As the Obama Boehner saga continues into day nine regarding the government shutdown, the two men continue to trade barbs and hints of compromise, according to Yahoo News. But U.S. servicemen are dying in Afghanistan to ensure that the nation’s leaders, and all other Americans, have the continued right to disagree with one another, even if it shuts down the government.
Unfortunately, while Congress made sure to take measures to ensure death benefits and other important payments would go out to those who should get them in the event of a shutdown (and the president signed the measures), that isn’t what is happening, according to the Pentagon.
Boehner says he thinks it is “disgraceful” that the president chose to interpret the legislation in a way that would forbid the payment of death benefits to the nation’s servicemen’s families. And he plans to right that wrong interpretation on Wednesday, through a House bill. But if the president is wanting to make the Republicans look bad for refusing to give him a blank check on the economy, he isn’t likely to let the bill pass through the Senate either.
In the meantime, President Obama has been trying to get the Senate to pass a bill that will give him the ability to raise the debt limit all on his own, so he doesn’t have to confer with the House Republicans who want to negotiate on the financial matters. But it is being reported that he is seeing little hope of success, since he must convince at least six republicans in the Senate to support that effort too. And they do not support making such a never before unprecedented move for any president, as it would mean Congress was no longer controlling the nation’s purse strings and finances.
So far, the major cost born as a result of the government shutdown due to the Obama Boehner impasse appears to be servicemen and their families, as well as other federal workers considered dispensable in times of economic crisis. But the pinch on other federal programs will be felt soon, if an agreement is not reached by both men.
In countries were dictators rule, there is no oversight of spending or anything else, even if it plunges a nation into bankruptcy or places it in the control of its foreign creditors. Many fear that a move in America to give the president unlimited access to its wealth would open the country up for control by China, its largest foreign creditor, since there would be no stopping excessive overspending, which will not be able to be repaid at some point. And that is why the consensus from the public polls thus far appears to support a continued cap on the debt limit of $13.7 trillion until Congress and the president can see eye-to-eye on which programs need to be cut, and by how much, in order to bring America’s debt back in line.
Should the president play politics with the death benefits of U.S. servicemen, choosing to interpret bills signed in advance of the shutdown in the most detrimental way possible so Republicans are hopefully targeted more by the public for the shutdown? Or is that called revenge, and a very poor way to treat the public who put him into office, just to get even with his opponents on the matters of the country?
Photo credit: Salon.com