Tuesday, October 01, 2013

#GOPShutdown - Day One

It's been all #GOPShutdown all the time in the news ... and the trending hashtag #EnoughAlready has been getting a super work out. One of my favorite moments had to be Speaker Boehner proclaiming vehemently that "Republicans were not in the business of shutting down the government" -- which was followed by a long series of campaign speeches by GOP candidates-now-congressional representatives stumping on a platform of (wait for it!) ... shutting down the government!

Then there was this "Jon Stewart explains it all" video ... which reminds me why when my son was deployed in Iraq he said that The Daily Show was the only news worth watching because it was the only one that told the truth.

Finally there was this from Progress Texas -- Q&A's I found super helpful:

Everyone has friends and family members who love to debate politics even though they have no clue what they are talking about. Whether it’s your crazy Tea Party uncle, an obnoxious co-worker, or Senator Ted Cruz, some people just need to stop talking.

The amount of nonsense can be overwhelming, and their bumper sticker logic can be mind-boggling. But don’t despair! Here is some information to help you get through the government shutdown.


Crazy Uncle says: A government shutdown doesn’t matter - we could use a little less government.

You say: A shutdown doesn’t mean less government - it means less services to the taxpayers who have already paid for them. This includes those who oversee veterans’ benefits, run our national parks, and process gun permits. That’s 140,000 federal employees in Texas - the third highest in the nation [1].

Crazy Uncle says: Why will Obama negotiate with Iran but not with Congressional Republicans?

You say: Republicans have rejected requests for negotiations 18 times this year [2]. Unlike House Republicans, Iran actually shows a willingness to negotiate. Also: Republicans comparing themselves to Iran...in general, not a winning strategy.

Crazy Uncle says: Congress exempted itself from Obamacare. Why can’t Congress abide by the same rule as everyone else?

You say: Congress is not exempt from the Affordable Care Act. They follow the same rules as any large employer in the country [3].

Crazy Uncle says: Obamacare won’t work - it’s a job killer that will bankrupt America.

You say: It’s the opposite - Obamacare offers access to affordable care so that people don’t go bankrupt when they get sick. Insurance companies cannot deny coverage on pre-existing conditions. And since the bill passed, health care costs have grown at the slowest rate in 50 years [4].

Crazy Uncle says: Stopping Obamacare is the “will of the people” - it’s time for politicians to listen to the people.

You: True, that's why Congress should listen to the 69% of Americans who want the law to work, and not the just 1-in-4 Americans who support a government shutdown [5]. The Affordable Care Act passed with a congressional majority, was upheld by the Supreme Court, and reaffirmed in the 2012 presidential election.


RonF said...

"The Affordable Care Act passed with a congressional majority, was upheld by the Supreme Court, and reaffirmed in the 2012 presidential election."

It passed with a bare majority. No Republicans voted for it, nor were they given involvement in the cacuses and meetings that wrote it. Contrast that with Medicare, which passed with a 2/3 bipartisan majority because the GOP was welcomed to be part of the groups writing it and some compromises were granted to them. Don't expect people to support legislation that they were given no hand in writing.

Yes, it was upheld by the Supreme Court. It was upheld because the Administration successfully argued that it was a tax and thus within the purview of Congress to implement. The only problem there is that the Administration got it passed by loudly and repeatedly telling Congress and the American public that it was NOT a tax. But "the ends justify the means" has been the mantra of this Administration from day one.

It's a stretch to claim that any one legislative initiative is confirmed by something as complex as a Presidential election.


Thanks for weighing in.

Needless to say, disagree completely.

Have a great day ...

RonF said...

Disagree completely with what? The vote tallies for the various bills? They're historical fact.

That the Administration argued that it was not a tax when it was before Congress and argued that it was a tax when it was before the Supreme Court? That too is historical fact - do you want me to provide citations?

Or do you simply disagree that either of those matters?

RonF said...

"You say: Congress is not exempt from the Affordable Care Act. They follow the same rules as any large employer in the country."

True - they're not exempt. But what HAS been done is to give them subsidies at taxpayer expense. From here:

"Vitter responds that the original 2010 Obamacare law barred members of Congress and their personal staffs from continuing to get employer subsidies — worth $5,000 for individual policies and $11,000 or more for family coverage — because they would be buying coverage from the health-care exchanges, where employer subsidies are banned.

When congressional leaders realized what they had done, they chose not to fix it through legislation, because that would have been highly visible fodder for negative campaign ads. Instead, they asked President Obama to direct the Office of Personnel Management to rule that members of Congress and their staffs could continue to get government subsidies even as they bought coverage in the exchanges. Obama did just that in the middle of the August congressional recess, when few were paying attention. Note that in this case the “employer” is the government, so if subsidies are allowed, they would be paid by taxpayers."

A private company getting this exemption has to balance giving it to their employees over what it will cost them in profits, etc. raised out of the private market. It costs their management something. If they raise prices, we can go buy their products and services somewhere else. We have no such alternative for Congress. Why should Congress get to give this and blithely charge taxpayers for it?