Shutdown: One Week In

Monday, October 07, 2013

Federal workers protest the government shutdown on the steps of the Capitol (coolrevolution/flickr)

The government shutdown in Washington continues as Republicans and Democrats continue to say they won't change their position on negotiating around the budget and debt ceiling issues. On ABC "This Week" House Speaker John Boehner also said that "we're not going to pass a clean debt limit increase," insisting that budget changes be made before a debt ceiling vote. Molly Ball, politics writer for The Atlantic, talks about the latest developments and where we go from here.


Molly Ball

Comments [19]

Steve from NJ

The Truth from Becky: Here's the truth

It's basically an even split as to whom people blame. So for every one of you NYC liberals, there's an equal number of republicans blaming you for this problem.

5 bucks says all you liberals saying we need to spend our way out of our problems are sitting on mountains of credit card debt and living beyond your means. You want the rich to foot the bill for the country. You want the young to foot the bill for Obamacare. You want want want everything.

Welcome to reality.

Oct. 07 2013 05:53 PM

Here is a description of the problem put into a simple to understand write up:
"Fiscal Cliff" put in much better perspective.
"Fiscal Cliff" put in much better perspective:

Lesson #1

U.S. Tax Revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
Federal Budget: $3,820,000,000,000
New Debt: $1,650,000,000,000
National Debt: $14,271,000,000,000
Recent Budget Cuts: $38,500,000,

Let's now remove 8 zeros and pretend it's a household budget:
Annual Family Income: $21,700
Money the Family spends each year: $38,200
New Debt on the Credit Card: $16,500
Outstanding Balance on the Credit Card: $142,710
Total Budget Cuts so Far: $38.50
Got it??? Ok now.....

Lesson #2

Here's a way to look at the debt ceiling:

Let's say you come home from work and find that there has been a sewer backup in your neighborhood.....

Your home has raw sewage in it all the way up to the ceiling. What should you do....
Raise the ceiling or remove the sewage.

Oct. 07 2013 03:59 PM
Jake from Bayonne

On the Wake Island comment: My father was a disabled WW2 Vet. Like many guys who learned morse code & radio communication in the military, he became an avid HAM radio operators after the war. But for my father, who was almost completely housebound, it was how he stayed connected to the world and a reason to get up in the morning. And there were/are many many vets like him, for them a war commemorative HAM expeditionwould be a major anticipated event. These guys didn't/don't leave their houses, don't take a vacation; they contact the expedition from home on their radios, they can add a country to their list and in this case honor the dead. and . Like most of the effects of this shutdown, it seems like a small thing only to the un-informed.

Oct. 07 2013 01:13 PM
The Truth from Becky

One more week of this unnecessary shutdown and still no progress, thanks repubs!

Oct. 07 2013 11:54 AM

"Can someone please comment on the fact that 98% of the US Population is not affected one bit by this shutdown?"

The effects aren't felt immediately but it will be felt in the days ahead. They won't be affected in NYC because we don't have a heavy federal employee presence, but in places like DC, Virginia & North Carolina the shutdown is going to be a real problem.

Oct. 07 2013 11:52 AM
Joe from nearby

@Steve- I hope you aren't flying anytime soon, beacause all the safety inspectors have been furloughed.

Btw, being you're so concerned about spending, you might want to review this Forbes article- "Who Is The Smallest Government Spender Since Eisenhower? Would You Believe It's Barack Obama?"

Oct. 07 2013 11:26 AM
fuva from harlemworld

OK, this Republican tactic is unprecedented in history. But is it a legitimate political maneuver? I think this would be a good segment topic...If it isn't, O doesn't need to enable it by conceding.

Oct. 07 2013 11:19 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

China's Real and Present Danger (Now Is The Time For Washington To Worry) - Avery Goldstein, Foreign Affairs

China Steps in to Fill Obama's Vacuum - Rowan Callick, The Australian

What Obama Doesn't Get About Power - Bruce Thornton, Defining Ideas

Obama Alienates Allies and Strengthens Enemies - Michael Weiss, NOW

U.S. & Venezuela: Anatomy of a Breakdown - Jim Wyss, Miami Herald

While Barry has petulant cat fights with the people he REALLY hates - other Americans of the opposition party - the country loses diplomatic stature and influence every day that he is in office.

Only 1200 days from noon until he is back on a street corner!!!!

Oct. 07 2013 11:13 AM
Steve from NJ

Joe from nearby: You are right. Mine life will be affected. It will be significantly affected if our country goes bankrupt. It will be significantly affected if we keep spending money we don't have, all for the spoils of the day.

This is a war against waste. A war against a downward spiral that our country is taking.

My life will be affected if we don't stop this garbage spending and waste and bring our country back to greatness.

Oct. 07 2013 11:13 AM
Steve from NJ

TedR from Pottersville, NJ: I'd be willing to bet you that if you told The Forgotten 98 why the government was shut down right now, they wouldn't mind much that you couldn't pay them homage.

