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Thread: US Federal Government Shutdown

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    Tribunus Plebis Member Gaius Scribonius Curio's Avatar
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    Default US Federal Government Shutdown

    I am not sure whether this merits its own thread, so if moderators deem it unnecessary, please feel free to close it.

    However: I feel that a story of this magnitude deserves to be treated separately.

    Essentially this thread arises out of my curiosity regarding how the US Government shutdown is perceived, both in the USA and around the world. It has been presented to me, by the news organisations which I trust, that the majority of Americans, even those who identify as Republicans, view the impasse as mindless obstructionism on the part of the Republican party. Similarly, this media suggests that this scenario can only end badly for the Republican party, whether they back down swiftly or not.

    However, I am well aware that my own predispositions and the media organisations which I trust would naturally assume that this is the case. So, how do Orgahs in the US feel? Do you, particularly those who oppose the ACA, view this as a legitimate tactic, or do you think that this is an exercise in futility? Has this changed your opinion regarding the party, or made you less or more likely to vote Republican?

    More generally, do Orgahs feel that there are any, theoretical, circumstances in which a party should, or could legitimately, shut down the government in an effort to force their opponents to repeal a legitimately passed statute?

    Looking to the future, how does this bode for the debt ceiling?

    As a personal anecdote, a friend (who has zero interest in contemporary politics) today stated that this shutdown, after the omnipresent risk of being gunned down, was a key reason why she could never bring herself to move to the States, despite the large number of academic opportunities.

    I look forward to your responses.
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    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: US Federal Government Shutdown

    I don't know enough about American politics, what I am absolutily positively sure of is that it's ubsolutily wouldn't happen here, all politicians here understand is demanding more taxes. So without knowing nearly enough to not make a fool out of myself I kinda have to salute shutting down the government instead.

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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: US Federal Government Shutdown

    Like I said in another thread, it's apparently not front page news here anymore, so I'm not sure about the magnitude.

    As for whether it's a good or a bad thing, well, it is not very surprising given the attitude of some Americans and especially republican politicians. Americans even wanted this to happen since they voted for a majority of republicans in congress, no?

    So it's all good, not like anyone expects the government to do anything right anyway and Obama needs to be stopped because he is only the elected president.


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    Member Member Sp4's Avatar
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    Default Re: US Federal Government Shutdown

    Seems like business as usual.

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    Standing Up For Rationality Senior Member Ronin's Avatar
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    Default Re: US Federal Government Shutdown

    how it's perceived over here?

    Republican´s be trippin'.
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    Ranting madman of the .org Senior Member Fly Shoot Champion, Helicopter Champion, Pedestrian Killer Champion, Sharpshooter Champion, NFS Underground Champion Rhyfelwyr's Avatar
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    Default Re: US Federal Government Shutdown

    As much as this will delight the anti-America crowd, remember the US isn't the worst in this regard - look at how Belgium, one of those most enlightened Benelux nations, went nearly 2 years without a government because nobody could agree on anything.

    As a non-American, I just see this as typical partisan US politics.
    At the end of the day politics is just trash compared to the Gospel.

  7. #7

    Default Re: US Federal Government Shutdown

    Looking at the past 40 years, I'm surprised it took 17 since the last one to recur.

    It's interesting that half of all furloughed employees come from the DoD.
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    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: US Federal Government Shutdown

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhyfelwyr View Post
    As much as this will delight the anti-America crowd, remember the US isn't the worst in this regard - look at how Belgium, one of those most enlightened Benelux nations, went nearly 2 years without a government because nobody could agree on anything.
    And they are now one of the most succesfull countries in the world and surroundings. Politics are just petty games, our minister of defence is schooled to be a secretary, our state-secretary of finances never graduated for anything but high-school (havo, second lowest one, you can't even enter an university with it, too stupid, but oh so good at working with her ellbows and putting up weight) and she didn't even have economy in her package, our minister of foreign affairs is the minister of looking good on pictures where he can be jerking himself of after shake hands, etc etc.

