Busting Myths on Government Shut Downs and Defunding Obamacare
by Kelly Horsley on August 2, 2013 at 11:26 AM
Limited government. Free enterprise. Lower taxes. Less spending. What do all of these things have in common? These are conservative principles, or so they say. Things that I would personally think that a Republican led Congress would exhibit. Over the past five years I have become better acquainted with the way our political system works. That's not to say that I like the way it's operated, nor do I have all the answers or have it all figured out. Along the way, though, I have found like many of you that there is a great disparity between the way our founders designed the system and how it's operated now. We declared independence from a King and his taxation without representation for a reason, now it seems we are right back under the rule of a would-be King, doesn't it? Right now, it seems that we the people have little or no say in how our money is spent or how we are represented.
We all know that Congress passed the Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA), or better known amongst conservative groups and Republicans as Obamacare, in 2010. We also know that Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts sold us up the river when he deemed the individual mandate constitutional just last year. As time has gone by, most Americans and some employee unions for that matter, have begun resisting the implementation of Obamacare. Ironically, the very agency charged with the implementation of Obamacare has been reported as the most vocal: the IRS and the National Treasury Employee Union, which according to this article are essentially one in the same.
I can remember when the initial debates were happening, wondering if the ACA was going to be passed or if it would go down in flames. There were lots of promises made and negotiations that took place. One in particular that seemed to seal the deal was when blue dog Democrat Bart Stupak cut a deal with President Obama about an amendment to keep tax payers from funding abortions. He rallied the troops with this “promise” and that made some of the house Republicans feel comfortable enough to vote for the monstrous overreach of a bill. You just have to wonder if the Republicans really wanted Obamacare to fail at all. They could have pushed back and not conceded their ground on the abortion issue if they really wanted to keep it from passing.
Now, fast forward to 2013 while we watch the clock tick off the minutes until Obamacare is implemented. Wait, oh that's right, the midterm elections are coming! The midterm elections are coming! Feature Obama riding through the streets of D.C. in his Prius with a megaphone shouting that. I digress....
There are still a few good guys in the Senate and I'm proud to say that one of them is from right here in Texas. Senator Ted Cruz always manages to keep an eye out for Texas because as he has said before we are in the fight of our lives. I also have affection for Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) who has been known to induce conservative “swoonage” from time to time. These boys are working to hold off Obamacare, doing everything in their power to keep it from being implemented, and in reality the only way to do that is to defund the monster completely; cut its nasty head off and watch it languish and die. Sounds good, right? Well, sadly there are some within our own party who would think otherwise.
Senator Lee has penned a letter to President Obama and has garnered support from some of the Republican senators. Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) is one that did even worse than not supporting the letter: he supported it, then pulled back his support. What's just as bad is that I can't even guarantee that the House Republicans will support defunding the bill. I know that my own congressman has voted to repeal it over and over, but he never promised to defund it. See how that works? What I want to know is, do the Republicans really want to kill Obamacare, or do they want to use this as a vehicle for control over the American people?
I try as a blogger and as a person not to jump to conclusions so my friend and I went to Senator Cornyn's office to get the real reason why he withdrew his support. According to the staff, Senator Cornyn feels that by supporting the legislation that Senator Cruz is supporting, that would be a better way to go. Also, according to the handout I received from Senator Cornyn's office, "If there is a government shutdown as Sen. Lee's letter promotes, most of Obamacare would still be funded and we would still have the same problem on our hands."
See, there is this fear of a government shutdown. Last time there was a threat of a government shutdown, the Republicans pulled out their usual stunt which is what I like to call fear-mongering. I am a regular citizen just like you reading this on your home computer and what I can say for myself and others just like me is that we want straight answers from our elected officials!
To take this a bit further, Senator Lee was on the Rush Limbaugh show today and the interview was amazing! Here are a few of the high points from the interview:
RUSH: We have Senator Mike Lee from Utah with us. Senator, another argument that is made is the dreaded government shutdown argument, that you can't get where you want to go in the continuing resolution fight without a government shutdown. And then they say, "Look what happened in '95. We got killed. '95 ruined us." In reality we only got killed in the media. We picked up two Senate seats after the '95 shutdown. And the House, I don't think there was great damage.
SENATOR LEE: Okay. So, in the first place, I want to be very clear that what I'm calling for is not a shutdown. I don't want a shutdown. I don't think we need a shutdown. We ought to be able to fund the government responsibly without a shutdown. What I'm saying is that we ought to fund government, just not Obamacare. We shouldn't have to vote for all of it, including Obamacare, or have none of it. That's crazy. Secondly, if we signal in advance that no matter what we're going to fund Obamacare, that's the best way to make that happen. And so that's not the signal we should be sending. Finally, if we get enough people who are on board in the house and in the Senate who have expressed concerns about Obamacare and are willing to say "I'm going to vote to fund government, but not Obamacare" you then put Harry Reid in the position, the untenable position of having to say because we didn't get everything we wanted, even though you funded every other program in government, even the programs Republicans hate, we're gonna shut down the government in the Democratic Party because you didn't include funding for Obamacare. That's a terrible position for him to be in. I don't think he wants to fight that fight, and, frankly, I don't think he can win that fight.
Senator Lee also puts to rest the myth that Obamacare spending is automatic. Here's more on that:
RUSH: What is being said by the establishment, by Washington, as you describe it, is this. Look, 98, 99% of Obamacare is autopilot spending. It can't be cut. It is just like any entitlement -- Social Security, Medicare -- we can't stop it. But wouldn't that be the truth in a normal budgetary process, but we're talking about continuing resolutions here, and doesn't that make that entirely different?
SENATOR LEE: Well, those who are saying we can't touch this because it's mandatory spending are simply wrong. They're simply mistaken, or perhaps they've been misinformed. The point is that Congress can decide to pass any kind of spending bill it wants. The fact that you've got mandatory spending that's already been authorized for Obamacare's implementation doesn't mean that can't be cut. We can run this with an amendment -- in fact, an amendment has already been drafted up to make it so that we fund everything else in government but we claw back, we restrict funding for Obamacare, both mandatory and discretionary.
To read the rest of the interview, click here. I feel better, don't you? This is far from over, though. If you want to see Obamacare defunded as badly as I do, now is the time to act. Senator Cruz has even set up a website called dontfundobamacare.com. Go there and sign the petition. This is a largely unpopular bill with the American people and it's up to us to make the difference. Now, get on your phone and start pestering your elected officials to do the right thing and defund Obamacare!