A Look at the Government Shutdown

Byron York has some information on the shutdown.  Maybe it’s more of a semi-shutdown.  To wit:

I asked a Republican source on the Senate Budget Committee for an estimate. This was the answer: “Based on estimates drawn from CBO and OMB data, 83 percent of government operations will continue. This figure assumes that the government pays amounts due on appropriations obligated before the shutdown ($512 billion), spends $225 billion on exempted military and civilian personnel, pays entitlement benefits for those found eligible before the shutdown (about $2 trillion), and pays interest costs when due ($237 billion). This is about 83 percent of projected 2014 spending of $3.6 trillion.”

Not to minimize the pain and/or inconvenience some are experiencing, but this whole ordeal has been blown up by politicians and the media.  Why are open-air attractions being blocked off?  It’s an effort to convince the public that those of us who prefer less instead of more government intervention are crazy, uncaring extremists.  It’s infuriating to say the least.

In a separate article, York shines some light on how the Republicans “stumbled” into the Obamacare fight.  This from an unnamed Republican House member:

As the congressman told the story, as August progressed — and Cruz, along with a few Senate colleagues, the Heritage Foundation, and others, ran a high-profile campaign to stir public opinion against Obamacare — the House GOP leadership was mostly unaware of what was going on. “They got surprised a little bit by the Obamacare thing,” the lawmaker said. “This was something that blew up in August. Nobody really saw it coming — probably should have a little bit, I’m not being critical of anybody in that regard, on either side of this — but it just happened.”

The result of Reid’s intransigence, coming after multiple Republican miscalculations, was that both sides dug in. Whatever chance there had been of a settlement before — and there really wasn’t much of one, once the events of August began to unfold — there was zero possibility of a deal as September 30 approached. So the shutdown that House leadership never expected came. And it lasted more than the few days some predicted. And it is still going on as the October 17 deadline for raising the nation’s debt ceiling approaches. The crisis that House Republican leaders didn’t see coming is now consuming them, with unpredictable consequences. “We’re not in a situation that has been planned out and war-gamed and plotted, OK?” said the congressman. “We stumbled into a situation like Gettysburg that nobody planned, and all of a sudden each side is feeding more troops into it, and it’s turning into a much bigger deal.”

In a way, all this, if true, is a little scary.  However, it’s refreshing to know that not everything that goes on in Washington is a made-for-TV drama that’s been poll-tested over and over again.  I believe there’s certainly a theater element to all of this, but hopefully there are some standing on principle, fighting against conventional political wisdom.

Hat Tip:  Drudge Report

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