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Has the Federal Government Already Shut Down?

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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 10:25 AM
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Has the Federal Government Already Shut Down?
Democrats and Republicans are working feverishly to negotiate a compromise that would avoid a government shutdown at least until the debt ceiling next needs to be raised again.

The irony is, the shutdown that everyone fears may have already happened several years ago, when the U.S. government stopped addressing the big issues we face. To wit:

It cut taxes twice during the early 2000s at the same time the country decided to fight two major wars. This, along with the prescription drug benefit, embedded deficits for decades to come.

It put sensible government regulation on the back burner. Credit default swaps, for example, were allowed to reach $ 70 trillion in notional amount without any regulator being clearly accountable for oversight.

Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security future obligations rose to levels that would dwarf the budget, and the government has been unable to do anything about it.

While President Obama's budget commission developed proposals to address these issues, a lame-duck Congress declared a temporary victory by extending all tax cuts (even for the wealthy) as part of a deal applauded by both sides of the aisle that, in effect, simply kicked the can down the road.

Government has to do a few big things and many daily/weekly/monthly/yearly tasks. We elect leaders to ultimately face the big issues diagnosing the situations we face, deciding what to do, and formulating action plans that create a sustainable future.

Like a person living in denial, however, the government "shut down" when it failed to do these things in a fashion that would positively impact the country's medium- and long-term future.
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