Shutdown Wake Up Call

It takes a real man to shut down an establishment that actually produces revenue for the government while not taking a dime, just because said establishment sits on government land. I jest, of course, but this type of thing seems to be the most recent tactic thrown out by the current administration to hurt the American public in a deliberate and blatant attack on anyone who thinks the government should be smaller—less Big Brother and more protective older brother.

Since the government shutdown, there have been several reports of roads and establishment (such as hotels and restaurants) that have been forced (let me repeat: forced) to close simply because they are on government-leased land. There have been reports of people being evicted from their homes for the same reason. Monuments are closed because they’re “non-essential.” It doesn’t matter that it costs more for the government to enforce these closures than it would to do nothing, and that a lot of these establishments have not taken one dime from the government, but in fact pay money to the government (which, now that they’re closed, won’t get that revenue—how smart is that?), so long as the current administration can hurt people and blame the Republican party for it, simply to get their way in the debt ceiling/government shutdown fight.

And there’s a funny word: fight. Why should making sure the United States remains fiscally responsible be a fight at all? The reason for having three branches of government and more than one party is for checks and balances. They are in place to illicit debate, negotiation and compromise, not instigate fights, bullying and threats. To focus on the latter, instead of promoting the former, is a call for division. Therefore, by continuing to attack and blame the opposition instead of looking to work with each other, the only “losers” are the people the politicians claim to be trying to help.

In regards to raising the debt ceiling and continually adding money to non-existent “budgets,” all we’re really doing is borrowing more money we’ll never be able to pay back and forcing the treasury to print more money, thus adding to inflation and making it harder and harder for us to ever dig out of the hole. That is not responsible and it shouldn’t be tolerated. As in President Obama’s own words:

“The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills… It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies… Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here.'” (From his 2006 speech as a senator debating whether to raise the debt ceiling.)

For once, Mr. President, I wholly agree. So why does the President continue to adamantly urge Congress to raise the debt ceiling. If it isn’t a political play, why not own up to your own words and “fight” to do what’s right for America and cut all of the fat from government? It’s because he doesn’t really want to. It’s all rhetoric to make himself look good and his opponents bad. Over the past five years, it has become quite clear that there’s absolutely nothing genuine in anything he ever says, or any promises he makes. This includes the current “implementation” of the Affordable Care Act website, which, I think, can now officially be called a debacle.

So far, two weeks into the roll-out, people still don’t know what the heck is going on with the website or with the promises that President Obama eventually sold the legislation on. Those who do understand have seen the travesty of rising premiums, rising deductibles and broken promises. It’s been a long debate regarding the rising premiums issue, due to coverage packages that include a lot of things that most people don’t even need or care about. (Why should a man need to buy a policy with prenatal coverage, exactly? I still haven’t figured that one out.) But it’s the hidden cost of deductibles that are going to, I believe, really start turning everyone against this disastrous bill.

Over these last couple of weeks, reports have been slowly coming out that, along with rising premiums, deductibles are also becoming, for lack of a better word, worthless. Deductibles are so high, that it would take someone to pay twice (and in some cases even more) their yearly premium out-of-pocket before they ever see a dime from the insurance carrier. So, I hope everyone has a good little nest egg, because if you don’t, it’s still going to cost you an arm and a leg for health care, no matter whether you have insurance or not. With the costs this high, it would probably be better for everyone to simply pay the penalty (which in and of itself, is unlawful). At least then it would be relatively affordable.

I’m glad that the Republicans in the House of Representatives aren’t giving into the disrespectful bullying tactics that are coming from the White House and the Senate. At least they’re trying to compromise (unlike Senator Harry “I’m not going to put that up for a vote” Reed and President “I don’t negotiate” Obama). Reports today have said that the Republican’s have drafted a new compromise that states they will pass the debt ceiling resolution if (and only if) the President, Vice President and Congress sign up for an Affordable Care Act policy.

That is just brilliant.

Go ahead and veto this bill, I dare you. It doesn’t have anything that says they want to defund or repeal the Affordable Care Act at all, which is what the President and Democrats want. All it does is force government leadership to abide by their very own rules. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, so to speak. If any Congressman votes no on this bill, or if the President vetoes such a bill, it will only prove one thing: The government believes they are better than the American people and are too good for the laws and legislation that they themselves pass. But if it’s as good as President Obama, Senator Reid and Senator Pelosi say it is, they should be happy to jump on the website, put all of their private information in (and be subject to possible identity theft) and grab their new policy.

With all of this (and plenty more, I’m sure), there’s something more going on behind the mask of the President that we’re not seeing yet, and if we don’t do something now, we could be in for something that no one is ready for. Do I think the government should go into default? No, I think doing so would have lasting effects that will be hard to climb out of. At the same time, it may be the only way to wake people up and get their acts together. The government has become too powerful (with massive food stamp spending and out-of-control welfare and unemployment abuse), and the people too complacent. It’s about time for a drastic change before we allow the government to get any bigger, and this shutdown, no matter how many games are played by either side, is probably the only way to finally make that happen.

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