    Screw it all, we would be so much better without them.
    Last edited by Fragony; 10-02-2013 at 13:02.

  9. #9
    Horse Archer Senior Member Sarmatian's Avatar
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    Default Re: US Federal Government Shutdown

    When the world economy is barely starting to recover, this was the last thing we needed.

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    Liar and Trickster Senior Member Andres's Avatar
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    Default Re: US Federal Government Shutdown

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhyfelwyr View Post
    As much as this will delight the anti-America crowd, remember the US isn't the worst in this regard - look at how Belgium, one of those most enlightened Benelux nations, went nearly 2 years without a government because nobody could agree on anything.

    As a non-American, I just see this as typical partisan US politics.
    We had a government of running affairs.

    We also still had a Flemish, Brussels, Walloon and Germanophone government ()

    Anyway, even during one of our deepest recent political crisises, none of our governmental institutions shut down during that period. Everything continued as normal.

    How that makes Belgium worse than the US in this regard, is beyond my comprehension.

    Even when playing the pettiest of petty games, our politicians aren't that irresponsible as to shut governmental services down (people pay taxes for those to WORK, not to be shut down) and put so many civil servants without income just like that.

    "World leaders," they call themselves. Bravo. Congratulations

    Bullying the entire world with military might but not giving a damn about the common man; nice political parties you have over there.
    Last edited by Andres; 10-02-2013 at 13:51.
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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: US Federal Government Shutdown

    Calm down, Andres, their financial system is purely based on and adjusted to personal greed, none of this should really surprise you.
    Everything is working as intended.

    Not to forget that Europe uses the same system as a basis and has just amended it a bit here and there.


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  12. #12
    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: US Federal Government Shutdown

    Re the shutdown, the most important thing to understand is that this is less an inter-party conflict than an intra-party conflict. Anything you read that doesn't make that distinction is, by definition, moronic.

    Pretty good explanation here.

    Or as a popular article yesterday put it:

    Those who keep talking as if there are two sides to this, when there are not, are as much a part of the vandalism as Ted Cruz. Obama has played punctiliously by the constitutional rules – two elections, one court case – while the GOP has decided that the rules are for dummies and suckers, and throws over the board game as soon as it looks as if it is going to lose by the rules as they have always applied.

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    Master of useless knowledge Senior Member Kitten Shooting Champion, Eskiv Champion Ironside's Avatar
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    Default Re: US Federal Government Shutdown

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhyfelwyr View Post
    As much as this will delight the anti-America crowd, remember the US isn't the worst in this regard - look at how Belgium, one of those most enlightened Benelux nations, went nearly 2 years without a government because nobody could agree on anything.

    As a non-American, I just see this as typical partisan US politics.
    As Andres pointed out, it's quite different situations. No goverment in Belgium meant that no new decisions could be made, while current system is running as normal. In the US, it means that there's quite a bit of people that will have forced unpaid vacations until it's resolved.

    Personally I think the idea of "crash and burn and then rebuild" has gotten out of hand. It's some kind of block on what crash and burn really means, and instead it seems to be treated as "minor issue that goes on the insurance or something".

    We're witnessing a party that's been running out of ideas, dropped their responsibillity and instead spends the time lashing out on everything the don't like .
    We are all aware that the senses can be deceived, the eyes fooled. But how can we be sure our senses are not being deceived at any particular time, or even all the time? Might I just be a brain in a tank somewhere, tricked all my life into believing in the events of this world by some insane computer? And does my life gain or lose meaning based on my reaction to such solipsism?

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  14. #14
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: US Federal Government Shutdown

    Am I right in thinking that the UK's civil service runs independently of Parliament, so that the government's services continue regardless of any disputes between the politicians?

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    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: US Federal Government Shutdown

    Pretty good explanation of why the House leadership can't control the chaos.

