I have been ashamed of this Republican party long before now. When the second Bush took office I shook my head at the neoconservative movement that began to infiltrate the minds of the most prominent Republican members in Washington. This is everything against what the party of business and fiscal conservatism is intended to be about.
Shutting down the government because you did not get your way is ridiculous. It undermines the entire point of governance. I would wager anything that if President Obama were a Republican none of this would be happening. My guess is that there would be maybe some anger from the Democrats that the Affordable Care Act is too centrist or right-wing, but I doubt they would even go so far as to want to shut down the government, despite not getting their way.
The debt ceiling is another problem. What’s the point of having a debt ceiling in the first place if you just keep raising it and taking on more debt? That being said, however, a government shutdown would be far more detrimental to both the national and global economy. Even at the prospect of the shutdown, the markets have been panicky and most stockholders have begun to experience unexplained losses, other than the actions of the federal government.
What is curious though is that so far, the first day of the shut down, the markets (the Dow and S&P) have been doing quite well. Analysts are not expecting this to last. Some have argued that government shut downs are not a big deal and have little effect on the economy. The only problem with this assumption is that in the mid-1990s, the economy was growing and in a healthy state. Today’s economy, analysts argue, is fragile compared to what it was some twenty years ago.
The Tea Party movement is great in theory. They want small government, lower taxes, more individual freedom, etc., but the way they are trying to achieve these goals, as in not do anything to prevent a government shutdown, is expected hurt the economy much more than debt ceiling increase. Not only that, but it hurts the people who want to the government to get things done.
In all fairness, the health care system in the United States pre-Obamacare is far from free-market. The costs are controlled by a tight network of groups and are consistently increasing. Despite there being tremendous flaws with the new health law, it at least gets some people the care they want for a lower cost. Health care reform is bound to happen again but my guess is that officials in a few years time will argue for more government in health care. That is what concerns me most, Obamacare in itself is not that radical.
There are other, better ways of achieving Tea Party goals in Washington. I would suggest that instead of holding the government hostage, they would offer better alternatives to the current health law. The Republicans, by behaving this way, are making the rest of us common-sense Republicans look bad. Be a grown up, work with what you have, analyze the real flaws of the health law, and above all, govern.