It's official. The much-feared government shutdown has begun. All because Congress couldn't get their act together and pass a continuing budget resolution by the October 1 deadline. They have gone way too far this time. And we are all paying a heavy price for it.
The most blame lies with the Republican Party, especially the Koch-funded Tea Party members. Wanting desperately to repeal, defund, or at least delay Obamacare, among other demands, they insisted on playing chicken with the economy because they didn't get their way. Led by John Boehner and Ted Cruz, they refused repeatedly to pass a "clean" bill to fund the government for even a few weeks beyond October 1. Well into September 30, they made one outrageous demand after another as a condition for passing a continuing resolution. But the Democrats are not entirely innocent either. They let it get to this point for quite some time now, and even took the weekend off knowing a shutdown was likely imminent. And when Boehner offered a surprisingly reasonable 11th-hour request to allow the shutdown to be avoided if 1) only the "individual mandate" part of Obamacare would be delayed by a year and 2) Members of Congress would not get any healthcare subsidies, the Democrats (led by Harry Reid) still refused, and Obama still threatened to veto it. Of course, the Republicans then punted again, and still refused to even allow a House vote on a "clean" bill. Despicable! Why both sides couldn't come to a compromise is beside the point. The real issue is that shutting down the government just because you don't get your way should NEVER be done, period. And the longer the shutdown lasts, the more damage is done to our economy and society at large.
But it appears that an even bigger fight is on the horizon. We are just weeks away from defaulting on our national debt if the debt ceiling is not raised in a timely fashion. Such a default would be unprecedented and would likely lead to another Great Depression. And if Congress's current unacceptable behavior is any indication, we are in for a VERY rough time ahead in the weeks to come. They are essentially putting our nation in distress, hence the inversion of the American flag on the TSAP blog.
Thus, the TSAP hereby gives virtually all 535 members of Congress (regardless of party) a vote of "no confidence", and we will take their government shutdown to imply the resignation of such members. We encourage every reader of this blog to sign the following petitions:
Dear Congress: We Accept Your Resignation
No Pay for Congress During Shutdown
Minimum Wage for Congress
Let them know that We the People have had ENOUGH of the gridlock, grandstanding, backstabbing, corruption, venality, follies, lies, recklessness, childishness, and otherwise outrageous behavior of Congress. And we will support a primary challenge to ALL of them, with the only exceptions being Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. If we weren't clear, we'll say it again:
So what's the opposite of "progress" again? You guessed it.