Our View: President Obama’s Government Shutdown Gambit

September 25, 2013
By
This fight isn’t just about ObamaCare. It’s about reining in the government’s seemingly endless appetite to spend more than it takes in

This fight isn’t just about ObamaCare. It’s about reining in the government’s endless appetite to spend more than it takes in

Listening to the mainstream media and beltway political hacks over the past few weeks, you’d probably be inclined to think Republicans in Washington are embarking on a quixotic mission to destroy ObamaCare by shutting down the government.

Liberal pundits would have you believe that Republicans are willing to stop Social Security and Medicare checks from going out just to prove a philosophical point (it’s worth noting that those payments were sent out on time during the last government shutdown).

They say that ObamaCare is here to stay, and that the current budget fight is just a public relations effort engineered by the “Tea Party.” After all, they claim, the House of Representatives has voted over 40 times to repeal ObamaCare to no avail – casting this battle as nothing more than the latest act in an ongoing, theatrical drama.

But the talking heads, per usual, are wrong. Dead wrong. This fight isn’t just about ObamaCare. It’s about reining in the government’s seemingly endless appetite to spend more than it takes in, and forcing President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid – who have helped ring up trillion dollar annual deficits in recent years — to finally come to the negotiating table.

For Republicans to pass a bill that keeps government open and running at current spending levels — without added entitlement spending on implementing ObamaCare — is not a radical idea.  Except in Washington, DC, perhaps.

It is also important to note that House Republicans have actually passed a funding bill to avert a government shutdown – a bill that all but two Democrats voted against.  By opposing continued funding for the vast majority of government operations, an argument can be made that Democrats, not Republicans, are the ones playing chicken with the federal budget – all in the name of protecting ObamaCare.

Not surprisingly, very few media outlets have reported on these facts. Instead, they’ve chosen to demonize Republicans as gunning for a government shutdown because they won’t give Democrats 100 percent of what they want.

Now is the time for President Obama to do something he has so far only been willing to do with the Russians – negotiate.

If President Obama were serious about budget reform, keeping government spending at current levels while lawmakers examine ways to get control of ballooning entitlement programs would be a no brainer. But that likely won’t happen unless President Obama and his congressional allies show some flexibility on Obamacare – the same way that House Speaker John Boehner and Republican leadership did during the fiscal cliff fight of earlier this year.

We aren’t holding our breath.

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