These people DIED for our country. You think they would mind much that your Hawaiian vacation was delayed? Are you kidding me??

Everyone needs to stop being so selfish, so egotistical, and start thinking about the greater good of our country. Our children's future lies in the balance here. Our country is going bankrupt. This idea that you can't be inconvenienced for a while is just plain nuts.

Oct. 07 2013 11:11 AM
Joe from nearby

Where do you get that 98% figure from??

My life has been affected, and yours will too if this goes on for much longer.

Oct. 07 2013 11:09 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

"From France in 1558 to Argentina in 2001, hundreds of countries have either defaulted on their debt or restructured it throughout history. The result of these countries defaulting has varied from a non-event (due to a technical default) to a significant drop in their economy with profound long-term effects that are still ongoing to this day."

Oct. 07 2013 11:08 AM
Josh from Manhattan

A default doesn't have to occur because the US government still takes in 200 Billion per month. About 10x the amount needed to pay interest. You will never see the President admit to that. They do not want to reign in spending under their watch. Leave it to the next guy. Rinse, repeat - until the international market decides we are a banana republic of course and intend to inflate our way out of it in the long term by printing money.

Oct. 07 2013 11:08 AM
Steve from NJ

Can someone please comment on the fact that 98% of the US Population is not affected one bit by this shutdown?

Obviously it does well for WNYC and the media to scare us into thinking that the whole country has come to a screeching halt because of this. And you put on the government workers who are furloughed, who will get their back pay for doing nothing once this is all over. And you put on some stories about how this war vet can't see a monument, and that's why we should forget about all the spending going on and restart the government.

I'd like to say that my life has not been affected one bit by this. This is all for the greater good. If we can decrease the waste in government, then this will all be worth it. You can't take your trip to Europe because your passport isn't ready? Too bad. Delay it.

People died for our country, the least you can do is be inconvenienced a bit to save it.

Oct. 07 2013 11:05 AM
Sue from Manhattan

Joe from nearby ("Anyone who breaks their sworn oath to uphold the Constitution should be impeached.") - yes!

These people are not there to legislate or govern, just to obstruct and have a temper tantrum until they get their way. They do not belong in government, an institution they despise.

By the way, if these tea baggers and their GOP brethren were against the billions we give in corporate welfare, they just MIGHT have a shred of credibility. But they don't.

The national intelligence director testified before Congress that this Republican shutdown is hurting our national security. Why aren't we focusing on that? The GOP temper tantrum is making terrorist attacks more likely!

Golden Man (speaker of the House) has stated unequivocally that he won't let us default on our debt. At the last minute he'll put it up for a vote, that's how this will end.

Oct. 07 2013 11:05 AM

The 14th amendment guarantees our debt, so no action by Congress is necessary. We can continue on with business as usual because the "debt ceiling" is unconstitutional anyway.

Oct. 07 2013 11:02 AM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

There is an old saying: Entrenched belief is not altered by the facts.

I believe that's the GOP motto.

Oct. 07 2013 10:59 AM
Joe from nearby

Boehner & the House's obligation is clearly stated in the Constitution:
"The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, SHALL NOT be questioned."
Anyone who breaks their sworn oath to uphold the Constitution should be impeached.

And if there's any doubt at all about who is really behind this stunt, read "A Federal Budget Crisis Months in the Planning"

Oct. 07 2013 10:47 AM
TedR from Pottersville, NJ

A long anticipated DXpedition to commemorate today's 70'th anniversary of the massacre of 98 U.S. civilians, the "Forgotten 98", by the Japanese on Wake Island, has been quashed due to the government shutdown. One of the major aspects of amateur (ham) radio is DX'ing in which ham radio operators try to add contacts with new countries and islands to their "life list". One of the rare DX locations is Wake Island which is located in the Pacific, 6700 miles from here, between Midway Island and Guam, and is currently administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior. A group of 15 amateur radio operators have been planning a commemorative DXpedition since the beginning of the year to put Wake Island on the air for the many thousands of radio amateurs who are avid DXers and to give those DXers the opportunity to add Wake Island to their list. Because of the government shutdown, the permit for this commemorative operation is being held in limbo.

This trip has a budget of around $140,000, all from private donations. The people going to Wake Island have donated many thousands of dollars, as have hundreds of radio amateurs and amateur radio organizations. Assembling and testing of equipment accelerated in September, and I believe that the equipment had been packed and shipped to staging areas in Hawaii before the shutdown. In addition to the 15 people going to Wake Island, there are dozens at home supporting the trip, and tens of thousands ready to participate by radio. And sadly, the anniversary of a little known but tragic event of WWII will not be commemorated. It's one more example of how the shutdown is affecting people in unexpected and far-reaching ways.

Here are some relevant websites:

Wake Island during World War II

Bloomberg article about the shutdown and the DXpedition

Website for the Wake Island DXpedition

Oct. 07 2013 10:41 AM

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