General Question

Strauss's avatar

Did the Republicans get anything out of the government shutdown?

Asked by Strauss (23127points) October 17th, 2013

Two weeks ago, amid the discussions about whether to have discussions to avoid a government shutdown, Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Ind. made a statement (“We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.”) which prompted me to post a previous question. I now wonder if “they” got something out of it, and if anyone knows what it is.

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40 Answers

drhat77's avatar

They got to stick to their guns and then turn around and be the magnanimous conciliators that averted economic crisis, when Obama cared too much about healthcare to see the foolhardiness of his course and cause.

glacial's avatar

They got nothing, except for an agreement to verify the income of those receiving ACA subsidies. But since that was already in the law… yeah, they got nothing.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@drhat77 They made their point that Obama is continuing to overspend and doesn’t care what anyone thinks about it.

glacial's avatar

@KNOWITALL I find it hard to believe that the Republicans give a crap about “Obama overspending” when their tantrums are basically resulting in billions of dollars being thrown out the window.

They talk a big game when it comes to fiscal responsibility, but their money is rarely where their mouth is.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Each month the government collects $250 billion in taxes and, if the Congress decided not to raise the debt ceiling, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew would have adequate resources to pay the $23 billion in interest to the public.

Each month, the government spends about $315 billion. If the House judges the resulting accumulation of $65 billion in new debt to be too burdensome—as the public has repeatedly expressed by electing conservatives to the House—the president has a constitutional duty to negotiate with the House rather than demand “clean bills” and spend as he pleases. The House would be derelict to simply roll over to presidential demands for powers the Constitution doesn’t provide.

To pressure House Republicans, Lew has purposefully cultivated fear in financial markets by falsely stating the United States must default if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling. That would only happen if he failed to establish appropriate priorities for the $250 billion in taxes collected each month.

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josie's avatar

They got a chance to make their case against the Neo-Progressive Movement in America’s largest public forum. Not much else I suppose, but there was not much else to get.

During different times and cycles, there is always the Evil Party, and the Stupid Party.

Republicans are currently the Stupid Party. But at least they didn’t lie down and give in immediately to the opposing position. That would make them even more stupid, and cowards too.

It is the role of the opposition to oppose. Both sides should do it more often when they are in the minority position.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Sure. To them, it bolsters the “we’re the only true Americans” folderol that they have been pushing for a long time.

Of course, who gives a shit? No one group defines america or americans.

They’re trying to spin this as a moral victory. But the flip side of “moral victory” is “disastrous loss”

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
ragingloli's avatar

They are both.

johnpowell's avatar

They got lower poll numbers and got some egg on their face.

@josie :: Really, do you think everything should be opposed by the losers? You make it sound like there is no wiggle room. Say a bridge is about to fall down. Should the Republicans oppose funding getting it fixed just because the president is a Democrat?

talljasperman's avatar

Face time on CNN… practice public speaking.

Pachy's avatar

What Cruz and the rest of his kindergarten class got, besides yet another shot at damaging our fragile economy and making the U.S. look even more irresponsible and dysfunctional than we already look to the rest of the world, is more money in their campaign coffers and the opportunity to do this all over again in three months. Pitiful.

WestRiverrat's avatar

If the deficit is going down, why do they need to keep raising the debt limit?

What the Republicans got is a delay in the debate over border security and immigration.

BhacSsylan's avatar

@WestRiverrat the deficit is not the debt. The debt is what we owe, the deficit is the difference between revenue in and money out every year. The deficit is decreasing at an extreme rate (I believe 300 billion less this year than last), but we are still running a deficit, so the debt is increasing, just more slowly over time. We have been running a deficit since Bush took office, which rose every year he was in office and has been decreasing the last several years under Obama.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Te President signs the checks,
the congress approves the amount and what gets paid.

Linda_Owl's avatar

If you want to know what the Republicans got out of the government being shut down for two weeks…. you might find this Link very interesting

Clearly the Republicans have no idea that the Tea Party Republicans are being manipulated by the KOCH brothers & ALEC (& assorted right-wing institutions).

