How To Fix This Debt Ceiling/ Shutdown Thing

I have already begun to see petitions for having people arrested for sedition after this latest shutdown. This is one way of handling this last crisis, but I’m done with verbal war. On the other side, there are those who will feel resigned to “this is the way it is” and remain hopeless. I’m sick of being depressed.

A third way, and one I’ll definitely practice, is voting all of the idiots out. Since I live in only one state and none of my representatives are idiots, I will send money, make phone calls, and do everything in my power to make sure any Tea Party candidate gets thrown out in the next election. They will not shut down my government again. This will only prevent this group of idiots from shutting down the government this time. This solution is the power we already have in this democracy.  To the rest of the world, I want to point out that America is not broken. She just needs a little “tweaking” — a slight structural change.

Here’s my solution instead — a fourth way — restorative justice. I’d pass a law, make an executive order, or use whatever other mechanism is at hand to say this: Next time a government official decides to shutdown the government over debt (aka on the backs of the poor or the working person — sadly those are often the same), any unpaid bills — whether furloughed pay for government employees or Social Security benefits for seniors, or disability benefits or welfare checks — will be paid back doubly.

For the pain and hardship that the people who get money from the government were put through for the last 16 days, they will receive double what they would have made. This way, instead of saving money by shutting down the government and hurting the people, they will be officially costing the government money by doing so and helping the people that elected them.  Enough of threatening the government and hurting people. We need to ensure that elected officials support the government and help those in need and those we have made promises to for their work.

Enough already. Let’s get this done.






11 thoughts on “How To Fix This Debt Ceiling/ Shutdown Thing

  1. The house submitted the budget but the DEMOCRATS REFUSED TO SIGN IT so the government was shut down. Quit pretending this is not the democrat’s fault.

    Look in the mirror, and let’s get the democrats to start learning about economics and stop dragging this country into a cesspool. Ignorance is killing this country.

    You can vote however you want and pretend that democrats aren’t the problem if you want. And you can get mad about it if you want and you can choose to be depressed if you want. Instead, I would suggest educating yourself.

    1. Bob:

      You miss my point. I don’t care who shut the government down. I am certain that, given the right circumstances, the Democrats could be just as stupid.

      I will do what I can using the powers I already can exercise in this election cycle.

      My suggestion is for the future. I think the country and it’s government should be kept working and it should keep its promises to pay people we said we would pay.

      As I said, I’m sick of verbal war.




  2. In modern history the government has been shut down 18 times. 15 times that was done by Tip O’Neill, 2 times it was done by Newt Gingrich. And then this latest one. This was not unprecedented in any way. It may be unfortunate, and it does impact (in some cases) the average Joe, but it is an actual part of the political process.

    Roughly 18% of the government was shutdown, and while there were certainly people that were permanently impacted (most of these workers are likely people who you would rather see out of work anyway – defense contractors). The other average Joe’s impacted (ie non-required govt employees) will get back pay for the period of the shutdown, or at least they have in previous shutdowns.

    Much of the “pain” the average citizenry felt was either manufactured to make us feel the pain of being shutdown – I drove by Minute Man park everyday during the shutdown…this is a walking park. All the parking lots were coned off with tow away zone signs…for a parking lot that services a walking trail…really – that was necessary?

    There is enough stupidity to go around on both sides of the aisle and to paint the tea party as the culprit is getting ridiculous. For every tea party activist who wants to cut government back hugely, there is a democrat lead effort to shutdown veterans memorials that are walk by memorials requiring no daily maintenance…we’re not talking bunker hill monument or the like that has to be monitored.

    Veterans protested the white house due to the shutdown of the veterans memorials…one idiot had a confederate flag…and of course the media focused on that one guy and painted them all as racist. Meanwhile, I work down the street from where the Occupy Wall Street movement was camped out and saw all manner of anti-Semitic signs on a weekly/daily basis while driving to and from work, and somehow the OWS movement was all about benevolence and helping the working man. The media paint your picture for you and it is democrats = good, republicans = bad. And we wonder why we are so divisive.

    I don’t believe the press releases of republicans…maybe you should start to question what democrats SAY versus what they DO.

    If we really want to fix things…we need a third party – BADLY

    1. Sean (and Bob):

      Shutting down the government is NOT under any circumstances a good idea. Systems shutting down — like divorce — is a sign of ill health and failure. I believe that American democracy is the best thing going, but we — through this most recent series of events (China stepped in?) made it look terrible. If it is that ill, we need to fix it. This as a suggestion.

      My opinions aren’t just based on Democratic propaganda, as you suggest — any more than your ideas are based solely on Rush Limbaugh — unless you consider the head of the IMF to be a Democrat. My opinions come from a variety of sources — and a variety of experiences which are no less valid than yours or Bob’s. I see people who are dependent on the government — retirees, veterans, and yes, welfare recipients — suffering and worrying paying their rent.

      I actually thought of the thing about government contractors, and thought to myself, “then maybe we would work to keep the government going”.

      Blaming the Tea Party is getting ridiculous? Really? They and their Grover-Nordquist/Koch Brothers sponsored ilk were in charge of this whole thing. The government wouldn’t have shut down if it hadn’t been for the absurdly powerful Tea Party people holding Boehner hostage and Boehner holding everybody else hostage (don’t forget the Republicans who CHANGED THE RULES so that the Congress so that Representatives couldn’t do their job and call for a vote!).

      This started because Obama was just trying to do his job, the one WE elected him to (Remember we voted for him?) — LEAD! He put up with insanity on the streets via the tea party OK, then they took it to the Supreme Court. They lost. Then they tried to kill it in the House 42 times. Then they ran against him for President. He won again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s not me with the vitriol here. They need to get over themselves. I am furious at them, but it doesn’t mean I’m wrong. Oh, and while I’m at it Bob, I don’t need to educate myself. I know what I see. Everything I have predicted about the last time came true. (See “Why the market crashed”).

