Republicans Threaten to Throw Another Tantrum

I’m sure you must have known a spoiled kid during your childhood who would pick up his ball and go home if he didn’t get his way on the playground. Well, it looks like he got himself elected to the U.S. Congress now that he’s grown up.

He’s a Republican, of course.

And he’s threatening to shut down the government if the House and Senate don’t do what he wants.

Yes, he can do that.  And you don’t have to imagine the havoc. The Republicans did it once before, back in 1995 (click here to refresh your memory).

Now, they’re threatening to do it again if they don’t get their way.

Their way?

Slashing spending, of course. That’s all they know about economics.  They don’t know how complex the nation’s financial mechanisms are. They have no idea of the devastating ripple effects they would  trigger by blindly hacking at the budget.

Apparently without the slightest glimmer of economic sophistication, the radical right is rushing in where angels would fear to tread.

They want to slash more than $60 billion from agency budgets over the coming months and follow up with larger cuts later on.

They say that if the Democrats don’t agree, they will cut off their nose to spite their face; they will shut down the country.

If I were a Democratic member of Congress, I would double-dare them to go right ahead. The last time they did that it backfired and they took a thrashing in the next general election. (Daily News front page above provides an example of the country’s reaction.)

But I doubt they have the guts. They’re the kind of loudmouths who yell and scream but when you stand up to them they tuck their tails between their legs and slink away.

Here’s an excerpt from today’s AP report on the situation:

Republicans controlling the House are moving quickly to pass stopgap legislation to avoid a partial shutdown of the government when temporary funding runs out Friday.

Tuesday’s measure would keep the government running for two weeks to buy time for the Republican House, the Democratic Senate and the Obama White House to try to reach agreement on longer-term legislation to fund the government through the end of the budget year. It’s a relatively mild volley in a party-defining spending battle that promises to go on for months or years.

Republicans want to slash a whopping $60 billion-plus from agency budgets over the coming months as a down payment on larger cuts later in the year, but are settling for just $4 billion in especially easy cuts as the price for the two-week stopgap bill.

So, don’t worry. The nuts will never shut down the government again. They’re just showing off to their Tea Party pals.

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com

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