As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Shut it Down

Let’s figure out once and for all if the American people are serious about cutting the federal budget.

My guess is they are. If they are, they will blame President Obama for the shutdown. If not, they will blame Speaker Boehner. It’s that simple.

But we need to know.

A lot of commentators are attempting to forecast who will earn America’s ire for the shutdown, and who will cave first. The fact is, nobody has any idea.

Reid and Boehner at the White House
Boehner and Reid Thursday at the White House.
photo by Keith Koffler

The politics of doing the shutdown is like having dinner with in the Borneo rainforest with a group of cannibals. Anything can happen between the appetizer and dessert. It’s totally unpredictable, and it could be really bad.

The deficit is a national calamity that could cripple our economy and ensure that our children don’t get the lives we have, which some already think are pretty miserable.

Sure, it’s best to sell any solution with Reaganesque optimism. The American spirit is strong, and we can get through this one too. And we can grow our way out of it, to some extent.

But it will also take PAIN and TOUGH CHOICES to fix the longterm deficit. If the country is not able to deal with a government shutdown for a few days over a matter of principle – if people blame the side that is trying to cut more out of the budget, whatever the merits of the specific GOP cuts and policy language add-ons – we will know that the nation is not ready for the serious measures that have to be taken.

I have faith that they are. But once we know for sure, it will inform budget policy for the next couple of years and lay the groundwork for candidates of both Parties to seriously trumpet fiscal discipline during 2012 election. It will put us on a path toward saving our economy.

Sure, the 2010 election was in part a referendum on fiscal policy. But the shutdown test will be solely and specifically about the deficit.

Obama and Boehner are both cautious men. Neither has the AUDACITY to keep going once public opinion swings against them. One will cave. We’ll know soon which way the wind is blowing. But first, we need to . . .

SHUT IT DOWN.

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24 Responses to Shut it Down

  1. I saw some fourth-tier Dem bleating that they had given the Repubs 70% of what they wanted and wasn’t that enough? I might not think so…esp if I was not asking that much. But what do I know–I just live here. I guarantee you the press will spin this against the R’s.

  2. Yes! Shut it down! Let the nation see the current White House occupant run off to his Williamsburg vacation after the horrible, awful, terrible, worst-possible-thing-that-could-happen government shut down.

    • Who schedules a vacation 2 weeks after a vacation?
      The O’s (multi-millionaires) should have rented a ‘vacation’ home somewhere in America that they can go to on weekends. After all, most of our elected officials don’t stay 24/7 in the Capitol.

      Every city or venue that they visit, security causes such serious disruption that the ‘small people’ are really getting upset at the O’s.

      • If you’ve ever been down I-64 between Richmond and Virginia Beach, you know that their vacation is going to practically shut down business along that corridor.

        • Doesn’t matter to The One. When traffic is shut down, motorists should alight from their vehicles and as the motorcade passes, kneel down in deference.

          • It might be an elaborate scheme to “spread the pain” to the private sector. Since there will be reporters all around, expect to see closed businesses and the government shut down to be given as the reason why. The fact that people can’t get around because the first family is in the area will receive nary a mention.

  3. I’m with you Keith. Shut it down. If Boehner blinks now, how will we ever get our massive deficit under control.

    The Democrats have already started with their old people eating cat food and little kids losing their health care cliches. The Republicans need to get out in front of this and prove who the adults are.

  4. As one who won’t be affected by any of the reforms proposed by RepRyan, my opinion is only for the future of my country. Something has to give and it starts with the free-spending Congress who must address every expenditure.
    When they question the necessity of the DeptOfEducation and others, the grants given for special interests and face the reality of past actions that caused SocialSecurity to be the mess it is today, we’ll be on the right track.

    Shut it down. The critical Federal services that will still be operating are probably the only things that are necessary and the public knows that.

    • As one who will be affected by his proposed reforms, I say, “let’s do it.” At some point, some generation is going to have to realize that they won’t be getting the Social Secuirty, Medicare, etc. promised by these Ponzi schemes and just write off all the money they’ve had taken for them. To save the nation I love, I’m willing to do that.

