As the government shutdown enters into its third week, the pundits are ramping up the blame game by pointing fingers at everyone on capitol hill. The blogosphere is repleat with opinions from republican supporters as well as democrat opiners. These bloggers’ blame is directed along party lines. Democrats point the finger at the house and specifically at Ted Cruz while the republican bloggers blame the senate/president. The solution, they all say, is for the other side to cave in, surrender and capitulate.
Face the Nation host Bob Sheaffer questioned in his Sunday commentary why the two sides couldn’t set aside party differences and compromise for the good of the country. What he and the bloggers fail to consider is that neither side can compromise and neither side alone is at fault for the shutdown.
Obama and the senate have committed to the ACA (Obamacare) to the degree that if they agree to back off or even delay implementation, they concede their whole position on the issue. It would be like admitting they were wrong or misled the public when they forced the law through. It would unwind the whole law, which is what the republicans want.
Ted Cruz and the republicans cannot submit a budget that funds the ACA because to do so would validate the law and make it next to impossible to repeal without winning both the Senate and the White House in 2016, and by that time, it would cause more problems to repeal it. Also, a failure to decapitate the ACA would cause more problems in the 2014 elections and could conceivably cost the Republicans the House. They have to gut it here, or may not be able to at all.
The two sides are at opposite ends and to not win is to lose. This issue is a pass/fail situation because it is a yes/no question. Fund it or not. Accept a budget without ACA or not. The House did try to compromise by kicking the funding down the curb until next year, but that was rejected out of hand by the Senate. The president has said repeatedly that he will not sign any budget that does not fund the ACA, even if it is accepted by the Senate.
This is a classic stalemate and in the end, it will boil down to who blinks first and that can only be determined by the party on whom the people put the most pressure. This is a matter for the people. If the people really want the ACA, then they should call the house republicans and tell them to back down. If voters believe that the ACA is a bad deal and shouldn’t be law, they should contact the president and the senate democrats and tell them to accept the house budget proposal.
That having been said, there are some things to consider. The fact that it is called a law does not mean it has to be funded, especially considering the way with which it was enacted and given the almost unanimous opposition it is generating from businesses and the medical community. Financial expert Dave Ramsey blasted the ACA because, despite the administration’s claims to the contrary, the law will raise premiums for almost every currently insured person in the country and it will cost every person who currently pays taxes. In fact, the only people who will benefit from the ACA are the uninsured and those who do not pay taxes. Forbes magazine identified a limitation with the ACA in that when signing up for the exchange, the process runs a credit check before revealing the options to the applicant. Why run a credit check if not to determine who can get coverage?
So, if you think the House is holding America hostage just to defund a law that should be enacted, then call or text them and tell them to fund it. If you think that the President is doing his best to push America into his dream of the utopia of liberalism, then tweet or email him and tell him to let the issue go and accept the budget proposal from the House. The government shutdown will continue until the issue is resolved. Both sides are to blame for the shutdown and it can only be ended when one of them gives in and that can only happen when the people have their voices heard.