“Shutdown” Kabuki Theater

ObamaBoehnerKabukiViewpoint

By George Miller

The just-completed faux government “shutdown” ritual and resolution was reminiscent of a stylized, salve traditional Japanese Kabuki Theater production. Looking beyond the “shutdown’s” end and passage of still another buck-passing continuing resolution to supposedly avoid a default, doctor the following is offered:

There would be no default unless Obama wanted it that way, as there are ample funds receipts to make debt service payments, which would be a high priority in any rational, patriotic administration.

The Republicans were willing from the get-go to give the Democrats virtually everything they wanted, except for Obamacare. That wasn’t especially fiscally responsible either, as it will generate a very large deficit. Much of Obamacare was already funded anyway. The Democrats merely stonewalled and waited for the media to back them up and the Republicans to cave. They are rarely disappointed and weren’t this time, either.

To say that Republicans ”caused” the partial, highly scripted by Obama “shutdown” is absurd. The shutdown was caused by having no budget going on five years, spending the USA into bankruptcy, refusing to cut or even compromise on spending and ramming through a huge, illegal, unsustainable, toxic entitlement program opposed by a majority of citizens. Was the opposition simply supposed to acquiesce, avoid any conflict and allow the nation to continue to plunge into the abyss?  The House of Representatives had an absolute right and duty to oppose it, under the checks and balances of the U.S. Constitution. Under the law, spending and revenue bills MUST originate from the House of Representatives. They have the power of the purse, but the Senate must approve. If they don’t approve, nothing gets passed. The Senate chose a Kamikaze path and once again made the house flinch.  The Senate CAUSED the “shutdown.”

The Democrats got virtually everything that they wanted- a continuing resolution (HR2775) without a real budget for the last four years- and Obamacare. The Republicans, who could have stopped it, didn’t really want to, except for the hard core conservatives. The establishment likely wouldn’t have been willing to pay the price even if they did want to.

The U.S. has again extended its status quo of unsustainable spending. It continues, because there have been few negative consequences evident to date. The government continues on, entitlement holders get paid and keep getting more and more. The Federal Reserve keeps borrowing and for all practical purposes, prints more money when it can’t borrow enough, to the tune of $85 billion per month, via the Federal Reserve “QE” (Quantitative Easing) – just staggering. It has admitted that it is locked into this paradigm and that GDP and spending levels are unsustainable without it. Politicians and technocrats who perpetuate it keep getting re-elected/reappointed and mostly applauded. Yellin will replace Bernanke as Federal Reserve Chair- new boss- same as the old boss.

The probability of far higher spending demands due to entitlement growth, including Obamacare (which like all other entitlements will be far more expensive than promised), inflation and likely higher interest rates, will greatly increase demands on the Treasury. This could result in increased “QE,” hyperinflation, higher taxes and/or emergency spending cuts.

There have been 17 shutdowns since 1976, none particularly damaging. This one was unique in  how it was run by Obama, who went out his way to cause maximum pain to certain constituencies. The symbolic closing of open air monuments, self funding park leaseholds, even blocking roadsides to view Mt. Rushmore and removing water faucet handles on the Valley Forge trail, show unbelievable spitefulness and pettiness. Removing immigration enforcement and national security personnel was an astonishing move, along with threatening to arrest priests who conducted services on military bases and much more. None of this was missed by real patriots.

It appears that House Speaker John Boehner went through a half-hearted charade of supporting the Conservatives, but steadily yielded ground to the Democrats and RINO’s (Republicans in Name Only), for essentially nothing in return, until he had ceded all demands.

An interesting footnote is that a House of Representatives Stenographer melted down, yelling out and invoking God, exclaiming that the House couldn’t serve two masters, as she was dragged to the nearest mental hospital. Anyone who was upset with the proceedings must be clearly insane.

The outcome was never really in doubt.   Senators Cruz and Lee seemed aware of that. They are very clever men, so why did they do it?  Our best guess: educating the public, building support, smoking out opponents and allies- forcing them to declare themselves and setting the stage for the 2014 and 2016 elections. Many Republicans believe that Obamacare is totally unsustainable and that its provisions will be seen to be highly toxic and objectionable, when their full extent is revealed to all. Like Nancy Pelosi said- we’ll have to pass the bill so you can see what’s in it. Why do you think that thousands of companies, unions and other organizations, including Congress, have sought and received, illegally, we may add, exemptions from this Administration?