    What we're seeing is the collapse of institutional Republican power. It’s not so much about Boehner. It’s things like the end of earmarks. They move away from Tom DeLay and they think they're improving the House, but now they have nothing to offer their members. The outside groups don't always move votes directly but they create an atmosphere of fear among the members. And so many of these members now live in the conservative world of talk radio and tea party conventions and Fox News invitations. And so the conservative strategy of the moment, no matter how unrealistic it might be, catches fire. The members begin to believe they can achieve things in divided government that most objective observers would believe is impossible. Leaders are dealing with these expectations that wouldn't exist in a normal environment. [...]

    When you get the members off the talking points you come to a simple conclusion: They don't face consequences for taking these hardline positions. When you hear members talk candidly about their biggest victory, it wasn’t winning the House in 2010. It was winning the state legislatures in 2010 because they were able to redraw their districts so they had many more conservative voters. The members get heat from the press but they don't get heat from back home.

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    Standing Up For Rationality Senior Member Ronin's Avatar
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    Default Re: US Federal Government Shutdown

    They shut down the us government, and military fetishist Tom Clancy dies...

    coincidence?

    when will the madness stop??
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    Default Re: US Federal Government Shutdown

    I thought this was a holiday? I mean they are still getting paid in congress and senate.
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  18. #18
    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: US Federal Government Shutdown

    This is interesting: One of the writers at NRO—deep inside the conservative media echo chamber—attempts to talk sense to the loonies. Good luck, Yuval!

    Republicans did not do nearly well enough in the last election to enact legislation that would repeal Obamacare. In order to repeal that law and attempt an effective reform of our health-care system along conservative lines, they will need to do better in the next election and the one to follow. To that end, they can take several kinds of steps with regard to Obamacare in the meantime: steps that would weaken the law (by highlighting its faults or disabling some of its elements) and ultimately make it easier to replace; steps that would weaken the law’s supporters (by further connecting them to the law in the public’s mind and forcing them to defend its least popular elements) and ultimately make them easier to replace; and steps that would strengthen the law’s opponents (by clearly identifying them as opponents of an unpopular measure and champions of a more appealing approach) and help them gain more public support.

    In my view (shared with all who would listen to no avail, for what it’s worth) the original defund strategy was not well suited to doing any of these things. [...]

    [Republicans'] control of the House has allowed them to put some restraints on public spending, to significantly reduce the deficit, and to prevent the enactment of more progressive fiascos like those that were enacted in President Obama’s first two years in office, but it is not sufficient to allow the repeal of Obamacare. Control of the Senate would surely allow them to do more to pull the country to the right (hopefully including some meaningful entitlement reform, which is essential) and that would be very important and welcome, but, given that the president will not be eager to see his chief legislative accomplishment undone, it is likely not to be enough to allow for the full repeal of Obamacare. These may be hard facts, but they seem like fairly straightforward ones. Elections matter, and Republicans did not do enough to win the last one.

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    Bureaucratically Efficient Senior Member TinCow's Avatar
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    Default Re: US Federal Government Shutdown

    The shutdown is nothing. The problem is if this rolls into the debt ceiling issue two weeks from now. The Tea Party is insane enough to actually blow that one up too.


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    Default Re: US Federal Government Shutdown

    Step 1.) Shut down the government - This is as far as some of them thought it out, and for some this is a goal in and of itself. A shut-down government is the ultimate form of de-regulation. I'm sure some are even deluded into thinking it is a state of affairs they can make permanent.

    Step 2.) Shift the blame. This is so smart, what they've been doing by trying to fund the government bit by bit and piece by piece. This puts the initiative with the Tea Party, makes Obama look like the bad guy (because in typical spock-like fashion he wants the whole logic-pie or nothing at all), and also starts putting dividers into the public. The military and veterans funding stuff is huge--these demographics don't need much more incentive to lean to the far right. So far the dems and Obama are falling right into the trap. The longer this goes on, and the more Obama tries to look tough, the better off the Tea Party will be.

