The idea of keeping you up on the Health Exchanges was to show 1) how this new government program works; 2) help you decide whether it is for you; 3) how you are connected to your government no matter how you feel about it.
But now what we have is a website not fulfilling its intension and your government rearing its ugly, rather than helpful, head into your life in more ways than you expected. So, I am taking this blog entry to talk about the Partial Federal Shutdown.
I looked up the history of US government shutdowns. During the Ford and Carter administrations the short shutdowns effected 2 departments: Labor and Health, Education and Welfare. They were a week to two weeks. Never threatened to default on the US economy and the point of congressional contention was abortion.
Reagan and George Bush[ the first] had a couple of glitches that were technical and lasted a weekend. Never threatened to default on the US economy.
Clinton had a very famous shutdown. It did a lot of damage. However, never threatened to default on the US economy and the point of congressional contention was the US budget deficit. Clinton left office with a budget surplus.
George Bush [the second] spent the surplus and drove us into a hole with his ludicrous, baseless wars. There was no shutdown, even though there were thousand of people protesting in Washington not to go to this war. I know I was one of them. There was no left wing group threatening a US economic default.
One of the most congressional contentious laws ever enacted in US history is the Civil Rights Act of 1964. People were beaten, killed, jailed til the jails couldn’t handle them. There were protests throughout this country. Leaders were murdered. There was no government shutdown or threat of default of the US economy.
Social security, Medicare and Medicaid all became useful government programs without a US shutdown or threat of default of the US economy. These programs came into being because so many people were hurting for so long that government was needed to solve the issue. These programs have been updated, funded in various ways and filled society’s needs with much discussion and debate. But without a shutdown.
Now for the drives-me-nuts part. There is this small group of conservative, out of the norm legislators,
put where they are partly due to gerrymandering of congressional districts, who don’t like a law. They have tried to repeal this law over 30 times. Instead of realizing that they are wasting time on one law again and again and letting other important issues have some light of day, they shutdown most of the government. This isn’t governing it is a temper tantrum. And like a three year-old having a temper tantrum there is no graceful exit. You painted yourself into a corner and now you want everyone to be your mommy and give you whatever you want just to stop embarrassing the rest of us and keeping us from carrying on our life as regularly scheduled. Mr. Marino, I am not your mommy, I am your constituent.
I heard a conservative legislator today state that they don’t like Obamacare and they need the President-I-never-met-an-industry-I-didn’t-kow-tow-to to “give something up at the bargaining table.” Pal, it is your job to fund the government, not his. You spent the money, now pony up with the cash. Healthcare has NOTHING to do with paying Head Start workers, caring for national parks or equipping scientists and their labs in Antarctica.
It is akin to saying, “I know my family bought an entire closet of clothes with this credit card, and the bill is due October 17. But somebody ordered a pair of shoes that I don’t like. I can’t convince them to forget these shoes, so, I’m tearing up the whole bill. You can’t make me pay it. If you want me to pay it you have to negotiate for me to not pay for the shoes until 2015. And I’m keeping my stuff. So there!”
Really? And you want the rest of us adults to pay you, your pension and your healthcare?
Okay, since an apology to everyone you have hurt by your selfish interest is beyond your inflated ego, I’m saying this is my best mommy voice: Quiet yourself, sit down until you figure out that part of your job is learning to play well with others.