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Old 10-07-2013, 10:00 AM  
pr_capone pr_capone is offline
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Who Shut Down the Government?

I've been hearing and reading a lot of blame shifting from one party to another. Some screaming that we are going to default on out debts if this keeps up. Others pointing out that Obamacare is already law and what the House is doing is wrong.

I found an article written by Thomas Sowell that I found to be very informative on the subject of the government shut down.

Quote:
Even when it comes to something as basic, and apparently as simple and straightforward, as the question of who shut down the federal government, there are diametrically opposite answers, depending on whether you talk to Democrats or to Republicans.

There is really nothing complicated about the facts. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted all the money required to keep all government activities going — except for ObamaCare.

This is not a matter of opinion. You can check the Congressional Record.

As for the House of Representatives' right to grant or withhold money, that is not a matter of opinion either. You can check the Constitution of the United States. All spending bills must originate in the House of Representatives, which means that Congressmen there have a right to decide whether or not they want to spend money on a particular government activity.

Whether ObamaCare is good, bad or indifferent is a matter of opinion. But it is a matter of fact that members of the House of Representatives have a right to make spending decisions based on their opinion.

ObamaCare is indeed "the law of the land," as its supporters keep saying, and the Supreme Court has upheld its Constitutionality.

But the whole point of having a division of powers within the federal government is that each branch can decide independently what it wants to do or not do, regardless of what the other branches do, when exercising the powers specifically granted to that branch by the Constitution.

The hundreds of thousands of government workers who have been laid off are not idle because the House of Representatives did not vote enough money to pay their salaries or the other expenses of their agencies — unless they are in an agency that would administer ObamaCare.

Since we cannot read minds, we cannot say who — if anybody — "wants to shut down the government." But we do know who had the option to keep the government running and chose not to. The money voted by the House of Representatives covered everything that the government does, except for ObamaCare.

The Senate chose not to vote to authorize that money to be spent, because it did not include money for ObamaCare. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says that he wants a "clean" bill from the House of Representatives, and some in the media keep repeating the word "clean" like a mantra. But what is unclean about not giving Harry Reid everything he wants?

If Senator Reid and President Obama refuse to accept the money required to run the government, because it leaves out the money they want to run ObamaCare, that is their right. But that is also their responsibility.

You cannot blame other people for not giving you everything you want. And it is a fraud to blame them when you refuse to use the money they did vote, even when it is ample to pay for everything else in the government.

When Barack Obama keeps claiming that it is some new outrage for those who control the money to try to change government policy by granting or withholding money, that is simply a bald-faced lie. You can check the history of other examples of "legislation by appropriation" as it used to be called.

Whether legislation by appropriation is a good idea or a bad idea is a matter of opinion. But whether it is both legal and not unprecedented is a matter of fact.

Perhaps the biggest of the big lies is that the government will not be able to pay what it owes on the national debt, creating a danger of default. Tax money keeps coming into the Treasury during the shutdown, and it vastly exceeds the interest that has to be paid on the national debt.

Even if the debt ceiling is not lifted, that only means that government is not allowed to run up new debt. But that does not mean that it is unable to pay the interest on existing debt.

None of this is rocket science. But unless the Republicans get their side of the story out — and articulation has never been their strong suit — the lies will win. More important, the whole country will lose.
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Old 10-07-2013, 10:08 AM   #2
BucEyedPea BucEyedPea is offline
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Don't forget that Roberts defers to legislatures to handle such a law. This is happening.
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Old 10-07-2013, 10:21 AM   #3
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Old 10-07-2013, 10:31 AM   #4
Loneiguana Loneiguana is offline
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That is what is at stake in Washington this week. The debate going on there is not trivial, not transitory – and not about Obamacare. Whatever you think about the Affordable Care Act, it is a law that was passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate, then signed by the president, and then validated by the Supreme Court as constitutional. This does not mean it cannot be repealed. Of course it can be repealed, as can most laws. But to do so, it would need another piece of legislation – one that says quite simply “The Affordable Care Act is hereby repealed in its entirety” – that passes the House and Senate and is then signed into law by the president.

But what cannot be allowed to stand is the notion that if a group of legislators cannot convince a majority in both houses and the president to agree with them, they will shut down the government or threaten to default until they can get their way. That is extortion, not democracy.

I would be happy to see President Barack Obama compromise on the budget, taxes, spending – even health care. But he cannot compromise on the principle that the rules of democracy must be respected, whatever the outcome. If Democrats had threatened to shut down the government to force the repeal of the Bush tax cuts or defund the Iraq War, I would have hoped Bush would have also been uncompromising.

