Georgia Voices: Barack Obama, the Republicans and the shutdown
by The Gainesville Times
October 28, 2013 10:12 PM | 1157 views | 1 1 comments | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Excuses; we all make them, and we all hate them. Whether they come from a spouse, child, co-worker or the person across the counter, we want what we want when we want it, and hold the alibis.

But if there’s one place where excuses seem to be welcomed, it is the nation’s capital, where Congress just handed the White House a “dog ate my homework” cop-out it will carve in stone for years to come.

President Barack Obama set that tone in his statements Oct. 17 hours after signing a deal passed by Congress the night before ending the 16-day federal government shutdown and raising the debt ceiling — for the time being, anyway.

In decrying his political opponents’ tactics, the president made it clear any downturn in the economy that occurs in the final three-plus years of his term will be blamed on the two-week stoppage. ...

In other words, the buck stops over there with those other guys.

Talk about paving a golden road ahead of yourself. There’s nothing a politician loves more than someone else to blame for the problems laid at his feet — past, present and future. In trying to derail Obamacare and force a decision on the nation’s mounting debt, Republicans opened a handy escape hatch for the president to wiggle through when the going gets tough.

Experts will continue to debate what true effect the shutdown had on the economy. As the deal emerged, financial markets surged. Furloughed federal workers will receive the back pay they lost, so most of the damage will be repaired. So how much actual impact it will have over the long haul is uncertain. But it’s clear that the shutdown accomplished nothing. Republicans suspended government operations as part of their goal to defund the Affordable Care Act. That strategy failed, though the health exchange’s balky website has accomplished so far what the law’s foes couldn’t. ...

Some ripple effects could show up sooner. The National Retail Federation reported that shoppers planned to reduce spending for the upcoming holiday season. More than half of consumers surveyed blame the economy for denting their holiday budgets; nearly 3 in 10 fault the political bickering in Washington. Thus, both sides will use the shutdown fiasco as ammo to fire at the other side in next year’s elections, even though such rhetoric likely will sway no one but the amen choruses within their own ranks. ...

Washington isn’t just broken, as many claim. It’s pitifully inept. And it continues to spin out excuses for failed leadership like cotton candy, excuses we are all sick of hearing but will echo in our ears for some time to come.

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rjsnh
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October 29, 2013
The GOP shutdown has been costly to our economy.
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