Written by Frank Li
The U.S. government has been shut down, albeit partially, since October 1, 2013. Is it a good thing for America? No, not for the short term, as it has been causing some inconvenience to some people at least! But for the long term, it is likely to be a good thing. Here is why: The U.S. has been on a wrong track (e.g. out-of-control spending) for a long time. It’s time to change the course, whatever it takes. No pain, no gain!
1. Who shut down the government?
President Obama and the Democrats!
Here is an excellent article on this subject: Who Shut Down the Government? The Democrats Or GOP? Here are some highlights:
Obamacare is the law of the land. No argument!
Our Constitution requires “spending via appropriation”, giving the right of appropriation to Congress. In other words, Congress decides on what items to spend. It just happened that the House majority has decided to spend on everything but Obamacare this time. It is their constitutional right to do so. No argument!
The Senate majority (i.e. the Democrats) does not like it, not does President Obama. Instead, they want a “clean” bill that funds everything, including Obamacare. When they did not get what they wanted, they shut down the government! No argument!
2. Who will re-open the government?
It should be those who shut it down in the first place! Yes, that means President Obama and the Democrats. They should “blink” first in this stare-down exercise. If that happens, our government will have actually worked this time.
On the other hand, if the House majority blinks first, it will be business as usual: America will continue on the wrong track!
The real benefits of Obamacare for America are debatable. As far as I know, here are what’s wrong with it:
The implementation for business has been delayed for one year, but the implementation for individuals has not been delayed. What kind of law is that?
The government, which includes the Obama administration as well as Congress, has been exempted from it. What kind of law is that? Congress must pass no law that does not apply to itself!
Obamacare includes an item which allows members of Congress to send their kids to college for free (to them). What kind of law is that?
Did I get the above three points right?
This shutdown highlights two problems:
The U.S. government no longer works in the large, regardless of the outcome of this stare-down exercise.
It’s time to have serious political reforms, as I suggested in my book (“Saving America, Chinese Style”)!
The debt ceiling issue is just around the corner. It will put our government in a much bigger test. Meanwhile, just remember this: it was President Obama that shutdown the government!
Kudos to the House majority for standing up for America this time! Will they hold on? Let’s wait and see …