Government shutdown? It’s the GOP’s fault

As oddmakers set the chances of a government shut down at above 60 percent, it’s useful to go back and remember how we got into this mess, with important services closed and soldiers perhaps not getting paid. Here’s how we got into this mess: Republican leaders didn’t keep their word.

Way back in February, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (now being widely praised for his “courageous” budget proposal for next year) proposed $32 billion in budget cuts for the rest of this fiscal year. Given Ryan’s position in the Republican constellation of  stars, it was perfectly reasonable for Democrats to assume that was the number they were to hit.

So they did. They immediately capitulated and gave Republicans $33 billion in cuts. So, did the GOP declare victory? Did they know how to take “yes” for an answer? No, they didn’t.

Under severe pressure from the hyper-conservative Republican Study Committee and tea party activists, Ryan and Boehner reneged and demanded more. Dems said, “No way.”

And it wasn’t just more money that Republicans insisted on. They also want to move through any number of hoary old rightwing proposals that have nothing to do with the budget, such as neutering the Environmental Protection Agency.

As former Bush speechwriter Micheal Gerson put it,

The less-than-serious faction of the Republican Party is intent on squeezing more savings out of the 2011 budget or pursuing a government shutdown as an end in itself. Some of this bloc is composed of House freshmen, who share the unrealistic expectations of the Tea Party base — the undoing of modern government by one-half of one branch of that government. Others are more senior members of the Republican caucus — representatives such as Mike Pence and Michele Bachmann — who seek to raise their profiles by establishing themselves as rebel leaders.

Some Democrats have said that the tea party is to blame if the government is shut down. That’s not quite true. It’s the entire far right wing of the Republican Party.

299 comments Add your comment

Kamchak

April 6th, 2011
11:00 am

…it was perfectly reasonable for Democrats to assume that was the number they were to hit.

Obviously not.

Once the goal post has been moved, it’s futile to play the game.

Kinda like playing any board game with my five year old great nephew.

Scott

April 6th, 2011
11:01 am

Amen Cynthia…Amen!

Peadawg

April 6th, 2011
11:01 am

Government shutdown? It’s the Democrat’s fault FOR NOT PASSING A 2011 FISCAL YEAR BUDGET LAST YEAR WHEN THEY CONTROLLED THE HOUSE, SENATE, AND PRESIDENCY.

Fixed your typo.

David Granger

April 6th, 2011
11:04 am

I am not a fan of the Tea Party, but will grudgingly admit that they did promise to cut spending. And when politicians actually KEEP the campaign promises they made, it sure screws up things in Washington, doesn’t it?

Zzz

April 6th, 2011
11:12 am

Only the President can “Shut down the Govt”, not the House or Senate !

Steamboat

April 6th, 2011
11:13 am

There should have been a budget submitted last year. Hey Cynthia- who’s fault was that?

Old timer

April 6th, 2011
11:13 am

How could it be..The dems should have done this when they had the house and were too chicken….Then it would not be an issue now. Acceot responsibility.

Old timer

April 6th, 2011
11:14 am

Youneedto Dosomeresearch

April 6th, 2011
11:14 am

You moron, we’re in this soup because the Democrats didn’t even pass a budget last year. No budget. That’s a fact.

Jethro

April 6th, 2011
11:15 am

Typical. A Democrat controlled Congress failed to submit a 2011 budget by the April 2010 deadline. In June 2010, Congressman Hoyer said they would not even SUBMIT a 2011 budget. Democrat Congress, Democrat President, and they can’t do their job.

And on April 6, 2011, Cynthia Tucker, Pulitzer prize winning journalist, fails to do her journalistic duty to keep an eye on the government and instead purveys the lie that it’s the Republicans’ fault. I don’t single you out – your brethren in the media also seem repulsed by doing their job of reporting facts. That’s what happens when politics is injected into journalism. Facts become secondary to reporting lies (a lie of omission, in this case facts, is still a lie).

Sorry. This is not a journalist column. This is an op-ed column. Facts are nonessential to voicing an opinion. This country is going to hell in a handbasket. That’s okay though. When China rescues the U.S. from bankruptcy and assumes control, they will do a much better job of telling you – all of us – what to think. Make sure Premier Hu puts a little extra in your pay check this month.

Joe Mama

April 6th, 2011
11:21 am

Peadawg — “Government shutdown? It’s the Democrat’s fault FOR NOT PASSING A 2011 FISCAL YEAR BUDGET LAST YEAR WHEN THEY CONTROLLED THE HOUSE, SENATE, AND PRESIDENCY.”

