Social Question

ETpro's avatar

How can shutting down the government be a great idea?

Asked by ETpro (34469points) September 28th, 2013

Should parties that lose on the issue at the polls be able to use a threat to default on the national debt and thus blow up the world economy in order to get what they want?

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37 Answers

Rarebear's avatar

More to the point, do member of Congress get paid?

Dutchess_III's avatar

It’s one hell of a temper tantrum is what it is. Idiots. Fuckin’ idiots.

jerv's avatar

It proves that you are strong in your beliefs and won’t waver in the face of adversity.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I disagree. It shows you are a big baby.

jaytkay's avatar

It will surprise teabaggers who are working to prevent government control of their Medicare.

JLeslie's avatar

If memory serves Clinton let the government shut down, and it was a good thing. I remember when it happened, both my parents worked for the government at the time. I think Clinton was not going to let Newt Gingrich get away with his bullshit or something like that, so Clinton did not back down.

Pachy's avatar

It can’t be, but looks like it’s going to happen anyway. And if these children in the House force a government shutdown and do not approve a debt limit increase, the national and global economic and diplomatic consequences will be dire.

Pachy's avatar

This one will be different, @JLeslie—with worse consequences. We’re in the middle of a fragile recovery from the Great Recession, and the double whammy of even a short government shutdown and a default in debt payments and possible second downgrade of the nation’s credit rating if Congress doesn’t approve a debt limit increase will have a dire economic effect here and probably abroad.

drhat77's avatar

“Should parties that lose on the issue at the polls be able to use a threat to default on the national debt and thus blow up the world economy in order to get what they want?”
It just hit me, the tragic irony is that this phrasing makes them sound like terrorists. Sadly apt.

talljasperman's avatar

Well the anarchists and Freemen might like it.

sinscriven's avatar

@Rarebear . Yes, Congress continues to be paid even if everyone else is furloughed. The budget for their pay is seperate from everything else and is non-negotiable.

Kinda stupid considering it gives them absolutely zero incentive to get anything done.

drhat77's avatar

@sinscriven I don’t think most members of the government are really counting on that money to make ends meet.

jerv's avatar

@Dutchess_III That is a matter of perception. Fanatics tend to think differently from normal people.

Pandora's avatar

@drhat77 I was actually think that the other day. Their actions is no different from being a terrorist. They are trying to threaten the stability of the United States to get their way. It’s not even that they are acting like children. They are maliciously planning to harm our economy to get Obama to bow and give in.

I do wonder about one thing. I understand that they are protected from being pressured, but does that mean that the people as a whole, in this nation can’t get together and try to impeach them for being terrorist and holding our well being as hostages?

I think the republicans who are pushing for the shut down only do so because they know their political careers are over. Look at Cruz. He is already being compared to Sarah Palin and we know how her political career went. Even people from her state don’t want her. So I think they are taking a scorch earth approach. It isn’t about winning, but rather about making everyone miserable. What ever their reasons, they are criminals in my mind. No better than that idiot whistle blower.

JLeslie's avatar

@drhat77 Will it freeze other government salaries? I’m pretty sure a lot of the government shut down last time. I think my parents had a few days off. Unless my memory is wrong, which is possible, it could have been something else.

ETpro's avatar

@Rarebear as @sinscriven notes, they get their pay anyway. And as @drhat77 notes, the few members of Congress who aren’t millionaires upon arrival there are shortly after settling into their office. Notice, though, that after claiming the sequester wouldn’t hurt anything, House Republicans immediately voted to refund air traffic controllers, though. It inconvenienced them to have flight delays. Screw everybody else that debacle hurt.

@Dutchess_III I don’t know what else to call it.

@jerv I don’t know, man. If you’re going to get into a gunfight and in the process of trying to fast draw, you shoot yourself in the foot, I’ll concede it shows you had the courage to stand and fight for your convictions. But keeping the weapon holstered and discharging the whole clip into that foot doesn’t leave me impressed with courage of convictions. Instead, it leaves me wondering if someone needs to be convicted to a mental facility.

@jaytkay They’ll insist Obamacare stole their Medicare by bankrupting the insurance company that was providing it. They’ll think whatever Rushbo tells them to think.

@JLeslie That actually hurt the nation pretty badly, and it was a disaster to the Republican party. The only good that came from those two debacles (they did it twice) was that it lost them control of both houses of Congress. Of course, true ideologues are evidence proof. But I share @Pachyderm_In_The_Room‘s concern that the conditions today are very different. A shutdown lasting a few days won’t be the end of the world, but may lower our credit rating again. The last downgrade cost us $1.3 billion in extra interest on debt. But if they go for full default on October 16th, that will be a self inflicted wound bad enough to leave the economy on life support and perhaps precipitate a global depression.

@Pandora Think of it this way. The Tea Party hates government in general. They seem to think we’d be much better of without a government—something like the paradise that is Somalia today. They hate health care. They hate headstart, they hate education. They hate food assistance for the poor and medicaid. They hate science. We could eliminate a lot of what they hate by launching a preemptive, massive nuclear attack on ourselves. That’s the sort of “logic” I hear coming out ot Tea Party darlings like Ted Cruz, Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin.

@JLeslie The first step is that all non-essential personnel would be furloughed without pay as step one. The longer it lasts, the deeper the cuts must go, and the larger the number of people thrown out of work.

JLeslie's avatar

@ETpro Well, I wasn’t really saying the shut down should happen, I was only saying some people might look at history and think it is worth doing. Kind of being devil’s advocate. I don’t know enough about thensituation to have a strong opinion about it for this moment in history. But, my gut feeling is things need to get very very bad for something drastic to change. I think that about the deficit, healthcare, and the antagonistic mess we have in our government. However, I don’t pretend to know the best answer, nor do I think for a second I have some sort of soothsayer abilities to predict how it would turn out in the short or long term.