    This isn't really about the Tea Party trying to expand its popularity. They are already popular enough, especially with demographics that actually wield influence and power in society (police, military, the ultra-rich, etc.). This whole thing is about making a statement to the base, the "foot soldiers" of the Tea Party, if you will. The lower or middle-class sorts who get their news from the echo chamber, FOX or blogs or whatever. When all is said and done, the only thing that will be different from before the shut-down is that the Tea Party as a whole will be more galvanized and feel more at odds with the existing power structure.
    While it will galvanize the base, I'm not so sure that it will actually add very much to it. The lines are already set.
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    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: US Federal Government Shutdown

    Quote Originally Posted by TinCow View Post
    The shutdown is nothing. The problem is if this rolls into the debt ceiling issue two weeks from now. The Tea Party is insane enough to actually blow that one up too.
    Well maybe if the Tea Party succeeds in destroying our credit rating, and makes the existing debt ruinously expensive, and plunges the world markets into a nosedive ...

    ... then maybe you'll listen to them and see they were right all along!
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  22. #22
    The Black Senior Member Papewaio's Avatar
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    Default Re: US Federal Government Shutdown

    That is fine. And would have easier to do in the post Reagan years with Communism having collapsed.

    But the cosequences of hitting the credit rating will hurt the US more then Gitmo or pissing on corpses or saying how you will do whatever you want with no consequences.

    This will potentially have a long term effect in diminishing the US Dollar as it will no longer be viewed as the stable one for investors to dump into when things get turbulent in the markets.

    Steadier large volume currencies have started to appear and the markets might hedge with some of the money being parked in China and the EU. That is a much larger impact then most people understand.

    If that parking strategy works it will be another stake in the American economy. Massive debt with increased interest rates due to a lower rating and a dollar that plunges in time of lacking confidence instead of going up.
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    Default Re: US Federal Government Shutdown

    It is kind of hard for western countries to understand what the problem with USAnian politics is.

    You pay taxes and ever so often you get a voice as to where that money should go.

    ... What would be the problem?



    Oh well, USAnian politics in a nutshell. It's all about the "NOW!"

    Granted, however, USAnians don't have much history or even shared empathy, like other actually REAL nations. Makes it kind of hard to blame them for it.

  24. #24
    The Usual Member Ice's Avatar
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    Default Re: US Federal Government Shutdown

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemur View Post

    Or as a popular article yesterday put it:

    Those who keep talking as if there are two sides to this, when there are not, are as much a part of the vandalism as Ted Cruz. Obama has played punctiliously by the constitutional rules – two elections, one court case – while the GOP has decided that the rules are for dummies and suckers, and throws over the board game as soon as it looks as if it is going to lose by the rules as they have always applied.

    That about sums up the entire situation.


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    Part-Time Polemic Senior Member ICantSpellDawg's Avatar
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    Default Re: US Federal Government Shutdown

    I don't know about you guys, but I feel 2 days freer already! I hope this goes on for months.

    Honestly, I'm very timid about messing with the debt ceiling. I don't see why we can't just keep the shutdown for months and increase the debt ceiling in 2 weeks without much of an issue. Hey, shaking this Piñata has already caused the Senate to open up to tax reform talks. Who knows what else we can get them to open up to. I don't care about obamacare at this point, but it isn't too much to ask that they give the poor citizen some relief.. Just until the obvious kinks are worked out. If they don't want to even discuss that possibility, let's see if we can get them to cave somewhere else. Maybe somewhere that matters.

    So far, the only people who have been bothered by the shutdown are Democrats and government employees, those who suckle on the teat of government. We could lose all of their votes without losing any votes.