Well, *clearly* we should have all recognized that that failure in 2010 would prevent the House, Senate and President from negotiating and agreeing on a budget *today.* (eyeroll)

Mrnumbersman

April 6th, 2011
11:23 am

In Bloomberg (12/11/10) Rep. Ryan states he wants $100 billion in cuts to get to the 2008 levels. Where does the $32 billion come from?

As much as I want to avoid the partisan sniping here it is the democrats fault because they had the responsibility of passing a budget before October, 2010 and passed on it. This process started in February, 2010. Twelve resolutions were to be passed and only 2 passed the House. None passed the Senate. And the democrats held big majorities in both chambers before the elections. Now we are at this point with the temporary spending measures.

Concerned

April 6th, 2011
11:25 am

I am starting a food drive for grandma and grandpa so they don’t have to eat cat food when the mean tea party racist take away all their money….2010 was just the beginning….This will backfire on the left and right alike. Oh no.. Our service men and women won’t get paid. Why didn’t congress pass a budget last fall when they should have.

Good Grief

April 6th, 2011
11:27 am

Another day, another liberal blaming the Republicans. Look, Biden was wrong about spending our way out of fiscal problems. Ryan was wrong if he thought $32 billion in one year was enough. Probably why they’ve come back with a different budget proposal. The American people are going to have to come to terms with the fact that, if we want fiscal sanity in this country, it’s goiong to mean personal responsibility, government accountability, and we going to have to touch the sacred cows that are the entitlement programs.

Then again, we could take the liberal approach and just tax the rich until their eyes bleed diamonds.

Joe Mama

April 6th, 2011
11:33 am

Good Grief — “Then again, we could take the liberal approach and just tax the rich until their eyes bleed diamonds.”

How about going back to the tax rates as they were under President Reagan? Did those rates constitute taxing the rich “until their eyes bleed diamonds?”

Good enough for The Gipper, good enough for me.

roge

April 6th, 2011
11:34 am

Cynthia, you should run for a seat in Washington. You would fit right in with the far left democraps.

Bo

April 6th, 2011
11:35 am

I’ll never understand the racial obligation to blindly support whatever the Democrats do. They didn’t even pass budget when they were in control!

There is no argument here – we are going bankrupt as a country. Why would you NOT want to cut spending as much as possible?

Oh, thats right. Food stamps to keep your core voting for you.

kayaker 71

April 6th, 2011
11:37 am

How much difference does a 30B budget cut make in our grossly overly inflated debt. Answer…. like peeing in the Pacific Ocean. We need cuts of 150-200B before it will even begin to make a difference. And what does CT do? Blames Republicans for the mess that we are in. News Flash, CT. Both parties were complicit in this fiasco, neither escapes blame and anyone who cannot see this should not be writing this type of column. You are absolutely without scruples. I will say it again…. the obvious often alludes the most well intentioned.

Joe Schmoe

April 6th, 2011
11:38 am

Voting rights need to be reformed ASAP. Taxpayers only! Too many people are voting themselves handouts at the cost of others.

Del,

April 6th, 2011
11:41 am

The Campaigner and Chief is off doing what he prefers as governing isn’t his cup of tea. Speaking of tea, 48% of the public align themselves with the “Tea Party” movement. Lotsa luck Cynthia spreading your dis-information but of course it doesn’t travel any further than your blog followers.

Contractor

April 6th, 2011
11:41 am

Why can’t the Democrats settle on more budget cuts for the sake of America? This country no longer needs to spend spend spend, because for one, we don’t have the money to spend. The Liberals punted away their opportunity to create any kind of cuts, and so the Republicans have come up with a plan. The only one in town from what I have read and heard. The Liberals are the ones wanting the shut down so they don’t have to face the facts and are forced to realize that this country is slowly dying with debts skyrocketing through the roof. I don’t expect much at all from your obtuse views on American society Tucker, but I would expect you to actually report some information that rebuts the Republican proposed cuts, instead of just telling us how it’s all their fault. A four year old can play that game and blame another child, so it’s comical how you take that same route.

Chief Schiteng Bull

April 6th, 2011
11:42 am

You are an embarrassment to your trade. Which party DID NOT create a budget? Hmmmmmm?

Joe Schmoe

April 6th, 2011
11:44 am

I dont know how others handle their budget, but when I start running out of money, I stop spending it, and cut it in places. A little logic goes a long way!

Bryan G.

April 6th, 2011
11:45 am

The dems didn’t create a budget last year b/c they knew that they would get hammered in the midterms – even more so than they did.