      Re: Needing a third party — the Tea Party IS a third party. Any party you suggest better be better than that. How ’bout we start trying to take care of each other?

      Sorry about the rant, but there it is…



  3. Lol, you had me until Obama was just trying to do his job. But before I get into that…I haven’t listened to Rush Limbaugh, pretty much, ever. I have certainly heard sound clips, but that is it. That’s the age old liberal argument that the republican party is run by Rush Limbaugh or the Tea Party. The Tea Party makes up part of the republican party. There are liberal republicans in place right now, but somehow Obama couldn’t get one of them to sign onto his signature legislation. Maybe that’s because no one actually READ it before they signed it? You want to talk about broken…start there.

    ACA (and I mean ACA not Obamacare) is wildly unpopular when people actually see what it means. That is not to say no one likes it…it is to say the majority don’t like it. For every person you see that it saves money there is someone who is paying MUCH more. Obama promised that premiums would either stay the same or go down (for EVERYONE who participated). That is demonstrably not the case. ACA was upheld as a TAX by the supreme court. Another promise broken as he said it would not raise TAXES at ALL.

    The Boston Globe (hardly a conservative newspaper) just had an article about how Obama is responsible for increasing partisanship. He didn’t meet with the SOTH for 18 months when he got into office. One of his first meetings with republicans included him saying quiet down, I won. This from someone who ran on brining us together? So, you think the government shutdown is all Tea Party republicans fault? 18 times it has happened…never did the sitting president – that includes Carter, Reagan, and Clinton say they would not negotiate with their opponents. The same issues about having to fund the government were there during those shutdowns. Remember, when he said he would not negotiate, he kept referencing the debt ceiling, but the debt ceiling wasn’t even being debated at that point, it was the continuing resolution. Tip O’Neil and Reagan had AT LEAST as contentious relationship as Obama and Boehner, and yet they always would sit down to negotiate.

    What exactly does taking care of each other mean? I give plenty to charity (ones of my choice). The fact that I don’t want the government (at least to the extent they do now) deciding how or where I should be charitable means that I don’t want to help people?

    Look what happened when EBT went down recently (due to a glitch, not the shutdown)…a Walmart (yes the evilest of all corporations) decided to offer EBT benefits with no limits…they were looted. The shelves were bare. They said it looked like a tornado went through. I can name for you, at least three other cases that show this abuse. Remember the woman that drove the truck off the road and was found by the police walking down the street proceeded to make fun of the cop for working for a living, pulling out 3 EBT cards and waving them in his face?

    I have a friend who is a pharmacists who sees the abuses that happen daily with EBT, but Deval Patrick says there’s nothing broke…that’s just anecdotal…that’s where the tea party anger comes from. The government doesn’t want to fix these programs because they bring in voters. BTW, fixing doesn’t mean removing. I want to provide help for those who need it, but that doesn’t mean turning a blind eye to the abuses. The problem is that the government says there’s nothing to fix.

  4. So, John, you say you know what you see?

    Do you “see” more and more people becoming dependent on “government” (actually on me, since I’m the taxpayer)?

    Surely you know the Tea Party is not a “party”, but a contingent of the Republican party. They are yelling and screaming, and trying to wake up people who don’t realize how insane all of these entitlement programs are, and how much damage it is doing to the country and that it will get even worse. But so many people just shut their eyes, refuse to learn, and bury their head in the sand!

    Surely you “see” what is happening to the Labor Force Participation Rate? If not, look at this: – was that one of your predictions?

    And surely you “see” that as we continue to make more “safety nets”, more people will continue to fall into them?

    And surely you “see” that the fewer people who work, the more ALL of our standard of living will continue to drop? And so you also see that since fewer people are working, those of us who DO work will have to do more to pull this country along?

    And surely you “see” the suffering retirees who, if they had been able to invest the same money they paid into the social “security” system into traditional investments instead, could have THREE TIMES the income they do from social security?

    And surely you understand how blindly implementing one policy (i.e. Obamacare) without considering ALL of the consequences is ignorant?

    Yes, blaming the Tea Party is ridiculous, when they are trying to save this country from the ignorant.

    If you call a lower standard of living for everyone “taking care of each other”, then I have no words.

    1. Bob: I see right now that I feel personally attacked, that my 4 paragraphs of opinion has brought alive in you 4 or so PAGES of diatribe.

      I tell my clients all the time that if the stimulus is this big and the response is WAY bigger that it’s not about “this”.

      I’m telling you and myself this right now. I value your friendship, but conversation is over for awhile, until you can talk WITH me, not AT me. I don’t need that kind of hostility directed toward me and I refuse to engage with you over it.

      Be hostile somewhere else .



  5. John,

    If you ever feel personally attacked by something I right, please understand that it is never my intention. Everyone can become impassioned with an argument, but I never think that you have anything but the best of intentions in mind. We have very different viewpoints on many topics, but that shouldn’t stop us from debating.

    Also, I imagine if we spoke in person we have many similarities too…

    For the sake of Bob, text is a very risky medium…he, or you, could be reading more into one another’s comments than what is intended. The written word is an amazing thing, but sometimes the spoken word clears up all confusion.


    1. Thanks, Sean. I agree and have been thinking about what civil discourse might look like and would like to maybe have a “fantasy political party” the way some people play fantasy football.

      Thank you for caring enough and writing back re: all this.



  6. I just can’t believe I typed “something I right” as opposed to “write”…It was late last night though ;).

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