ETpro's avatar

@JLeslie Time will tell.

jerv's avatar

@ETpro It could be argued that many of the type who hijacked the GOP do belong in a mental facility. I mean, it’s one thing to have a differing ideology, but another to be willing to watch everything burn then salt the earth afterwards just because you don’t get your way. You generally don’t see that sort of destructive nihilism walking around the street, at least not for long; those people tend to be put into either psych wards or prisons.

ETpro's avatar

@jerv One can hope that’s what eventually happens.

jerv's avatar


With people like that in power, how can we really remain functional as a nation? The more I see, the more I think we should’ve just let the South “win” the Civil War and remain a separate nation.

drhat77's avatar

blocking net neutrality? Maybe anonymous will take umbrage and help avert disaster.
I think the tea party has painted itself into a corner, promising to be against government as usual, and now they have to live up to their promises or face the music. Of course government as usual, as much as it is reviled (frequently with basis) is something we take much more for granted than any of us are psychologically comfortable with.

drhat77's avatar

couldn’t sleep tonight, been thinking about this
People hate things that they depend on but have a random chance of being unreliable. We depend on gravity, but it’s fully reliable, so nobody thinks about it. But the subsistence farmer hates the plot of land he toils on everyday because he is one drought away from starving. Doesn’t hate the drought. He hates the land. Because he toils over it.
We hate the government because we depend on it but it is somewhat unreliable. More reliable that a subsistence farmer’s plot of land, but less reliable than gravity. But despite how much we hate it, we still depend on it.

Pachy's avatar

The Tea Party must go. It’s current actions, based on short-sightedness, ignorance in history and economics, dogmatic thinking and demagoguery, are tantamount to treason.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Agreed. And I’m going to punch the next person that says, “I don’t vote. It doesn’t make any difference anyway.”

Pachy's avatar

“It’s” should have been “its.” Shame on me.

ETpro's avatar

@jerv That was an outstanding analysis. It would sure help if the press did its job of investigative reporting and started exposing the lies and spin ANY politician tries to get away with. The Chuck Todd doctrine of just dutifully reporting what some party propaganda chief said could be done by tape recorders, and speech recognition software could transcribe it to print. I say if the press just wants to act like tape recorders, fire the lot of them and actually replace them with tape recorders. It would save struggling newspapers a ton of money.

@drhat77 That explanation makes perfect sense to me. I’ve certainly had my share of frustration with government. I can see how someone used to thinking things through, and not even equipped by our dysfunctional educational system with the critical thinking skills required to think things through, could get frustrated by government and jump to the conclusion we’d be better off without it.

@Dutchess_III Amen to that.

@Pachyderm_In_The_Room Ha! Its sic the thought that counts, and your thought is spot on.

Gramalinda's avatar

Why doesn’t any one want the government to pass a budget and live with it? I have to in my house. All the great ideas cost money and someone has to pay for it? Who should? The declining middle class? Why does everyone want to be exempt from ObamaCare, congress, unions, businesses, who does that leave but poor folks to get this GREAT insurance scam?

Dutchess_III's avatar

^^^^ You’re preachin to the choir @Gramalinda. Congress is not “exempt” from the affordable care act though. Just FYI.

ETpro's avatar

@Gramalinda This isn’t about passing a budget. It is about passing a resolution to actually pay for the things Congress has already voted to do. But the Tea Party caucus in the House voted on a resolution that would only pay the government’s existing bills if Democrats agree to do everything that Mitt Romney ran on and lost. If they don’t get everything that Republicans campaigned for and lost, they are threatening to blow up the economy. I say let them. It’s time the public knows what this bunch of ideologues actually stands for, and what they stand against.

glacial's avatar

@drhat77 “It just hit me, the tragic irony is that this phrasing makes them sound like terrorists. Sadly apt.”

This is not some odd coincidence. They are terrorists. Just not the kind who use bombs.

Pachy's avatar

I love this quote from an article in the Daily Beast.

The looming shutdown may benefit individual GOP lawmakers, but it will almost certainly be a disaster for the Republican Party, says David Frum at The Daily Beast. So why charge toward another defeat?

The short answer is a breakdown in the party’s ability to govern itself. It can’t think strategically. Even when pressed to do something overwhelmingly likely to end in disaster, as this shutdown looks likely to do for Republicans, the party has no way to stop itself. It stumbles into fights it cannot win, gets mad, and then in its anger lurches into yet another fight that ends in yet another loss…. Out of these spasms, ObamaCare looks sturdier than ever — and any hope of negotiating to fix its worst elements seemingly further out of reach than ever.

Pachy's avatar

66 Q&As on government shutdowns worth perusing.

ETpro's avatar

If this same intransigence carries into the debt ceiling fight which must be decided in 16 days, and the GOP does the predictable thing discharging another full clip into their remaining good foot, we will be witnessing something that hasn’t happened in American politics since the death of the Federalist, the Democratic-Republican Party and the Whig party.

Pachy's avatar

I shudder to think what almost surely will come next. The ultra-conservative Republicans are suicidal, and they’re taking the rest of the country down with them. I best not describe in words the anger and disgust I’m feeling about their close-mindedness and short-sightedness.

jerv's avatar

@Pachyderm_In_The_Room Let us not forget the other type of Republican; the old-school Republican who refuses to believe that the party has changed in the last 50 years. The ones who see no difference between Eisenhower and Romney, and thus blindly follows the Jihadists simply because they are not Democrats

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