DeanV's avatar

A nice deal for a dam in Kentucky.

ETpro's avatar

They got deservedly lower poll ratings. They squandered $24 billion in the economy and contributed a great deal of suffering to ordinary working people who were furloughed, or who worked for small businesses that depended on those workers as customers. And they are declaring a great win and setting plans to do it all again when the next shutdown opportunity comes in January, and laying plans to default this time in early February.

rojo's avatar

If you listen at all to talk radio (and I surmise Fox news) you would know that this showed the American people that there are some folks out there that will stand up for you and what you believe in regardless of what these godless democrats and republocrats try to ram down your throats. It showed what a real leader Ted Cruz is and what scum the Dems are for keeping vets off the mall. As an bonus, they got to keep the sequester and get the prez to agree to cut SS, Medicade and Medicare. So, overall it was a win for the Reps and by god they should do it again come January/February.

rojo's avatar

@Josie. I would say that at this time, the Reps managed to corner the market and came of as the Stupid Evil party.

And, there is a difference between opposing and trying to crater the economy and the credit rating of your own country. And, from my admittedly biased point of view, it was the mainstream Reps who came off as the cowards (particularly Boehner) for not standing up to the party extremists even though they knew that what they were doing was wrong for the country.

I also find it interesting that the Reps get credit for not lying down and giving in; the exact same thing they castigated the Dems for doing.

mattbrowne's avatar

The rest of the world thinking of them as lunatics. Which they like, because they don’t care about the rest of the world.

I wonder whether Tea Party congressmen can be sued for violating their oath of office…

ragingloli's avatar

I also cackle at the demented “neo-progressive-movement” horseshi nonsense.
The Dems are to the right of European conservatives, and you call that “neo-progressive”.
That is how far right the american Cons have drifted.

wreckinball's avatar

Practically they got nothing. Actually less than nothing. They should have passed on defunding the ACA. I think its a bad law but they were not going to win that argument. Now Obama has established that he can falsely threaten default (note post above that shows we take in enough to not default on the debt,but the electorate in general and MSM believes him) and just demand any spending he wishes and any debt ceiling he wishes. The house has effectively abdicated the power of the purse. A very bad precedent.

They should have left the gov’t open and just argued the debt ceiling and not raised until until a budget was passed. That may be their ploy in 3 months but if so they better start right now.

glacial's avatar

@wreckinball I’m sorry… who has established he can falsely threaten what, now?

Jaxk's avatar

I know democrats are celebrating this victory. There is no question that at this point the democrats did not lose as much as republicans but they did lose as well. It will be interesting to see how this shakes out over time. It’s clear in the polls that most blame republicans for the shut down. But the ‘no negotiation’ strategy that the Democrats used to win hurt them as well. It is also obvious that most of America sees government as too big and out of control. As this all sinks in, it would appear that this incident only reinforces that belief. We’ll have to wait and see how the Democrats are able to spin this. It is also not clear how this shutdown actually affected the country. Some business was hurt but how much is unclear. And how much of that was intentionally inflicted by the administration? As Obamacare continues to flounder, how will that work to underscore his willingness to sacrifice anything to keep it on track?

There’s a lot of political spinning to be done in the next few months and how well it works will shape the future. Obama is back on the attack on talking heads, bloggers, talk radio and anyone that disagrees with him. Will it work again or is it getting old. Only time will tell. In the mean time Democrats will take their victory lap and give the finger to those that oppose them. I can’t blame them, I would do the same if the roles were reversed.

wreckinball's avatar

He can threaten to default in the debt even though the treasury takes in enough each month to service the debt and the constitution requires the debt service to be paid first. He can do this because most of the public thinks the threat is real.

Thus its a false threat (I hope) since to intentionally default would be a heinous and impeachable offense.

So now we have a situation where the president can dictate appropriation levels by blackmail. Appropriations are supposed to be congressional duties.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Judi's avatar

@Jaxk , Obama’s refusal to compromise? Are you kidding me? The republicans have out and out stonewalled and refused to compromise on absolutely anything, even when given what they have always asked for! They couldn’t take yes for an answer if Obama was the one saying yes. Finally Obama grew som balls and pushed back. Most of America is proud of him right now for standing up to the whiney bully.

wreckinball's avatar

Regarding deficits go here:

You will see that the deficit has only decreased since the house has been under Republican control. Since the house holds the purse strings I would give most of the credit to them. Some credit to Obama for signing stuff.

