Arthur Schaper: RI Senators: Stop the Shutdown (Oh Please!)

Friday, October 04, 2013


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The government shutdown has people pointing their fingers in the wrong direction, believes Arthur Schaper.

As of today, the federal government has crept from political showdown to government shutdown.

As of today, House Republicans have offered continuing resolutions to fund the government. Before, they had attempted to defund Obamcare to defend working Americans from government encroachment. Preparing for a cloture vote that will throttle the House amendment, US Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) filibustered for twenty-two hours to rally supporters, but more importantly to publish all the negative effects associated with Obamacare. The Senators removed the defunding, and sent back a dirtied CR. House Reps fired back with a one-year delay and repeal of the medical device tax, attaching amendments to defund then delay Obamacare and repeal the medical device tax, which even Massachusetts' Senators Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren oppose. The Senate rejected that.

Asking the wrong question

Where have Rhode Island’s senators been in all of this back-and-forth ballyhoo? Walking in lock step with their (anti-)Democratic caucus and President. How the two senators can support this law, when GoLocal has reported that one in ten Rhode Islanders will remain uninsured, screams extreme.

In, Rhode Island senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse argued that House Republicans need to pass a continued spending resolution to avoid a shutdown. Have they buried their face in the calamari or what? The House is still passing CRs, but the Senate will not consider anything.

The Ocean State Senators have argued that a shutdown would furlough thousands, since the federal government employs one third of Rhode Island's workforce. The two legislators should ask why the federal government employs so many people in so small a state. The problem issue is not federal funding, but statewide waste and corruption, from Governor Chafee to the General Assembly: high taxes, no jobs, unwelcome business climate. A GA and federal shutdown would do some good!

Flawed reasoning

In interviews with WPRI, Senators Reed and Whitehouse grumbled, complained, and flagged caution over the consequences of a federal shutdown if Congress failed to pass a bill with continued funding.

Reed shared the following:

My hope is that they will not come out and vote for a shutdown.

Who is "they"? Democrats in the House and Senate have suggested that Obamacare must be delayed. This impasse reflects Washington (especially Democratic) profligacy, not Republican recalcitrance.

Reed continued to read the Republicans the riot act: 

Speaker [John] Boehner has consistently over the last several weeks been yielding to the most extreme elements of his caucus ...

What is extreme about requiring that the federal government live within its means, or undoing the unpopular, dysfunction Obamcare law? "Extreme" is spending trillion dollar annual deficits, then claiming taxes rates must be raised because "it's math."

[T]hese [moves] by the extremists in the Republican Party suggest they are not interested in government, in growth or in helping people.

President Obama has rebuffed the Republicans (Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told the President not to). Advertized to broaden access, lower premiums, and not impose taxes, Obamacare has thrice accomplished the exact opposite. Passed without Republican support, with more than half the country resisting its ideology and implementation, Obamacare has become an extreme piece of legislation, and the Rhode Island senators support it still. These government actions make things worse, so every American should applaud Republicans for stopping this federalized insanity.

Besides, Reed has spent more time in Afghanistan than Rhode Island: an extremely untenable record. Senator Whitehouse has pursued an extreme agenda combating climate change, even though God Himself cannot protect us. Crazy.

What it would mean...or not

Besides Reed, WPRI's Tim White interviewed Senator Whitehouse about the looming shutdown. Whitehouse was all whitewash about Democratic complicity in this budget fiasco and the potential consequences of a shutdown on Rhode Islanders:

It would uh look like a lotta things.

So sure of himself…

The FBI basically closing up except for a core emergency group.

In other words: nothing to worry about.

FAA problems in the towers. 

Please. In my backyard, there are two airports, privately operated. They stayed open during the sequester. Planes can land and depart with or without the federal government.

Difficulty getting checks out to people.

False. Social Security recipients are receiving their checks. Even AP reporters know this (and the NSA will still be spying on Americans, too) The Post Office will still deliver the mail, the Patent Office will take applications, and federal courts can operate on their reserves. 

Defense contractors ground to a halt.

We the People should be glad that government contracts come to a halt.

A lot of empty buildings at the naval station in Newport.

The Ocean State needs protection from mainland spendthrifts like Whitehouse and Reed, not overseas adversaries.

Blessing in disguise?

White attempted to assist Whitehouse by suggesting that a government shutdown costs money, about a billion dollars. Compare that to rising Obamacare costs, trillion dollar annual deficits, and the President's expensive progressive agenda. A shutdown is now the only way to force down government costs in the long-run.

Ultimately, this shutdown is a failure of leadership, from President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Reid, and also Senators Reed and Whitehouse.

And the effects of the federal shutdown have been greatly exaggerated. Please!


Arthur Christopher Schaper is a teacher-turned-writer on topics both timeless and timely; political, cultural, and eternal. A life-long Southern California resident, Arthur currently lives in Torrance. Follow him on Twitter @ArthurCSchaper, reach him at [email protected], and read more at Schaper's Corner and As He Is, So Are We Ministries.


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