      • You are a true patriot William. What a selfless, noble act. This country needs many more young people like you.

        My husband and I planned our retirement based on the knowledge that those programs probably wouldn’t be around when the time came. The programs are still here, but they won’t be for our children. We’re okay with giving up what we paid in to those programs over the years. We’re not okay with the way the government pi$$ed it away.

          • Understand where you are coming from Star. Social security checks will still go out in the event of a shutdown. Also, none of the plans introduced by the Republicans will affect anyone currently on these programs.

  5. Keith, after reading that … I nominate *you* for office! Holy Moses. If we had someone stand up on the floor of the House and give that speech, the nation would stand behind it.

  6. This is Hype and a Hoax and Fear-mongering. They are fixated on one thing – winning 2012.
    As bad as the GOP is the Democrats cannot govern. They cannot govern. They lost that shit with Truman. Under LBJ, the whole country spun out of control and the Earth tilted on it’s axis. Carter? Well, do I need to go on?

  7. I could write 10,000 words about this. But instead I will just say this:

    Yes, we upset the balance in the house, but no the democrats still control the Senate.
    But and yes there is always a but in life, and in Congress.

    There are still way too many repubs that don’t understand or don’t want to understand…
    That the United States is in BIG, BIG TROUBLE!!!!! and as a result will do the time tested,
    seemingly unbreakable habit of folding. Folding just because that is the repub thing to do.

    But to get back to who will be to blame. The few Americans who even know about this, or
    most importantly care, will say that the whole Congress, every last one of them is to blame.
    Then of course, Congress’s approval will fall even more, plus the fact that our Nation will
    continue to be buried in debt which increases EACH and EVERY day.

    No matter how long or how hard Congress tries, the net result won’t do anything to stop
    the inevitable. Which will be the slide into economic disaster and the unintended results.
    Which will be so bad that Americans will not be as well off as other third rate counties.

    Too Bad. I’m too old to move and already too broke. Anybody who is going to Australia
    Who has the money I would appreciate a ride for my two grand daughters and myself.

    Papa Ray

  8. Well said keith.

    You say what many people in their mid 30s and younger already feel. We know that we wont see a dime of it back. Im FINE with saying to hell with what was already taken, do a 5-10 year phase out of SS payments AND payroll deductions, and just call the thing dead. Thats far better than business as usual until finally one day…KABOOM. its done. Give everyone time tplan for it. SS was never intended as a retirement plan. Sadly, many people do not comprehend that. Its a S&^% sandwich, and everybody is going to have to take a bite.

    I’d be interested to hear just how much more tax revenue the government would have to close defict gaps if people didnt have SS taken out of their check and couldnt claim the subsequent deduction on taxable income. I bet it would be a MASSIVE windfall in tax revenue that could do a lot of good. Say you make 50k, but are only taxed on 42k bc 8k went to SS…no SS, you get taxed on 50k. The taxpayer has more money left to spend in the economy and the government gets a higher tax payment out of the taxpayer. EVERYONE IS HAPPY. Once people can get past the mental attachment they have of the SS money they’ve already paid in to the system, it could really work.

    • Has anyone ever considered actually putting the money in an investment vehicle if we have those anymore and not spending it out of the general fund–you know, a lockbox or something?

  9. This fight here is about an out of control over reaching over spending behemoth of a debt that has to be slashed to the bare root. We in the private sector have endured these financially unstable years with great effort and willingness to adjust ourselves to live within meager salaries and what ever available employment we can find. This government has ignored the will of the people and must bring itself into line with the rest of us… and now! Do not flinch, do not capitulate. NO DEALS. Be the statesmen we believe that you all can be. Be the leaders we need to save our country and our futures. Do what’s right. Never back down from a bully it only makes him think he can do it again.

  10. My family will be affected by the shutdown, however we have planned for it. Knowing this we say shut it down, if Bohner folds its over for the GOP. The US can not continue in this fiscal quagmire. Better to take the hit now or we all suffer for the rest of our lives.