The dems are to blame for the shutdown because they don’t have the guts to cut even a tiny bit – $60B. That’s NOTHING in a $1.5 T deficit.

mike

April 6th, 2011
11:46 am

Go ahead and shut it down. The same thing will happen again as last time. Those goobers repubs will be voted out again. Personally I need a 21 day vacation like last time. I am already making plans to hit the beach in Florida.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

April 6th, 2011
11:46 am

The Republicans were surprised that the Dems were willing to meet their number when the real intent of the Party of No has always been government shutdown

timbo

April 6th, 2011
11:47 am

I think CT writes this bull squeeze just to get clicks on the AJC web site. She can’t possibly believe half the crap she writes…..or can she?

Tundra Dude

April 6th, 2011
11:47 am

Government shutdown? It’s the GOP’s fault

Fault? It could also be a real blessing to taxpayers, if done properly.
I’d suggest stopping all pay to the political class, then shut down the War Department. (let them hold bake sales to buy ammo) Give the troops plane tickets to come home. Let Big Oil, the Banksters, and misc plunderers pay for their own military.

Laying off a million federal employees will save a bundle. Imagine if we discover the Fed Gubmint can run on a barebones budget…..

Mike K.

April 6th, 2011
11:48 am

We’re only talking about ~$60 billion in cuts out of a multi-trillion dollar budget. Obama’s already raised baseline spending by $100s of billions of dollars, so this is hardly an ‘extreme’ position for the Republicans. It’ll be interesting to see how Democrats respond to Ryan’s reasonable proposal to cut $100s of billions a year from the federal budget, given how histrionic their reaction has been to the latest budget cuts.

Jimmy62

April 6th, 2011
11:48 am

See, here’s the thing, you act like stuff isn’t connecting. But absolutely the existence of the EPA and the things it regulates does affect the budget. So maybe it’s a good thing to get rid of the EPA, maybe it’s not, but it is inane to act like it doesn’t matter and has no connection to either the budget, the deficit, tax revenues, etc.

Peadawg

April 6th, 2011
11:48 am

“She can’t possibly believe half the crap she writes…..or can she?” – I’ve wondered the same thing. But then if you watch her on t.v. she’s as crazy there as she is on here….maybe it’s an act?

jmcathome

April 6th, 2011
11:48 am

of course the shutdown would be the Republicans fault in the eyes of Ms Tucke. Obama and the Democrats are never responsible for anything that happens. after all there is not a brain among any of them. Actually if the troops dont get paid it is the President who determines who will continue to be essential. So they probabaly wont get paid if that is the case. Anyone with any sense will know that it is democrats and republicans at fault and there is pllenty of blame for both.

timbo

April 6th, 2011
11:49 am

I love how she includes a shot at the Tea Party, just like Chuckie Shumer said to do. Gots to keep the ignorant down on the plantation you know.

Not at the Trough

April 6th, 2011
11:50 am

I wouldn’t say it was a fault. I think it will be great if it shuts down for about 6 months, and people realize what the actual essential services the government provides are. Seems like mostly the government provides jobs for federal workers, and little else. I would love to live without a lot of the stuff government pokes its nose into and shouldn’t. By the way, when the Dems had the majority, and could have done anything, they couldn’t pass a budget! Go figure that now you are blaming Repubs for this problem. So head in the sand girl.

Halftrack

April 6th, 2011
11:50 am

CT, Dems were in control and they did not pass a FY 2011 budget. They also passed Obummer care with a lot of tax increases that we are just now finding out about. The House has passed spending cuts to the current way of doing business. Guess who has held this up – the Senate and Dingy Harry. As the old service station advertisement said ” you can pay me now or a lot later.” Our current spending is unsustainable. We sacrifice now or we will destruct later from all this spending. We all can see the train wreck coming and for the Dems not to heed and try to stop it from happening is irresponsible.

joe

April 6th, 2011
11:50 am

The GOP and Tea Party are the ones who are trying to get our country back on the right track. The Dem spending, led by Barry Bailout, are spending our country into bankruptcy. If you are an entitlement taker, best jump on board the GOP train because if you vote Dem, their spending will cause our currency to crash and you won’t be able to cash in your food stamps as they will be worthless. At least the GOP is trying to save our future by slowing down the spending. The only other alternative is to keep spending and our way of life and freedom won’t exist in a few years. Better stop drinking the kool aid and think for yourself, cause the follow the masses Dem voting block will really be hurting if you keep Dems in charge. VOTE GOP in 2012.

