• September 21, 2014

Shutdown wasn’t worth all the trouble it caused

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Sunday, October 20, 2013 4:30 am | Updated: 2:07 pm, Fri Sep 19, 2014.

The partial government shutdown is finally over — but it never should have happened.

In the long run, House Republicans may be proven correct about the potential harm posed by the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare.” Their mantra about curbing spending and reducing the debt has merit, and it’s shared by a sizeable number of Democrats.

But neither issue was worth shutting down the government over to make a point.

Yes, Obamacare is proving to be more costly than had been anticipated. It’s a massive undertaking that is bound to be fraught with problems and unintended consequences. But it was also approved — albeit by the narrowest of margins — by Congress and signed into law. For better or worse, we appear to be stuck with it, at least for now.

Granted, several Republican lawmakers ran for office on the promise of eradicating or at least defunding Obamacare. Many of them tried to make good on that promise, and they are to be commended for keeping their word. But after the Republican-dominated House voted 42 times to defund the health care program — and the Democrat-controlled Senate voted 42 times not to go along — GOP hardliners needed to come to grips with the fact that the numbers just weren’t there.

At some point, it becomes necessary to compromise in order to fight another day.

Sadly, in this instance, compromise didn’t come until parts of the government had been shut down for more than two weeks and the nation was dangerously close to defaulting on its debt.

And even when both sides reached a deal — though by no means a perfect one — both Texas senators and both of the Killeen-area’s Republican congressmen voted against it, even though its defeat would have meant defaulting on the debt and a longer shutdown.

The fallout from two weeks of intense political gamesmanship has been costly — and inexcusable.

One analyst estimated the shutdown had shrunk the nation’s economy by $28 billion.

About 350,000 federal workers were locked out of their jobs nationwide, with only a promise of backpay after the shutdown was resolved. And while 1,100 furloughed civilian employees at Fort Hood returned to work after just one week, it’s likely they’re still waiting for their deferred paychecks.

On Thursday, Central Texas College reported the shutdown-related suspension of the military’s tuition assistance program had impacted hundreds of service members wanting to take courses at CTC campuses worldwide — and had cost the college at least $2 million in lost revenue.

In addition to the furloughs, the shutdown had a wide-ranging effect locally; it slowed veterans services, closed lakes, delayed loan processing and reduced military services.

It’s unconscionable that Congress continued to play chicken with the lives of Americans, even as the shutdown dragged on and the debt default deadline loomed.

Make no mistake, both parties share the blame.

House Republicans were unreasonable in demanding changes to Obamacare before approving a spending bill to keep the country running. Senate Democrats are just as culpable, refusing to entertain any discussions on reasonable changes to the health care law until a budget was passed.

John Carter and Roger Williams, our local representatives in Congress, likely made some conservative constituents happy with their refusal to compromise, but in the end, they didn’t serve their districts well.

Unfortunately, the battle is not over. Congress will be facing the debt ceiling and budget issues again after first of year. We can only hope the partisan bickering and childish behavior of the past few weeks won’t be repeated.

And don’t look now, but the March congressional primary elections are just around the corner.

If the corrosive atmosphere on Capitol Hill hasn’t improved by then, it may be time to reconsider who we’re sending to Washington.

More about

More about

More about

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
  • 2 Don't Threaten or Abuse. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated. AND PLEASE TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
  • 3 Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
  • 4 Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 5 Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 6 Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Welcome to the discussion.

10 comments:

  • WEJohnsn posted at 10:14 pm on Sun, Dec 1, 2013.

    WEJohnsn Posts: 35

    looks like Cruz was right lol. dont vote for democrats if you dont like the results. duh.

     
  • WEJohnsn posted at 10:12 pm on Sun, Dec 1, 2013.

    WEJohnsn Posts: 35

    idiots vote for 0bama and then whine over the results.

     
  • Smithjr38 posted at 9:05 am on Mon, Oct 21, 2013.

    Smithjr38 Posts: 114

    Yes it was foolish to make a lot of regular tax payers be cursed by the GOP in allowing bully fools to take over the GOP and cause lost of income to folks for the Presidential bid of bully boy Ted Cruz Whom is a hero to the mean and cruel GOP here in the Ft hood area.

    Fact GOP radicals your hero Cruz is a Canadian who is dating a married floozie from Alaska ,
    And like the radical GOP in the Ft. Hood are just like Cruz whom gets a thrill out of bullying folks around .

