USA Federal government: CLOSED

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#1
The government shutdown went into effect this morning, with the Office of Management and Budget sending the following note, "Agencies should now execute plans for an orderly shutdown due to the absence of appropriations" to federal employees.

It's been 18 years since the government last shut down for 21 days during the Clinton administration. However there are only 17 days until the government is expected to default on debt obligations this time, so it is expected this shutdown will not last as long.

Given that there's significant discussion regarding the shutdown in other threads, it might be useful to have a thread of its own to observe and comment from.
 
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#5
There's some non-sense here (I know, I could have said nonsense, but bare with me (bear with me? hmm... not sure) ) in that if you close the place, you have to hire security guards, which will cost money. But if you keep some of these places open that are essentially "self-touring" (like many memorials) you would need to hire janitors to pick up garbage, etc. But wouldn't 1-2 janitors be less than the number of security guards they apparently hired, and thus cost less money?

Just wondering out loud here.
 
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#7
There's some non-sense here (I know, I could have said nonsense, but bare with me (bear with me? hmm... not sure) ) in that if you close the place, you have to hire security guards, which will cost money. But if you keep some of these places open that are essentially "self-touring" (like many memorials) you would need to hire janitors to pick up garbage, etc. But wouldn't 1-2 janitors be less than the number of security guards they apparently hired, and thus cost less money?

Just wondering out loud here.
You're applying logic to the way government operates. What you suggest would make sense, so of course the opposite must happen.
 

Espy

Staff member
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#8
Congressional Republicans are stupid fucking destructive babies, and they're all going to get re-elected.
You think? I think this is going to backfire on them huge. Expect total democrat control in the next election is my guess.
 

Dave

Staff member
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#9
I doubt it, @Espy. The general republican electorate absolutely love to vote against their own interests and vote in these radical idiots. I've never seen a more uninformed electorate in my life.
 
#10
You think? I think this is going to backfire on them huge. Expect total democrat control in the next election is my guess.
I hope you're right, but- district lines. Democrat congressional candidates in 2012 received more votes than Republican congressional candidates
 

GasBandit

Staff member
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#13
Apart from the so-called "tea party," there is no difference between a Democrat and a Republican. Both parties are just as complicit. That said, the shutdown is a lot more sound and fury than actual crisis.

All that said, I don't think this will be what pushes the 2014 midterms one way or the other. There's plenty of time for much more stupifying ridiculousness between now and this time next year.
 
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#14
That sounds more like a turnout issue rather than a party one.

--Patrick
No it's a gerrymandering problem.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_...he_congressional_districts_back_together.html

Fun little game that shows how Gerrymandering can be used to carve out safe republican seats by both putting little chunks of opposition strongholds in with large areas of your party control or by making sure to link as many opposition strongholds as possible to give the opposition one assured seat while giving you enough of your voters to secure 4 safe seats.
 

GasBandit

Staff member
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#17
It takes 2 to tango. Democrats were given a number of bills they could have buckled for and prevented the shutdown, same as Republicans. They have just as much a hand in it, if not more. If they'd passed a budget (which they haven't done in 7 years, not even when they had complete control of both houses AND the executive branch) this wouldn't have even been a possibility.
 
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#18
I know about Gerrymandering, and I've heard of solutions posed to relieve it, but it sounded like you were stating total number of votes cast, not districts won, seats available, nor anything like that.

--Patrick
That is what he was saying though. That the number of votes for Democrat congressmen was greater than the number of votes cast for Republican congressmen. But the congress right now has a Republican majority due to Gerrymandering.
 
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#20
But wouldn't 1-2 janitors be less than the number of security guards they apparently hired, and thus cost less money?
Welcome to accounting for Very Large Entities. In this case security funding won't be cut, but park staff will be cut. Two different budgets. They may both take from the same pot, but the costs are "contained" which means that even if another pot has to be larger, the accountants (and thus congress) are satisfied that the expenditure of the pot they're interested in has gone down.
 

GasBandit

Staff member
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#21
Economic shockwaves due to shutdown fail to materialize, Dow up 61, Nasdaq climbs 1.2% (46.5).
 
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#22
Economic shockwaves due to shutdown fail to materialize, Dow up 61, Nasdaq climbs 1.2% (46.5).
You would figure that with the average age of Congresspeople being, like, 108 or something (down from 125 since Strom Thurmond died), these people would have some concept of "long term strategy." Either that, or this is the sign of people taking advantage of the deals to be found in the market while the panickers unload and the long-termers increase their holdings.

--Patrick
 

Dave

Staff member
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#23
That said, the shutdown is a lot more sound and fury than actual crisis.
Tell that to the people who are at home and not getting paid today. Have you no empathy for those caught in the middle?
 
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#24
The BBC's list of top stories, 8 items long, has 3 covering the shutdown. One of them is fascinating to me:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-24342521

The most interesting part, to me, is the last two paragraphs:

...another reason why the United States has shutdown crises and other countries don't - because the United States can afford to. At least up until now, the American economy has been able to continue to grind along despite shutdown disruptions that would stagger other nations.

"Constant-shutdown, permanent-emergency governance is so destructive that no other serious country engages in or could tolerate it," James Fallows writes in the Atlantic. "The United States can afford it only because we are - still - so rich, with so much margin for waste and error."
As the United States approached a budget crisis that will shut down many federal services and affect more than 700,000 workers, other countries looked on with a mixture of puzzlement and dread.