So, how to solve the crisis? Many have wondered when the grown-ups in the Republican Party will force the House minority to call off this campaign. But that misunderstands the changed nature of American government. There are no more “grown-ups” in Washington, in the sense of a powerful political establishment that can get younger members of Congress in line. There are, instead, 535 political entrepreneurs, each seeking reelection and worried only about his or her fate.

Consider what happened with immigration reform, when almost the entire Republican establishment wanted to make a deal with the Democrats and yet a minority of House members once again were able to derail things. John Boehner is not leading his party, he is being led by its most passionate and radical wing. This crisis can only end when members of that wing understand that what they are doing is anti-democratic and harmful to the country.

Meanwhile, there is a way to turn this crisis into an opportunity. The debt ceiling is an absurd anachronism that should not anyway exist. Only a handful of countries around the world have anything like it. And the president cannot actually make sense of it.

Brookings Institution scholar Henry Aaron points out that were Congress to refuse to raise the debt ceiling, the president would have to choose between two congressional mandates on him. First, Congress passes spending and taxation levels for the year, which the president must faithfully execute. But then it does not raise the debt ceiling. So either the president must ignore the congressional action requiring him to spend and tax at the levels they have set, or he has to ignore the fact that they did not raise the debt ceiling. Were this to happen, the president should declare that he is going to obey the more substantive law – actually asking him to spend money and levy taxes – and ignore the procedural one. He would then borrow the money he needed to, to enforce Congress’ will.

Were Obama to do this, it would solve the current crisis, and also end the prospect that the crux of America’s financial power – its sovereign debt and the dollar’s role as the world’s reserve currency – could ever again be held hostage through thoroughly undemocratic parliamentary games.

Finance aside, America’s global influence derives in large measure from the strength of its democracy. If American politicians start playing fast and loose with the rules, doing whatever it takes to get the results that they want, what does that say to people in Russia, Egypt, Iran, and Venezuela who get pious lectures on the rules of democracy? It tells them that something is deeply wrong with the American system these days.
http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn....in-washington/
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Old 10-07-2013, 10:38 AM   #5
BucEyedPea BucEyedPea is offline
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Well, since he calls us a democracy, he's wrong about the rest. "Rules of Democracy?" What a load of bunk. We're a Republic for one. ACA was passed using trickery and fraud. Sounds like loneiguna's cut and paste recommends another Constitutional usurpation. Something the left has been doing for 70 year. It does not require a "repeal" to repeal. It's a repeal via appropriation and has happened before. The same way the Vietnam war was ended--by Congress to the chagrin of Nixon.
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Old 10-07-2013, 11:02 AM   #6
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Why would Boehner not want to let a clean CR go to the floor if his assertion is true that there are not enough votes to pass it? Seems like you would want to prove your assertions to further your stance.
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Old 10-07-2013, 11:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loneiguana View Post
Bingo.
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Old 10-07-2013, 11:07 AM   #8
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Its funny, the Obama regime wouldn't have issues with selective enforcement of law if this were a question of immigration, border control, drug policy, marriage laws, etc etc.

But when the legislative branch wants to selectively act on or not act on law, all of a sudden it's morally repugnant.
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Old 10-07-2013, 11:31 AM   #9
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....It tells them that something is deeply wrong with the American system these days.
Yep...and it all starts at the top.
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Old 10-07-2013, 01:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
Bingo.
Bingo? Realky? Have you addressed yet why it was okay for Obama to push back the parts of Obamacare he didn't agree with withiut seeking Congressional approval? What the house is doing now is neither unprecedented or outside of their constitutional powers. You can't say the same for Obama. But go ahead and cling to your liberal fluff piece. As per the usual liberal tripe, its all emotion and no facts.
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Old 10-07-2013, 02:03 PM   #11
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Old 10-07-2013, 02:18 PM   #12
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It seems to me that you've found your answer in that Sowell piece, pr_capone. Don't let the loneDireckshuns of the board pull the wool over your eyes.
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Old 10-07-2013, 02:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
Bingo.
You think the dead hand of past Congresses should be able to tie the hands of newly elected representatives of the people beyond the constraints established in the Constitution?

Or are you oblivious to the implications of the article and just mesmerized by the fact that it was written by Fareed Zakaria?
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Old 10-07-2013, 02:44 PM   #14
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Well said in the OP article.
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Old 10-07-2013, 03:40 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loneiguana View Post
That's a pretty silly article. It treats laws like static things that can't be changed by the political process and does nothing to actually talk about the political process itself. It spend zero time highlighting the fact that the ACA was passed using procedural trickery and had exactly zero Republican votes. It spends zero time highlighting the recent polls which show that Americans generally disregard the stuff as bad for them and the economy. The whole article is based on the farcical idea that once a law passes, it's safe from being overturned by the political process. Which clearly is not the case.
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