No resolution to the budget impasse was reached by Congress yesterday. As a result, the federal government has shutdown...which is to say, most of the federal government is still open. Social security and pension checks will still be sent out. The Post Office is still operating. Medicare is still processing claims. We're not pulling our troops out of Afghanistan. Essential services and employees remain. The ObamaCare exchanges are opening today on schedule.
As far as I can tell, a federal government "shutdown" means the national parks will be closed and non-essential federal workers will be temporarily furloughed, meaning that many federal departments will have a bare bones staff. Maybe the Labor Dept. won't produce the unemployment numbers on time.
I'll be very surprised if the shutdown isn't resolved very soon. The Republicans already dropped their implausible demand to defund ObamaCare, as I figured they would when last night's witching hour approached. They replaced that demand with one to delay the ObamaCare individual mandate for one year. I thought President Obama might take that deal, since he already delayed the business mandate for a year, but no dice. Obama didn't budge an inch. Effective January 1st, Americans must purchase health insurance or be subject to a fine. I still can't believe the Supreme Court upheld that (by a single vote), or that the Obamacrats made it law in the first place. We now have a precedent in place for the government to require us to purchase a private market product just because we're alive. Unbelievable.
The trick for the GOP now is figuring out how to save face while caving completely. No easy feat. Their bluff has been called by Obama. I'd almost admire Obama for his backbone for once, if not for the fact that he's about to implement the worst legislation devised during my lifetime, and maybe the worst American legislation ever, save for things like the Runaway Slave Act, Jim Crow laws, and the Dred Scott decision. ObamaCare might as well be called the Stamp Out The Middle Class Act, because it's going to send their health care premiums through the roof, adversely affect their jobs, and raise their cost of living. Brilliant, Barack. Just brilliant. You started with a problem where health care was too expensive and 15% were uninsured. You transformed that into a problem where health care is even more expensive, and you still didn't completely solve the uninsured problem. Millions will still be uninsured, despite your unamerican mandate. The big winners under ObamaCare are the insurance companies. It is also favorable to the deadbeats, the working poor, and maybe people who have been unable to get an operation due to a pre-existing condition. Everyone else is harmed financially. But I digress.
If you don't understand how the government can still be open while being shutdown, or how it operates without funding, see my previous post for a partial explanation.
I hear it's illegal to walk on the National Mall now, because that falls under the National Park Service and it's closed. I'd love to see them try to enforce that law. Maybe that would get slumbering America to wake up and smell the authoritarians. Nothing else has worked.
As for me, I'm heading to a National Park. Be back in a few days. Peace.
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