For most of the world, a government shutdown is very bad news - the result of revolution, invasion or disaster. Even in the middle of its ongoing civil war, the Syrian government has continued to pay its bills and workers' wages.

That leaders of one of the most powerful nations on earth willingly provoked a crisis that suspends public services and decreases economic growth is astonishing to many.

American policymakers "are facing the unthinkable prospect of shutting down the government as they squabble over the inconsequential accomplishment of a 10-week funding extension", Mexico's The News wrote in an editorial.

In the United States, however, government shutdowns - or the threat thereof - have become an accepted negotiating tactic, thanks to the quirks of the American federal system, which allows different branches of government to be controlled by different parties. It was a structure devised by the nation's founders to encourage compromise and deliberation, but lately has had just the opposite effect.

Elsewhere in the world, such shutdowns are practically impossible. The parliamentary system used by most European democracies ensures that the executive and legislature are controlled by the same party or coalition. Conceivably, a parliament could refuse to pass a budget proposed by the prime minister, but such an action would likely trigger a failure of the government and a new election - witness the current situation in the Netherlands, where Prime Minister Mark Rutte's government faced a no-confidence vote at the start of debate over his 2014 budget proposal. And even when there is a gap prior to a new government taking office, national services continue to operate.

In non-parliamentary democracies, such as Brazil, a strong executive branch has the ability to keep the lights on during a budget impasse. Such was the case in the United States as well, until a 1980 Carter administration interpretation of the 1884 Anti-Deficiency Act strictly limited the powers of federal agencies in the absence of congressional funding authorisations.
Now, as the latest shutdown crisis plays out, policymakers in other nations are left to ponder the worldwide impact of the impasse.

"Globalisation … means every country is in it together," writes David Blanchflower in the Independent in the UK. "Americans sneeze and Brits catch the flu."

"Canadians can only pray their economy won't be collateral damage," writes John Ibbitson in Canada's Globe and Mail. "Anything that drags down the American economy drags the Canadian economy down with it."

And this could be another reason why the United States has shutdown crises and other countries don't - because the United States can afford to. At least up until now, the American economy has been able to continue to grind along despite shutdown disruptions that would stagger other nations.

"Constant-shutdown, permanent-emergency governance is so destructive that no other serious country engages in or could tolerate it," James Fallows writes in the Atlantic. "The United States can afford it only because we are - still - so rich, with so much margin for waste and error."
 
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#27
Tell that to the people who are at home and not getting paid today. Have you no empathy for those caught in the middle?
Any business is subject to disruptions of one kind or another. Federal employees are not immune. Lots of businesses fail, shutdown, or furlough their workers in the face of bad executive decisions.

Of course it's bad for them, but 11.3 million people who want to work are unemployed. Yes, these people are in a bad spot, but they still have a job which they'll be able to return to as soon as congress gets its rear in gear.
 

GasBandit

Staff member
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#28
Tell that to the people who are at home and not getting paid today. Have you no empathy for those caught in the middle?
It does suck to be them. It's unfortunate that our federal government has become analogous to a barbed arrowhead lodged in the meat of our country and will require a large amount of pain and blood before healing can begin, but maybe one day there will be enough pain so that the downtrodden wake up and spend their last 50 bucks on torches and pitchforks before descending on the National Mall.
 
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#30
3 years ago Obama pushed congress to pass the healthcare act, which not one republican voted for. Now Obama is calling the healthcare dissent an "ideological crusade."

In the recent past legislation that has withstood the test of time has been bipartisan. The healthcare act was not.

Why are the democrats so surprised that the republicans are using procedural warfare to turn that legislation around?

As usual, Obama says "I want to work across the aisle..." during campaign speeches, then says, "it's my way or the highway" when the other side wants to change legislation.
 

GasBandit

Staff member
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#31
As usual, Obama says "I want to work across the aisle..." during campaign speeches, then says, "it's my way or the highway" when the other side wants to change legislation.
Hell, he said and did both yesterday. In practically the same breath in a speech, he said "I'm willing to sit down and work with republicans" and then followed it up with demanding they pass a clean CR with no strings attached.

But now the shutdown is really starting to hit home... the KKK has had to cancel a rally because of it.
 

Dave

Staff member
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#32
Which means republicans are feeling the effect.

(Not that all republicans are racist, but all racists are republican. :troll:)
 
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#33
In the recent past legislation that has withstood the test of time has been bipartisan. The healthcare act was not.
But the Voting Rights Act did not have Billion Dollar Corporations throwing around money to keep it from passing.
 

GasBandit

Staff member
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#34
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#35
"The GOP counteroffer rejected by the Senate on Tuesday would have delayed Obamacare for a year and ended federally provided health care for the president, members of Congress and their staff while funding the government for 11 weeks."

Obama is already unilaterally (and some say illegally) delaying significant portions of the healthcare act by a year already, and who here honestly thinks that the representatives should have a different healthcare system than the one they are forcing on citizens?

Obama and the Senate played chicken with the US economy at stake over these simple concessions?

The republicans aren't going to back down. If it isn't this, then it'll be the sequester at the middle of the month. If it isn't that it'll be some other method for them to reassert the reality that the healthcare act is partisan and has NO support from a huge portion of the representatives and their constituents.

Obama and the democrats are desperately trying to maintain just enough control to put so much of it into effect that it'd be harder to back out of, but they should realize by now that this can't work out for them.

It's the only game they've got though.
 
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