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Please explain

Here in Great Britain we go on at Great Length about our politicians. Their stock has never been lower, in the wake of decades of sleaze stories capped off by the MPs’ expenses scandal. But there’s one thing they have never done, and that is close the country down because of their political strife.

As I read the story this morning, as of midnight around 700,000 federal employees in the USA are effectively out of a job, and many others may be expected to work without pay. National parks will be closed today and for the foreseeable, as will the Smithsonian and other federal institutions, all because the folks on Capitol Hill are having a pissing contest over health care. If they don’t sort it out by mid-month, America might default on its debts, with untold effect on global financial markets.

My one question this morning, as an outside observer is: having managed to step over the line that lads to melt-down, will the senators and congresspeople, and all their staffers, continue to be paid? If the answer to that is ‘Yes’, perhaps the President could use his executive power to ensure that they share the pain, personally. If the answer is ‘No’, then maybe they too should be told to stay at home.


Categories: Politics
  1. Pat Wright
    October 2, 2013 at 1:18 am

    I have a better memory than that! A shut down in government is not a catastrophy for us anarchists since we believe we have entirely more government than we want or need! This is NOT an apologia for the Republicans who ostensibly started the p—— match-an ill advised move and one which willnot endear them (or us) to the public . Wish you could read our newspapers and see how many “glitches” are appearing in the proposed/very imperfect health plan. O himself recognized the loudest element and delayed its implementation for businesses-but left the vast “uninformed public to suffer the consequences of its many drawbacks. They will soon find the cost of their health care is vastly increased and the many inequities will be jumping at them from all directions. A one year delay for ALL of it would not have been an unseemly or unintelligent bow to the already discovered problems. Anyway,as Nancy said, “pass it so we can see what’s in the bill!” With that attitude, maybe NO government is better than what’s going on.

  2. October 2, 2013 at 10:04 am

    I hear all that, Senator Pat, and I’m not entering the Obamacare debate, sorry, war. That’s America’s business. What I am saying is that it seems morally wrong, from where I’m sitting, to use the livelihoods of millions of families as a weapon.

    Not only that. Millions of people around the world have invested financially, and emotionally, in holidays in your fair land. Having spent that money, they’re turning up today at the Lincoln Memorial, Mount Rushmore, the Smithsonian, Yellowstone, and even the Grand Canyon, to find them closed. (Closing the Grand Canyon is some feat.)

    Congress is showing the world America at its worst, but there is no sign that it gives a damn. That’s what we’re seeing where I live.

  3. Pat Wright
    October 2, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    You’re right, Q, and America probably looks bad to the rest of the world-and to US who live here but the Congressional stalemate gives few options when the Dems won’t give and the Reps won’t either. The consequence does neither Congress nor the country any real good-in a republic, the pols use the only weapons they have-ain’t pretty and probably is unproductive and inconveniences us and our visitors -playing “chicken” seldom produces a winner-but the health care law is terribly flawed and deserves a little more scrutiny than the dems want to give it and the hot tempered purists used their power to pressure that scrutiny. Oh well, we’ve survived these shutdowns in the past (as has the world) and will do so again.

  4. October 3, 2013 at 9:45 am

    For sure, I know it’s complicated. But to non-Americans it does seem weird that congress funds the running of the country on a short-term basis.

  5. Pat Wright
    October 3, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    Seems weird to me, also. they’re supposed to have a budget every year but appears the deal-making and horse-trading keep them in suspended animation instead of on course. I’ll make no apologies for the congressional disfunction-they run FROM responsibility and FOR the next election

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