The blame game

As a federal employee, I’m watching the news of a possible government shutdown pretty closely. Most of the players in the debacle are pointing fingers at members of other parties, but it certainly looks like there’s plenty of blame to go around.

Who do you think will end up shouldering most of the blame if it comes to a shutdown? Republicans, Democrats, Tea-Partiers, the President…? Maybe someone else?

The Tea Party rally last week was full of “Shut It Down” chants. I really think the GOP has it’s hands tied by the TP, and will shut down the Government as a bone to the radical fringe of the party.

If you look through Free Republilc, you will find many threads about shutting down the Government. There seems to be a certain amount of glee around the prospect.

I’m a Federal Employee as well. I was Active Duty during the last shutdown in the 90’s. It wasn’t fun then, and it won’t be fun now.

Just as there are people hoping for a shutdown on the Republican side, there are people on the Democratic side that think that a shutdown will ultimately benefit them. Howard Dean made news recently by stating just this opinion.

I personally find it disingenuous for Democrats to be criticizing Republicans for not passing a budget they could have passed last year. Likewise criticisms of “campaigning” are a little hollow - President Obama is making actual campaign trips in the middle of this mess.

Blame game?

I find the Republicans disingenous for trying to blame this mess on the two years that Democrats held all three branches of government.

Eight years of “Deficits don’t matter”, and paying for two wars without increasing revenue has placed us in this spot.

Memories are short in politics.

The wars are certainly a factor, but the entitlement spending is the real problem.

That’s why you see a lot of fights about discretionary spending - this is the spending not covered by entitlement programs. Problem is that this is a comparatively small portion of federal spending, especially non-defense discretionary spending, the stuff that causes the biggest fights because the least is at stake, and at risk.

At least Republicans are making noise now about tackling the entitlement spending problem - Democrats are still in denial about it. President Obama’s budget made little mention of it, he has largely ignored the recommendations of his own committee set up to study the matter and Congressional Democrats aren’t making many changes to entitlement spending, except perhaps to spend more.

I think its hard to say how it will come out. The partisans on either side will of course blame the other side. The mushy middle doesn’t pay much attention to the facts and is likely uniformed about what the real issues are. They will probably follow what the mainstream media does in these cases which is to generate a false equivalence. As a result they will conclude that both sides were equally to blame.

For my own part I would think that a compromise position would involve some degree of spending cuts but not as many as the Republicans would like ideally, and some tax increases on the wealthy but not as many as Democrats would like ideally. As it stands now the Democratic position seems to be a middle of the road compromise on spending and a complete capitulation on taxes. While the Republican position is not to move an inch. So blame should rightly fall on the Republicans.

Democrats aren’t in denial about anything, we don’t have a spending problem, we have a revenue problem. If we can stop paying for the two wars, and elilminate the Bush Era tax cuts, we would be sitting pretty.

The refusal to see these problems for what they are, and the propensity to blame entitlements is what separates the Dems from Repubs.

Republicans are all of a sudden deficit hawks as of January 2009. They are using this “crisis” to gut programs that have rankled the party for years. How else can you explain things like Mike Pence’s insistance that anti-abortion riders must be included?

It’s a ruse, and hopefully unaffiliated and independant voters will recognize this for what it is.


If the Republicans want to pursue an aggressive program of cuts, they need to get control of both houses of Congress and the Presidency. With only the House of Representatives, they HAVE to compromise. That’s how the system works. If they won’t compromise, they’re responsible for the shutdown.

Dude, The Other Side is going to be catching allll the flack for this. They should be running scared, dude! Down with The Other Side!

The reason there is a possibilty of a shutdown is that there was no budget passed last year. Last year the Democrat party had control of both houses and the presidency. Therefore they are at fault for putting us in this situation.
Both parties share the blame, the GOP one third since they control one of the institutions and the Democrat party two thirds since they control two of the institutions.

The reason there was no budget last year was because the Dems couldn’t get over the 60 vote threshold in the Senate. No republilcan was going to break ranks and look week to the base in an election season.

Exactly. The republicans have to paint everything Obama does or wants as the worst thing to ever happen to america in order to keep their moronic base riled up, this leaves them completely unable to compromise. There is no way you can say “Well ok, we’ll let you destroy america just a little bit this time” and not look like an idiot. The problem now is that unlike when Newt did this the current Republicans can get enough of the public to swallow whatever bs spin they give to blunt any repercussions for their actions.

Only 12 republican senators were up for re-election in 2010. Part of governing is working with the other party. The real reason the Democrats did not pass a budget is they did not want their vulnerable members to have to defend a budget that raised taxes and did not want to piss off their financial backer by extending the Bush tax cuts before the election.

If the Republicans weren’t using procedural shenanigans only 50 votes would be necessary. And if McConnel weren’t a sentient supperating anus maybe a few Republicans would have broken ranks. There are actually Republicans who aren’t stupid enough to think the Bush tax cuts are a good idea.

So let’s spread the blame around. If the other side cared about governing the Dems would have had a budget.

Well, at midnight tonight, this government will shut down if a deal is not reached.

In lieu of the moment, I’d like to lead the thread in a funeral dirge. I’ll start:
Swing low, sweet chariot,
Coming for to carry me home,

You need to tell this to the Republicans.

That sounds like spending.

The fact of the matter is that we need entitlement reform, spending cuts, tax increases AND economic growth to get out of thise mess. Take any of those things off the table and you cannot achieve long term fiscal stability.

When the republicans were in power they got a budget passed every year with smaller majorities in both houses.

Because the Dems didn’t use procedural means like the filibuster to block the budget.