What happened on Friday night would be laughable if it weren’t so important. Instead it was disgraceful. I liked what David Gergen said on CNN. That Congress should be embarrassed that it came down to this. Gergen further commented that he was at some sort of an international conference (I came in on the middle of what he was saying so didn’t get all the details) but people there came up to him and said what are you guys doing. This has to be a joke.
When you have people chanting “shut it down, shut it down.” It is almost a joke. What you have once again is the Tea Party and the people elected by them acting like 6 year olds. Like a 6-year old, the Tea Party view is always right. They must always get their way. If they don’t they have a fit. Thus the gleeful chanting of shut it down. And, like a 6 year in a tantrum, they can only think of themselves and of no one else. It is impossible for them to see the potential damage that will be done if the government is shut down.
Of course if there had been a shut down the Tea Party members of Congress, in fact all of Congress, would still have been paid. My feeling is if they can’t do their job they shouldn’t get paid. In fact they should loose $1,000 each day that the government is closed. If members of our military, in active war zones, are not considered essential personnel and don’t get paid, then neither should members of Congress. In fact, I would argue that in a shut down members of Congress become superfluous.
The Tea Party excuse is they are standing up for principles. The thing is there is no consequences to them if the government shuts down. Arthur and I discuss this in an upcoming podcast. Essentially my take on this is that many people will be hurt. Many who don’t work directly for the government but depend on them for business. One wonders about the lunch vendor and his cart outside the Department of Commerce and how much business he would loose in a shut down. Or for that matter the corner Subway or McDonalds. Or the people who might be closing on a house with a government loan. You see my point. The shut down goes beyond what the government does.
Also not considered is what this does to out position in the world as a whole. We look foolish. Maybe some investor will think twice about putting his money in American stocks or bonds or treasury bills because of all this non-sense.
The problem is that this is not the end of this. This will not be the last time we will have to go through this. This will be happening again and again and again as long as the 6 year olds are in charge.