US Government Shutdown
The US government was partially shutdown on Tuesday after the divided US congress failed to reach a compromise on a spending bill to continue funding the government. Republicans opposed to Obamacare refused to pass the bill.
The Republicans want a 1 year delay in implementing Obamacare.
The practical effect of the shutdown is the closure of national parks, museums, many federal offices and government services. 700,000 federal employees have been furloughed without pay. Goldman Sachs estimates the shutdown could cut US growth by 0.9% in the current quarter. A CNN poll showed that 46% of Americans blamed the Republicans for the shutdown while 36% said Obama was to blame. 13% said both the Republicans and Obama were to blame.
Whether you are for or against Obamacare, shutting down the government is certainly not the solution. Obamacare is the law, if you don’t like it, you can campaign against it. You can ammend it. You can make it a main issue in coming elections and if enough American voters agree with you, you can repeal it. But refusing to fund the government is simply irresponsible and harmful. Holding the country hostage over one piece of legislation is just bad politics.
The shutdown will end eventually. They always do. It is simply a question of how much harm will be done to the country in the mean time. The bigger problem is the debt ceiling.
On October 17, The US government will hit the debt ceiling. Without legislation to raise the ceiling, the US treasury would be unable to borrow any further money, which could lead to a US default on its debt. Let’s hope the congress, especially the Republicans, put aside their bickering and pass a new limit. We’ve already had the first ever credit rating downgrade on US Treasury Bonds from a previous battle. It’s time to put partisan politics aside and stop shooting ourselves in the foot.