    Think of this who made the Obama Care legal a so called Conservative the Chief Justice on the Supreme Court. Whom ruled that we the people must be slaves to the Government and be enforced by the IRS. Yes I hate OC but Cruz failed as a lawyer to stop OC , He could and I hope some one will issue a restraining order to the Supreme Court and demand to prove were in the History of the USA that the Constitution was about increasing taxes and allowing the King or government control we the people . So based on the true history of the USA Constitution which is 180 degrees from Justice Roberts ruling . Justice Roberts should be impeached And demand a re ruling on OC

    Notice Cruz chose a course of acton that accomplished fame for him and a curse for the rest of the nation . So Cruz could make money off mis informed folks in the GOP And give the radicals control over the GOP.
    For you intelligence folks Remember a true GOP whom held the Senate job that the Canadian now has . Kay Bailey Hutchison ? what a lost for Texas and the USA when she did not seek re election. 3 things
    1. She was a true Texan
    2. She knows how to talk to Democrats and would try to avoid the shutdown
    3. she gave the term GOP a respectable term. and she was human not a young punk thinking the GOP should rule with terror .

    I know the Central Texas GOP thinks KB Hutchinson was a RINO . But folk the Normal GOP needs her to run for President and in the mean time stick the horn of the RINO up the tea party Rear.

     
  • Proud Mother of an Army Avi8er posted at 6:56 am on Mon, Oct 21, 2013.

    Proud Mother of an Army Avi8er Posts: 224

    Everyone should remember times like this and VOTE!

    One Day Less...2014/2016.

     
  • JohnnyinHarkerHeights posted at 6:03 am on Mon, Oct 21, 2013.

    JohnnyinHarkerHeights Posts: 41

    Amazing how willfully blind people are.

    Ft. Hood and the military were both almost immediately given a pass during the shut down and reopened after only a couple of days.

    This area showed no effects from the shutdown, because of that.

    This area is known for having some of the highest rates of retired, active military, contractors working for the military Etc., in short people who in some way depend on the Federal Government for their income.

    Yet judging by the comments you'd think we were in an area where people depending on the Federal government for all their income was a rare thing.

    If you draw Social Security
    If you work on Ft. Hood
    If you're disabled.
    If you are retired

    You depend on the government.

    If your job is one that serves any of those groups, or your business partially depends on people in the area, your livelihood depends on people who work for the Federal government continuing to do so and getting paid.

    There are precious few jobs in this area that are not tied in some way to the Federal Government.

    Anyone around here who believes otherwise about themselves or the type of jobs is being willfully blind to reality.

     
  • DawgDave posted at 12:01 pm on Sun, Oct 20, 2013.

    DawgDave Posts: 99

    It was well worth it. It showed us just how bloated the government is. Also showed us that basically none of these politicians could care less about the constituents they are supposed to represent.
    My hat is oft to Ted Cruz. He has taken a lot of heat but he is correct.

     
  • barbie500 posted at 11:24 am on Sun, Oct 20, 2013.

    barbie500 Posts: 135

    For the most part the government kept on working. Look at the list of what was shut down and ask yourself if this should even involve the government? It seems to me that if 1,100 furloughed from Ft. Hood were excess and not needed, then why are they working there, is it just to make people have to do less work? Shuting the memorials and lakes and parks is just plain stupid. It cost more to shut them then to leave them open, what does that tell you? So why did they do it? Everyone has to start thinking and caring about what our government is doing, we can not go blindly down the road and not paying attention. That goes for our young people.

     
  • Bubba posted at 10:15 am on Sun, Oct 20, 2013.

    Bubba Posts: 697

    Apparently you don't understand how America actually works.

    You really don't. Nor do you understand who the villain is in this melodrama.

    You really don't.

     
  • Eliza posted at 10:02 am on Sun, Oct 20, 2013.

    Eliza Posts: 770

    Have to agree with texasgoat-

    We had a few willing to argue this outlandish health insurance ploy that was 1st thought up in the Clinton days, and when the people wouldn't fall for it then, has now resurfaced under the Obama admin.
    Take a look below,and see if you are going to get a good deal when you are forced to buy into a plan that ,the ones who designed the web site to sign up for it ( by chance a Canadian Company) didn't even know what they were doing. And has turned into a cluster.

    heritage.org/research/reports/2013/10/enrollment-in-obamacare-exchanges-how-will-your-health-insurance-fare

    There are many who need to be removed from office from both parties, those from the liberal side who will only follow the leader, with a blindfold around their eyes, and from the conservative side who are willing to turn tail and run when they are only told ,they Might not win.
    Cry Babies are no good to the country.

    Congressman Carter ,who I had supported ever since he was in office, spent a few years with a group of liberals Congressman Luis Gutierrez of Ill. being one, whose only thought in life is to give citizenship to the U.S. to any and all who have come across the country's borders uninvited. Only to then back out, and remove himself from the group. This group who would be given citizenship, if the very citizens of the country are forced to go along with the plan, would be some of the ones who would end up benefitting off of the tax payer being forced to purchase the Obamacare health ins. plan.

     
  • texasgoat posted at 9:11 am on Sun, Oct 20, 2013.

    texasgoat Posts: 50

    Wasn't worth it....wait until half of you health insurance cost is to pay for the army of others that refuse to take care of themselves.