Also interesting historically that the last surplus under Clinton was only achieved with a Republican house.

With a Democratic congress and Obama in charge we had record deficits. The recent reductions are a good trend but realize that this years budget is still the highest in history outside the Obama years.

Jaxk's avatar


I think your statement that most of America is proud of him may be more wishful thinking than actual fact. It’s hard to get past his statement that he would not negotiate nor even talk to the republicans. You may feel that the Republicans have acted that way but they never said they wouldn’t talk, Obama did. That will hurt him down the road. Frankly I can’t think of anything that Obama has actually given up. He wanted higher taxes, he got higher taxes. He wanted universal healthcare he got his healthcare (I doubt it will be universal). He wanted higher spending, he got higher spending. Hell, even the sequester cuts were not a compromise, but rather a strategy that didn’t work. Where exactly has he ever compromised?

bolwerk's avatar

Given how deeply in recession the government has remained, maybe the best criticism of the Democrats is that that they didn’t raise the deficit enough. Fix the economy, then fix the deficit. A lot of the damage the Democrats inflict on the U.S. comes from how easily they capitulate to Republikans, who are constitutionally incapable of having the public’s best interests at heart. It hasn’t served them politically either, given that it’s never enough and the Republikans raise the stakes each time, now threatening to topple the financial system itself.

In any case, even the austerians can’t deny most of the debt coming due under Obama is payment for Bush-era policies: wars, crony tax cuts, pork barrel spending, a great deal of the stimulus (Bush and Obama both passed one). Simply subtracting year-over-year changes in the deficit and blaming whoever happens to be in office at the time is a cop-out. Had Shitt Romney been elected, he might be getting credit for the deficit reduction Obama agreed to; but the goalposts are different when a Democrat is in office.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Judi's avatar

@Jaxk , when they refused to go to budget conference they refused to talk. This is reality. Obama has always been ready to talk. Heck, most of us are still reeling over the sequester!
He has given way more than he ever should have.
The entire ACA was a compromise! They gave the republicans everything they wanted. If Democrats had our way they’re would have been a public option at minimum.

Adagio's avatar

From where I sit here on the other side of the Pacific, if the Republican Party intended to look mean and utterly bloody-minded for the sake of being utterly bloody-minded they certainly achieved their goal.

Jaxk's avatar


Where were you during the ACA debate? The Democrats refused to give Republicans anything. The only debate was amongst themselves. In fact the final bill was created behind closed doors. They even locked the doors so that Republicans couldn’t listen to what was being discussed. If you call that compromise, it’s no wonder you think Obama is willing to talk. He talks at people not with them.

And just for the record, the sequester was Obama’s idea. He thought it would be so bad that Republicans would cave and he wouldn’t have to give them anything. Another fine mess he’s gotten us into.

bolwerk's avatar

Democrats are mostly not smart enough to do what @Jaxk is saying. Had they actually handled it effectively, they would have done all their intra-party horse trading between the election in 2008 and the seating of the Congress in 2009, and a unified political front could have been achieved in both the House and the Senate when it was debated (the last time something like that was achieved was around 1994). They didn’t bother until much later, and a lot of right-wing Democrats ended up siding with Republikans to water down reforms.

In any case, the bill was debated on the House floor and the Republikans certainly were included in the debate. Their comments were, of course, largely nonsense, but they weren’t excluded.

Strauss's avatar

@bolwerk And if I remember correctly, that unified political front that was achieved by the Democrats around 1994 resulted in the infamously reactionary Contract On With America.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

They managed to demonstrate that their commitment to politic doctrine is greater that their sense of duty to those who elected them or to the country as a whole. Any point they might have been trying to make ended up buried under the consequences to the country, the losses experienced by government workers and the general outrage at what appear to many as petulant tactics.

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