Above, we said that no negative consequences are evident. According to government and media alike, inflation is tiny, GDP grows and unemployment is down, right? Well, no. Official numbers support that, but “organic” GDP is actually shrinking, if real inflation and debt creation are considered. True unemployment is either 14 or 23%, depending on how it is measured. The percentage of working age people actually employed is the lowest since the Great Depression. The government’s liabilities are staggering- some say over $120 trillion- seven times GDP.  China just downgraded our credit rating again and Moody’s is on the way.  All this has little to do with this month’s Kabuki theater and everything to do with the reasons for it.

The American people are solely to blame for all this- NOT sleazy politicians, NOT “The New World Order,” NOT the “Mainstream Media.” The American People have accepted all these, even embraced them and so deserve what they get- at least the majority of them. Until they act to change that, the status quo will prevail and  the ever-steepening downward spiral will continue, ultimately leading to a traumatic failure of the system, resulting in tragedy for the nation.

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George Miller is a “retired” operations management consultant and a Citizen Journalist, active in civic affairs, living in Oxnard.

4 Responses to “Shutdown” Kabuki Theater

  1. Paul Burich October 18, 2013 at 5:32 am

    Not Obama’s fault. Not Reid’s fault. Not Boehner’s fault. No McConnell’s fault. Not Cruz’ fault.

    The American people changed the direction of the country in 2008 and then ratified that decision again in 2012. I lost faith in the common sense and goodness of American people on Nov. 4, 2008. Nothing I’ve seen since then has in any way changed my thinking. In retrospect, the 2010 elections were simply a tantrum. Lazy-***ed Americans thought that all they had to do was elect a new set of politicians to be co-opted and corrupted in D.C. and that the country’s course would change. Wrong. The people sat on their hands and didn’t demand a god****ed thing for their vote.

    When ObamaCare was being jammed through Congress, there should have been massive civil disobedience. Freeways shut down. General strikes all across the country. Republicans should have stripped naked and climbed every flagpole in Washington D.C. and pledged to stay there if the law was passed. Democrat should have feared for their lives if they passed the POS. Democrat campaign headquarters should have been the site of massive sit-ins. But at least half the country was too uninformed or too brain dead liberal. It was the final capitulation to the all-powerful state. Now the IRS and the rest of the government will have access to your health–and mental health–records and will use them to ensure proper behavior of its subjects. Your weapons will be taken away from you if you are ever diagnosed as suffering from “anger,” “hate,” depression, anxiety, Islamophobia, homophobia, misogyny or any other politically-correct phobias. Once nationalized health care is embedded in our lives, the relationship between the citizen and the state will be irrevocably changed. Budget negotiations will be reduced to discussions about whether we will spend 32.8% or 34.4% of GDP. Then, next year, it will be 35.7% or 36.4%. Until the remnants of the private sector are subsumed.

    Exactly nothing happened when ObamaCare passed. Now the roll-out of ObamaCare is a disaster. BFD. Once people see their health care premiums have doubled they will screech…but will, again, do exactly nothing. Americans are ignorant sheep. It’s true: we are no longer exceptional…except in stupidity. F**k half the country and the lying, cowardly a**holes they elect–and continually re-elect–on both sides of the aisle. The enemy is within and he has won. It will be a Pyrrhic victory ultimately, but not before a lot of pain comes our way.

    This is the new normal, likely for the remainder of our lives.

    Reply
    • admin October 18, 2013 at 9:30 am

      Wow- we should have had Mr. Burich write the editorial.

      Reply
  2. Greg Muller October 17, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    Good analysis- politically and financially. MSM is drowning out little media though. Obama has even gotten bold enough to attack “bloggers,” “talking heads” and lobbyists- as if there were none on his side. What’s next- raids on them and arrests?

    It seems like the Republican “leadership” ranged from lukewarm to openly hostile to efforts to defund Obamacare.

    Keep up the hard-hitting commentary. But, why do you run so much news about Liberals?

    Reply
  3. Ray holm October 17, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    I sort of Agree, but the problem is that this fiasco will be remembered in the next election and just about everyone has a sour taste. My guess is most will condem the Republicans and what a shame.

    No where did I hear the leader of the party, financial contributor, or supporting organization supporting this last minute disorganised surge. Why? I say they are in complete disarray. The whole bunch of us. There is no leader so the followers pick and choose. God help us in the next election!

    There is time, so from my vantage point I’m waiting for the white horse and a strong leader who can take over.

    Ray Holm
    Thousand Oaks,CA

    Reply

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