Paul Giorgio: What I Learned From The Government Shutdown
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
So what were the take aways from the government shutdown? There were clearly a few of them.
1. TEA Party gives federal works a paid vacation
The TEA Party shut the government down for 16 days and 800,000 federal workers were sent home for what was essentially an additional 2 weeks of paid vacation. You see they all will get paid and that was part of the deal. So while the TEA Party forced Americans to be inconvenienced, these cost cutters gave all the furloughed federal workers a bonus vacation.
2. Retirement funds paid the price
We toyed with not raising the debt ceiling and cost millions of Americans billions of dollars in their retirement accounts when the stock market dropped almost 1000 points.
According to most experts the cost to the US economy caused by the shutdown was $24 billion. That’s not chump change even in Bill Gates’ world.
So as the TEA Party Republicans, which stands for Taxed Enough Already, was trying to end Affordable Healthcare, not one of them opted not to have coverage for their families? See they don’t want the average American to have healthcare coverage but they want it for themselves. Talk about being disingenuous.
3. TEA stands for something else
Maybe after this 2 week stunt the people of our country will finally come to realize what TEA Party really stands for –Too Extreme for America. Sure Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s popularity has sky rocketed among the wacky right, but the Republican brand on a whole has suffered tremendous damage.
4. It didn't work
Americans by a wide majority blame the Republicans for the government shutdown and the debt ceiling crises. Little else has been talked about both by the Congress and by the talking heads on TV. In the latest Washington Post/ABC poll, 80% of Americans disapprove of the government shutdown. This is far greater than anyone had thought possible.
Maybe the Republicans think they can run out the clock on Barack Obama’s Presidency by pulling these stupid stunts. IT won’t work, because President Obama has 3 years left on his term. The Republicans might want to take a lesson from the 1948 Presidential election when underdog incumbent President Harry Truman ran against the Republican Do-Nothing Congress. The Republicans could very easily loose control of the House of Representatives in the 2014 election.
5. The next battle lines are already drawn
Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress have a pretty aggressive agenda ahead of them. The next issue on Obama’s plate is immigration reform. The Democrats want it and the TEA Party is against it. This issue affects 11 million people in this country. We need to bring these people out of the shadow economy and get them paying their fair share of taxes and social security. We need to give the children of these undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship.
How will the Republicans in Congress alienate Hispanics on this issue?
After immigration reform, President Obama wants to deal with voting rights. This issue affects African Americans in a far greater proportion than it does white middle class voters. You can’t have a precinct in the south with 35,000 registered voters in a minority precinct and 5,000 voters in white precincts.
So maybe the grand strategy of the TEA Party is to slow the legislative clock down, so no meaningful reform is accomplished, no matter what the economic or psychic costs to America is.
Paul Giorgio is a longtime Democratic Party Activist who has worked on numerous campaigns. He was a Lead Advance Person for President Clinton & Vice President Gore. He was Deputy Director of Special Events for President Clinton’s first Inauguration. He has been elected a delegate to numerous Democratic National Conventions and recently served as one of President Obama’s representatives on the Platform Committee. In 2013 he was chosen as a Presidential Elector. He is the President of Pagio, Inc., publishers of Pulse Magazine, Vitality Magazine and Worcester Medicine.
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