Jordan (63)
Saturday October 5, 2013, 3:19 pm
Noted w/thanks for posting, Kit. Let's not forget that Obama added all the Bush war costs back into the budget. All those corporations that made billion$ off the wars, got cut-rate taxes...even subsidies! Now, they want those most in need to pay the price. Wow, we don't even live in the Reagan "trickle-down" economy....this economy is "TRICKLING UP." I'm furious. Wall St. Bankster$ and Big Business owns Congress....think they'll have to fight it out, or will they both be in cahoots against us?

Sherry D (47)
Sunday October 6, 2013, 1:13 pm
Cruel and Unusual Politics:

The words most frequently used to describe House Republicans these days are CRAZY and STUPID. And itís not just the Liberal columnists and Democratic politicians who are questioning the GOPís basic sanity and I.Q. No less than the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal characterized the latest scheme to defund ObamaCare by threatening an imminent government shut down as inept and a Kamikaze mission. Karl Rove called it ill-conceived and North Carolinaís Richard Burr castigated it as the dumbest idea he had ever heard of, which says quite a lot coming from a senator who introduced a ridiculous bill to abolish the EPA.

The name calling makes for good t.v., and the GOP crack up no doubt thrills many a progressive. All the Senate Democrats and several Republicans are opposed to this latest Tea Party hostage taking plot, so the chances it will succeed in gutting ObamaCare are nonexistent. Now that the government is shut down the rest of the GOP will realize the futility of this gambit and the damage it will do to their electoral odds. But all of this attention to congressional procedures and electoral point scoring misses something quite profound about what the GOP has proposed in the past few months: a chilly cruel vision of a society in which tens of millions struggle to survive in abject misery while the richest of the rich get richer. Call it Elysium in the real world,2013.

Indeed, the day before the House voted to defund the Affordable Care Act, it passed a farm bill that would cut $40 million from the Federal food stamp program which helps to feed 48 million Americans, 3 million of whom would immediately lose their benefits if the GOP get itís way. Conservatives like Paul Ryan berated the program for lulling able bodied Americans into a culture of independency. The program, however, provides on the average just $4.45 a day, and most of itís beneficiaries are children, the elderly and the disabled. The GOP demanded that food stamp recipients find jobs or participate in job-training programs. But itís the same House republicans who have failed to pass a single jobs bill, while also voting to cut job training programs. The message, then, to the 17 million Americans who struggle to find enough food to eat is quite simple-time to starve.

Likewise,if the Affordable Care Act were to be scrapped, the GOP has no solution for Americans who lack affordable coverage or have pre-existing conditions. Once again, the implicit message is that people should simply submit to the vicissitudes of the free market-the society should just let our uninsured die. And the recent campaign to persuade young Americans not to enroll in ObamaCare, while deriding for itís clownish execution , has a dark intent: actively encouraging young people not to seek health care.

Republicans may very well, not succeed in enacting these miserable policies, but they are winning the larger debate: The Democratic counter offer to the GOP food stamp proposal was a modest $4.5 billion reduction. There has been zero discussion of the serious need to expand benefits. Similarly, Democrats have failed to mount a credible challenge to the crippling sequester cuts. In short, the debate in Washington still accepts the false framework that government is spending too much, with Democrats relegated to doing damage control. With the GOP threatening a debt ceiling breach, itís time for more Democrats to join the progressive Caucus, supporting itís powerful case for an active government that fights for ordinary Americans.

The Nation Magazine- October 2013

Barbara K (60)
Sunday October 6, 2013, 5:10 pm
It wouldn't bother those heartless clowns if we were sick and starving in the streets. Think "Soylent Green" if you remember the movie. Thanks, my friend. You are correct, it is infuriating and insulting and time to give them the boot.
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