    I've never met a public employee who would vote for the ones who are looking to personally send them a pink slip.
    Last edited by ICantSpellDawg; 10-03-2013 at 02:48.
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    Part-Time Polemic Senior Member ICantSpellDawg's Avatar
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    Default Re: US Federal Government Shutdown

    You mean those who work for a living? The government should be funded in a series of piecemeal bills, similar to those suggested by the House GOP. We were looking to fund Veterans benefits because they've earned their keep and deserve the benefits, Democrats rejected the idea because they want to play the game longer. Let's play. Fund food stamps and disability benefits next. I'd love to see democrats table that bill.

    If you want to dismantle the Federal government, secession and conventional war won't work. You use the tools available to you at the time.
    Last edited by ICantSpellDawg; 10-03-2013 at 03:03.
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    Part-Time Polemic Senior Member ICantSpellDawg's Avatar
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    Default Re: US Federal Government Shutdown

    Yep. Drinking the kool aid. We've had no leverage for years. This is tough leverage. At this point, I loathe the federal system and what it has become. We finally have the votes to hack the thing up a bit. We have until the mid-terms to really gum things up for the other guys and extract some blood atonement before we lose the house. If we set the federal government back a few years it will just be that much weaker vs state power, where things will need to get done. Let's make these months count.

    Or maybe I'm just kidding. Or maybe not? Attempts at moderation are only useful with friends in real life. On the internet, we can speak our mind, or even the thing that we wish was our mind. My own initial reaction was to cave. It almost always is, but that's why I make 45k a year and will never be able to buy a home, because I don't cut throats and steamroll other people. My representatives in DC can do that for me.

    Let's start taking chances with the system that we don't believe in.
    Last edited by ICantSpellDawg; 10-03-2013 at 03:12.
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  28. #28
    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: US Federal Government Shutdown

    I personally see a tangible benefit from a government shutdown, reduced DC traffic is great, but this can't go on for too long without serious damage. The debt limit vote in two weeks is more important, and it will be interesting to see how it all comes together (I believe the non-insane GOP reps will push that through).

    An interesting side effect of the shutdown - until this gets resolved there are no more background checks for firearm purchases, which means no more firearm purchases. I wonder how well that will go over in the red states.
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  29. #29
    The Black Senior Member Papewaio's Avatar
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    Default Re: US Federal Government Shutdown

    What happens if the rest of the system calls the Tea Party out?

    If they reverse the situation now and go budget + debt ceiling are a tied issue (which of all the bills out there would have to be the most closely aligned unlike pork barrel additives).

    Tea Party can come and play or cause the USA to not pay its dues.

    Credit rating dips and therefore interest rates go up a couple of points maybe 0.1%
    US dollar loses its gloss as a steady bet therefore money is diverted out of it to more stable safe economies. Means the ability to service debt goes down as the USD dips a couple of percentage points. This is more damaging then the credit rating slip as it changes people's thinking and attitudes towards the dollar. Hearts and minds of stock brokers are more fickle and the outcome more damaging then fundamentalists.

    So that is a mix of internal and external.

    Debt ceiling not being raised means that essential government employees aren't getting payed either. That includes the military and I expect it would have a knock on effect in funding and infrastructure to states.

    Suddenly it is not just non essential white collar government employees its also all the employees. It is also all those who rely on contracts to the government and their employees will feel the pinch.

    This will hit everyone in every economy and there is no way tea party members will be immune to this. Mind you their survivalist factions will be having wet dreams and spam.
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  30. #30
    Part-Time Polemic Senior Member ICantSpellDawg's Avatar
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    Default Re: US Federal Government Shutdown

    Listen, if we are just crazy policy ignoramus', let's let this thing run for months. You'll show the country how truly awful we are and maybe they'll throw us out of office in one fell swoop. Problem solved, we won't be able to run for dog catcher. Small price to pay, right?
    "That rifle hanging on the wall of the working-class flat or labourer's cottage is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there."
    -Eric "George Orwell" Blair

    "If the policy of the government, upon vital questions affecting the whole people, is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court...the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned the government into the hands of that eminent tribunal."
    (Lincoln's First Inaugural Address, 1861).
    ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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