Default Barely Averted: How Did This Crisis Happen? (Oct. 17, 2013)

Last night, the United States Congress voted at the last minute to avert a default by the American government. Economists warned that failure to do so could have had a negative economic impact larger than the Great Recession of 2008.

Who’s responsible for creating a situation where the government shut down for over two weeks and almost caused a catastrophic default by the United States on its debt? Frankly, both sides are responsible.

President Obama hasn’t taken the leadership role required, and instead he has created an uber-political and partisan environment where he runs against Republicans 24/7. Even Leon Panetta, Obama’s former Defense Secretary, just this week criticized the President for refusing to negotiate and work with Republicans.

Similarly, Speaker Boehner had refused to have the full House of Representatives vote on any resolutions to move out of this stalemate (many of which would pass,) because it seems he was afraid that doing so would cause him to be replaced as Speaker by his fellow Republican House Members.

There are many, regardless of party, who believe there is room for improvement and modification of the Affordable Care Act. But to tangle up its funding in conversations about the debt ceiling after it was enacted into law and agreed to by both Congress and the President, is dysfunctional politics at its worst. To not fund it now is a change, and changes require both Houses of Congress and the President to agree.

Shutting the government down because they couldn’t get the Senate and President to agree with them clearly puts the onus on Republicans in the House as responsible for the shutdown. However, both the Senate and the Administration have been playing political games by trying to maximize the damage of the shutdown in order to hurt House Republicans politically.

I’m tired of politicians of both parties playing political games instead of doing the people’s business. They are more interested in partisan advantage regardless of the painful consequences their theatrics inflict on average Americans.

What can we do? Frankly, it’s time to vote against incumbents of both parties. Only then will the politicians get the message. I hope you agree.

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