The federal government has now been shut down for five days. Five days of apocalyptic doom has swept over the country and we are now living in an episode of The Walking Dead. Everyone knew that we couldn't function without the help of a fully functioning, burgeoning US government; no one could imagine it would come to this. Excuse me while I wake up from a democrat’s nightmare and continue about my everyday life. We do have a government shutdown, but the effects are non-existent. Both sides of the aisle have acted and continue to behave like children and there is a clamoring for the heads of those responsible. Continually, the question is asked, “Who gets the blame for this?” The 17 trillion dollar question is, “Who the hell cares?”
Republicans in congress have blamed Harry Reid and President Obama for the government shutdown. Everyone else in the world has blamed Ted Cruz and John Boehner. The blame belongs in the dumpster with the rest of the partisan garbage; both parties are trying to gain political ground from this manufactured crisis but neither seems to realize that the public will not care one year from now. Most Americans don’t understand the shutdown, nor do they care. Many thought they would not have to go to school, or wouldn’t get their mail. Some believed that their electric would be turned off in the middle of the night and their precious Wi-Fi symbol would not appear on their iSomething. Some of the most informed of citizens thought a government shutdown would include at least some terrible backlash. Many predicted the economy would be devastated; the S&P500 welcomed a shutdown, with a 0.8% gain on October 1st. While Congress and the administration are primarily concerned with the blame game, the American public will be relieved about how little the federal government plays a role in their lives. Recipients of government assistance are still being paid; they don’t care. Liberals seem to think this is the worst thing that has ever happened to them, although they can’t explain why. Conservatives are relishing in a moment of the tiniest shrinkage of government whilst President Obama contends, “I was in the pool!”
The worst atrocity the administration has weaponized is the closing of national parks and open-air monuments. Park employees are over capacity making sure that no money is wasted because of the milling about of patriots who want to see what their tax dollars have already constructed.
We the People should shrug off the shutdown because, whether you are a liberal or conservative, the temporary closing of national parks should not affect your core beliefs. The government shutdown is all but proven to be a Hollywood production; asinine and cost-adding park closings are laughably the worst pain the administration can inflict. This emergency has been is a farce and it shows so much that Congress and all media have moved on to running a new line, “If you think this is bad, wait until the debt ceiling debate.”
The debt ceiling is the next faux crisis on the administrations agenda. The talking points funneling through the news are now shifting to whether or not Congress will allow the US to default on its debt. Since the treasury is the number one holder of our debt, this would mostly amount to you giving your cousin, Eddie, an IOU to borrow a worthless baseball card, and then cutting the baseball card up and not returning one of the slivers by the date you promised. Cousin Eddie doesn't really care; he prints the baseball cards off of his Lexmark.
To digress, the US will not default on its debt. The 14th Amendment forbids defaulting on old debts, so the representative branch and the president are required to pay our interest requirements before anything else. No questions asked. The estimated tax receipts for next year are three trillion dollars. The interest payments on our debt will amount to $400 billion at most, and that is if interest rates were to raise as much as some experts predict. Default is not possible. However, the real spending kicks in with Social Security and Medicare, which are estimated to be about $1.8 trillion. This worst case scenario would leave $800 billion, plenty of money to pay for defense, VA benefits, federal retirement, and welfare programs. Keeping the debt ceiling at its present level will not induce catastrophe; only public awareness and congressional haste, both good things. These mushrooming programs and out-of-control spending categories, as well as foreign aid and special earmarked pork must be slashed now; the can has been kicked for too long and snowballed enough that it cannot be ignored and is impossible to wish away.
This shutdown crisis is a paper tiger; the debt limit crisis is a paper tiger. Those who are blind to the real world will not be affected as their Honey BooBoo marathon will continue as scheduled. Those who are awake will see how little we need our federal government. In this aspect, Obama and democrats have overplayed their hand. The longer the debate, the less vitriol the public will have towards the GOP. If the shutdown continues and the debt limit is not increased, Americans will go to work, come home, eat chicken wings, and realize, “What exactly are our taxes paying for?”
Republicans need to call Obama’s bluff and the political impact will reverse. The administration can only tell us how catastrophic things are for so long before we look around and wonder what they are talking about. Specifically, squishy House Republicans need to hold the line. Do what you were elected to do. Fight Obamacare, reduce the size of government, #GrowAPair, and stand up to the #PaperTiger. #WhoTheHellCares