Letter to the Editor: Who really caused the government shutdown
Who really caused the shutdown?
Fourteen days after the United States government "shut down" accusations fly back and forth as to who is responsible for the government shutting down. Democrats accuse the Republicans and Republicans accuse the Democrats and we, the American people, are caught in the middle pondering the question while each side seeks political advantage in preparation for the midterm elections of 2014 which I propose is the real, underlying goal of the present "tug of war".
According to Article I of the United States Constitution, all spending bills must originate in the House of Representatives, in other words Congressmen and women in the House have the Constitutional authority to decide whether or not they want to spend a portion of the national treasure on any governmental activity. The House produces an appropriation bill which is sent to the Senate, which then can approve the bill as is or modify the bill and send it back to the House for approval of the modification(s). If the House concurs, the bill is sent back to the Senate and on to the President for his/her approval or veto; if it doesn't then the House modifies it and sends it back to the Senate.
This "ping ponging" continues until both houses concur on the content of the bill. If the President refuses to sign the bill into law, vetoes it, when it is presented the bill goes back to the Congress with his objections where, with a 2/3 vote of approval, Congress can override the veto and it becomes law or modify and send it back to the President for signature or veto. This "ping pong" with the White House and Congress continues until the bill finds concurrence between the President and Congress. This "ping ponging" between the Legislature and the Executive is sometimes called "legislation by appropriation" and is what is going on right now. In the current debate the hue and cry of Obamacare supporters has been "The Affordable Care Act is the law of the land so it has to be funded" . . . that is a bald faced lie, there is nothing in the Constitution that compels the funding of any legislation.
Whether "legislation by appropriation" is good or bad is up for debate but this conversation between these branches is the way our system was designed to function; it is the whole point of having a division of powers in the federal government.
During the recent "shut down" the Republican controlled House has sent bill after bill to the Senate authorizing all the funding necessary to keep all governmental activities going except funding for The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Harry Reid has chosen not to allow a vote by the Democrat controlled Senate authorizing the money to be spent to fund those activities unless funding was included to fully fund Obamacare. To further complicate matters Pres. Obama has flatly stated that, even if the Senate approved the appropriation legislation, he would veto it if his legacy legislation, Obamacare, is not fully funded.
To further muddy the waters the Demoncrat leaders; Pres. Obama, Reid, Pelosi, Boxer, and Feinstein have thrown the specter of the government defaulting on its debt if "tea party" Republicans don't surrender and pass a "clean" bill (one in which the Demoncrats get everything they want) and also raise the "debt ceiling". This is perhaps the biggest of the big lies that has been put forth by the Demoncrats.
The United States takes in over $240 billion per month, an amount which is vastly more than sufficient for the government to meet its obligations; if the United States defaults on its debt it will be because Obama refuses to "sign the checks" so to speak (I know, the President doesn't actually sign each check). Ask yourself, "What does the debt ceiling have to do with paying the bills?" Answer . . . basically, nothing! The "debt ceiling" is the nation's credit limit, the maximum amount the government can charge on the national "credit card" and failing to raise it merely means the government is not allowed to run up new debt. Raising it is the same as you or I reaching our credit limit on our credit card and, rather than paying on the debt, going to the credit card company and saying "I've hit my credit limit on my card and I want you to raise my credit limit so I can spend more!" That's not how you get out of debt. The way you get out of debt is to sit down examine your income and expenditures, budget your income to meet your expenditures then re-examine your expenditures and decide which you can eliminate or reduce.
The latest threat these Demoncrats are making is a threat against the elderly, they are claiming that if the debt ceiling isn't raised the government won't have the money to pay social security! Don't fall for this lie . . . ask yourself how can the debt ceiling affect social security, social security is not funded by the government it is funded by the participant in the program, the people who are presently working and paying into the program. In other words John, Bob, Ellen, and Joan amongst others, who are still working, pay Mary's social security payment all the government does is facilitate the transfer of funds. The only way Mary doesn't get her social security check if the debt ceiling isn't raised is if the Obama regime embezzles the money John, Bob, Ellen, Joan and the others pay into the system.
I'm not going to tell you who is really responsible for the government shutdown, I'll leave that to your common sense but I'm willing to bet that you come to the same conclusion as I did based on non-partisan facts rather than the lies the MSM and the Demoncrats are spreading.