The Government Shutdown Saga

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The Government Shutdown Saga

Post by Uberak on Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:45 pm

So, the Republican party, particularly the Tea Party faction, decided to hold the United States government hostage for a few weeks over Obama's health care act. I don't know where to start with this whole fiasco. Is it the complete apathy of the people towards the shut down beyond the usual "Meh, politics as usual. Both parties are equally to blame for this. Why can't we all just agree?" for the most politically active folk? Is it the intentional and malevolent obstructionism used by the Tea Partiers to shut the government down? Is it the trivial and utterly ignorant hatred over a health-care bill that is as moderate in change as change can be? Is it that we are keeping this screaming husk of a system known as capitalism alive despite the writing on the wall being to euthanize it with a bullet to the head and heart? Is it that all that came from this was more delaying and stalling?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-24563189

Tell me of your opinions on this issue.
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Re: The Government Shutdown Saga

Post by Celtiberian on Mon Oct 21, 2013 4:01 pm

The government shutdown was a tactical decision the Tea Party Republicans made in order to prevent the Affordable Care Act from being fully implemented. Unfortunately for them, the slight panic the stock market encountered as a result of the shutdown further alienated the Republican Party from financiers and segments of the international haute bourgeoisie, which probably means those individuals will be channeling more of their money into the coffers of the Democratic Party from henceforth. Unlike the more deluded members of the petite bourgeoisie, corporate boards of directors are more concerned with stability in the market than they are with ideological purity.

As for the public's reaction, it was predictable given how pervasive false consciousness continues to be among the masses—due in no small part to how pathetic the organized Left is in the United States. The preponderance of people were exasperated by the utter lack of 'cooperation' in congress, while conservative and liberal partisans simply blamed the other party.

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Re: The Government Shutdown Saga

Post by Rev Scare on Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:54 am

Celtiberian wrote:The government shutdown was a tactical decision the Tea Party Republicans made in order to prevent the Affordable Care Act from being fully implemented. Unfortunately for them, the slight panic the stock market encountered as a result of the shutdown further alienated the Republican Party from financiers and segments of the international haute bourgeoisie, which probably means those individuals will be channeling more of their money into the coffers of the Democratic Party from henceforth. Unlike the more deluded members of the petite bourgeoisie, corporate boards of directors are more concerned with stability in the market than they are with ideological purity.

As for the public's reaction, it was predictable given how pervasive false consciousness continues to be among the masses—due in no small part to how pathetic the organized Left is in the United States. The preponderance of people were exasperated by the utter lack of 'cooperation' in congress, while conservative and liberal partisans simply blamed the other party.
Excellent analysis, comrade. The political system must be interpreted through consideration of the various and competing factions within the capitalist class as a whole. Mainstream politics has become increasingly contentious since capitalism's most recent and serious crisis, and the emergence of the Tea Party movement, which is heavily funded by the Koch brothers' Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks organization, is largely a reaction to it, but the Republican Party was divided as a result. The corporate alliance behind the "grassroots" Tea Party stands to gain immensely from the radical right-wing policies it advocates, particularly from the elimination of vital public services and government agencies such as the EPA (the latter presents, however modest, an obstacle to the oil and gas interests that sponsor the movement), but it clashes with the moderate wing of the party.

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Re: The Government Shutdown Saga

Post by Uberak on Wed Oct 23, 2013 9:05 pm

I appreciate your replies, though really I already knew most of this. But, newcomers and other folks probably can learn for these posts. So, I still applaud both posts.
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Re: The Government Shutdown Saga

Post by Admin on Thu Oct 24, 2013 8:50 pm

The GOP was primarily pandering to the extreme elements of their constituency (in their heavily gerrymandered districts); however, I also suspect that there was a broader objective. The Republicans have never truly opposed the Affordable Care Act. The legislation itself is based upon a combination of proposals the GOP and conservative think tanks put forward in the 1990s and laws that were put into effect in Republican-controlled states.  It was, however, important for the Republican Party to go to such superfluous extents to demonstrate their 'opposition' to the law, in order to showcase their defiance towards the Obama administration to their reactionary, xenophobic base. I imagine they assumed that the public's outrage would be a little more evenly distributed between both of the bourgeois parties. To that extent, their exercise was a failure.

Nevertheless, I don't see the GOP alienating its electoral/financial support base to any meaningful extent. Furthermore, I feel these theatrics were a necessary step in the next showdown between the administration/senate and the house of representatives — raising the debt ceiling in February 2014.  I think the GOP and the Obama administration will exploit the occasion by finally passing the so-called Grand Bargain. At the very least, I expect a Chained CPI — a downward calculation in cost of living adjustments (COLAs) — to finally be attached to Social Security. This will be the first step in the eventual privatization of Social Security. Finance capital has long sought to capture the Social Security trust fund and a long-term reduction in SS benefits is a necessary step in that process. (Eventually, bourgeois politicians, on a bipartisan basis, will float the idea that privatizing Social Security will be the best way 'fix' the program.)  

I also feel as though the implementation of the Affordable Care Act was an indirect way of eventually privatizing Medicare and Medicaid. With respect to the latter, we can already see the emergence of privately-managed HMOs being attached to the Medicaid programs in a number of states. With respect to Medicare, I feel that the regulatory regime established by the ACA creates a scenario wherein private insurance plans can be maintained by seniors for an extended period — thereby establishing a framework in which Medicare coverage can be withheld from seniors for a number of years.


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Re: The Government Shutdown Saga

Post by Rev Scare on Fri Oct 25, 2013 2:48 am

Another avenue toward the gradual privatization of Medicare and Medicaid is a voucher system, akin to the one found in Paul Ryan's The Path to Prosperity budget proposal during the last presidential election. As for chained CPI and Social Security, I recall Richard Wolff discussing this matter at some length in a lecture, but I could be mistaken. Do you happen to know?

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