George P. Burdell

April 6th, 2011
11:51 am

The sad thing is that the we are crumbling and thinking like this only serves to mask the real issues in exactly the same way CT accuses the Republicans of masking the real issues. Whether you are talking about taxing the rich, fighting over a mere $33 Billion in spending cuts, or any other angle, its simply not enough to make a significant difference given where we are now. We are adding more in interest expense every year than either of these plans and that is not sustainable. We are sitting on the edge of the whirlpool and instead of paddling to get away we are just splashing each other.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

April 6th, 2011
11:51 am

Dude….great point. Think of the savings when businessmen cant travel because passports will not be renewed, when SBA loans will not be processed, when national parks and momuments are closed, oil drilling permits not processed. [sarcasm]

DW

April 6th, 2011
11:53 am

or we can just keep giving them tax breaks and place ALL the burden on lower and middle class folks..

Oh Reilly

April 6th, 2011
11:55 am

I’ve seen this movie already. The no-compromise Republicans play to their right wing base. And they fly off the cliff in a blaze of glory.

ex-Speaker Gingrich, meet soon to be ex-Speaker Boehner.

Kamchak

April 6th, 2011
11:55 am

I’ll never understand the racial obligation to blindly support whatever the Democrats do.

The race card.

16 posts in.

Good Grief

April 6th, 2011
11:56 am

Jimmy62 @ 11:48-
You do realize you are asking a Democrat to support deregulation?

jconservative

April 6th, 2011
11:56 am

A short history lesson in Debt Limit legislation:

“Congress has voted to raise the debt limit ten times since 2001. Deficits each year since 2001, and the persistent increases in debt held by government accounts, repeatedly raised the debt to, or near, the limit in place at the time. Congress raised the limit in June 2002, and by December 2002 the U.S. Department of the Treasury asked Congress for another increase, which was passed in May 2003. In June 2004, the Treasury asked for another debt limit increase. After Congress recessed in mid-October 2004 without acting, the Secretary of the Treasury told Congress that the actions he was taking to avoid exceeding the debt limit would suffice only through mid-November. Congress approved a debt limit increase in a post-election session, which the President signed on November 19, 2004. In 2005, reconciliation instructions in the FY 2006 budget resolution (H.Con.Res. 95) included a debt limit increase. With no action having been taken by December 2005, the Secretary of the Treasury sent several letters warning Congress that the Treasury would exhaust its options to avoid default by mid-March 2006. Congress passed an increase in mid-March, which the President signed on March 20. The House indirectly approved legislation (H.J.Res. 43) to raise the debt limit by $850 billion to $9,815 billion. The Senate approved the resolution on September 27, 2007, and it was signed by the President two days later.”

This is what happens when you borrow money to operate government.

Now look at this:

“After World War II ended, the debt limit was reduced to $275 billion. Because the Korean War was mostly financed by higher taxes rather than by increased debt, the limit remained at $275 billion until 1954.”

That is what happens when you do not borrow money to operate government, or fight wars for that matter.

Mike K.

April 6th, 2011
11:56 am

To put this whole debate into perspective, the Republicans have done the equivalent of asking a family with a $100 per week shopping budget to cut their budget by $1.71 a week. That’s what the Democrats consider a draconian cut.

To add a bit more perspective, this is like asking a family that spent $84.45 a week at the grocery store in 2009 to spend $98.29 a week, instead of $100 a week, in 2012. Apparently, a 5.2% per annum increase in spending during a recession isn’t enough for the Democrats.

timbo

April 6th, 2011
11:57 am

Just to prove her ignorance, CT says this;

“with important services closed and soldiers perhaps not getting paid.”

First of all, the military will continue to get paid in the event of a shutdown, and second, when did liberals start caring about the military?

Good Grief

April 6th, 2011
11:57 am

“The no-compromise Republicans play to their right wing base.”
_____

Right, because Barack “I won” Obama has been so willing to play along, right? Only if the GOP sits in the back.

Mike K.

April 6th, 2011
11:57 am

@Kamchak

Not the ‘race card’ card!! Oh, I’m melting!!!!!

John Birch

April 6th, 2011
11:59 am

1) If Obamination had any concern for the American people he would have submitted a budget with a much smaller deficit to begin with.
2) He should have taken steps to ensure the 2011 budget was passd months ago as it should have been.
3) This totally fiscally irresponsible government spends $1.00 for every $.60 it actually takes in and, therefore, needs to shut down

Peadawg

April 6th, 2011
11:59 am

“when did liberals start caring about the military?” – When it comes to getting re-relected.

kayaker 71

April 6th, 2011
11:59 am

CT,

So give us your economic expertise. Making a basic premise that we are spending too much (if you can even admit that), where would you make budget cuts? Don’t tell me raise taxes. We already know that that is a short term solution. Give me some idea of what you would do to correct this fiasco we find ourselves in. If Ryan is such an idiot, enlighten us. What would you do?