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Government Shutdown: Congress is Having So Much Fun Playing Chicken, they Want to do it More!


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Here's my take on the threats of a government shutdown (and the latest news for those who may not know).

1) The GOP House passed a budget with $61B (or $100B) in cuts depending on what numbers are baselined.

2) The Democrats in the Senate / Obama want $0B (or $40B) in cuts depending on the baseline.

3) The GOP House is countering a stalemate with an offer to extend the CR for two weeks, at the expense of $4B in cuts. The dastardly trick is that they are cutting programs Obama and the Democrats already have agreed to cut this year or next year. However, they want to use the $4B as leverage. If the Democrats agree to the CR, they can now say "you agreed to cuts at this rate for two weeks, we want to hold you to that for the whole year".

4) The Senate Democrats and Obama are countering asking for a 4 week continuing resolution. I'm assuming this would be with $4B in cuts, thus there may be some believe the Democrats would be happy with a number about half of what the GOP wants to cut.

5) Passing a 2 week CR doesn't make their big sticking point go away. It means both parties think they are benefiting from this situation. The Democrats have been touting number saying that $61B in budget cuts will be a 2% hit on the GDP... the GOP is saying "those government jobs don't add value!" Which is really funny because it's something like a "middle class stimulus" and goes against what some would think the way "trickle down" economics works, if the rich aren't involved.

I think the GOP has the upper-hand... as far as the number goes... I guess the other issue is figuring out where to make the cuts in the Senate. I think this issue hurts Congress as a whole; but look for the minority party to be more obstructionist during the budget process *if they think they have an advantage*. Its true Pelosi didn't pass a budget before October, however; its also true that there was not going to be a budget come August, September, when the GOP realized they were going to have a massive sweep in the elections and there was no point in working with the Democrats to make a budget. There will be a time when the over-reach gets paid back.... too bad us poor American citizens and voters have to be stuck in the middle.

It's all a big public game of poker combined with massive disinformation campaigns. Because of the lack of real information, we're watching them play and one player has folks telling us that a straight beats a full house and other commentators saying three of a kind beats a straight.

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