Government shutdown: Obamacare is not the problem

Rumors are that Obama now wants to Photo:

WASHINGTON, October 4, 2013 – President Obama says Congress is taking the economy hostage over ideology because House Republicans refuse to fund Obamacare as a misguided all-intrusive government takeover. Yet Obama’s massive healthcare program itself is ideological, written and enacted almost solely by Democrats. Furthermore, Obama’s declaration that his Affordable Care Act is nonnegotiable dismisses the Constitutional reality that Congress, not the White House, holds the purse strings.

The cacophony of claims and counterclaims regarding the cause of the government shutdown avoids the true nature of the crisis facing America. America’s real crisis is of common sense and the moral courage to act.

SEE RELATED: Did Pope Francis really say that?

Political commentators repeatedly contradict themselves within the same sentence. For example, Thomas Friedman at The New York Times claims the government shutdown threatens “nothing less than the principle upon which our democracy is based: majority rule”— ignoring the fact that it is the majority in the House that opposes Obamacare.

Meanwhile, where is the comparable outrage by the media that Senator Harry Reid has used his power for years as Senate majority leader to quash, suffocate, and otherwise snuff out the life of dozens of bills sent to him by the people’s majority in the House of Representatives?

Both Democrat and Republican legislators now vow to fight or defend to the death the Affordable Care Act on behalf of the American people. However, these courageous soldiers already exempted themselves from Obamacare: The outcome of this political theatre will have no effect on the luxurious benefits they already enjoy at the public’s expense.

Recently, disapproval of Congress hit an all-time high of 83 percent, according to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. Common sense dictates that we would “throw the bums out,” but instead we have “throw-the-bums-in” elections. The Center for Responsive Politics shows that, for 40 years, election after election, about 90 percent of incumbents get reelected in both houses.

SEE RELATED: Mediating Shutdown 2013: President Obama’s role as victim or bully

Trillions of dollars in deficits stack up and trillions more in paper money flies off treasury printing presses. Americans still have to pay their taxes, but the IRS taxpayer services, including toll-free help lines, are closed.

When banks go under for taking poor—even reckless—risks with depositor’s money, they get bailed out instead of jailed. Executives receive bonuses at mortgage-meltdown circus ringleaders Fanny Mae and Freddie Mack.

Moody’s reports that “Chicago’s fiscal squeeze is already threatening the city’s ability to provide core services,” laying off thousands and closing nearly 50 schools, “while the city’s crime rate is among the highest in the nation.” Nevertheless, Chicago—the third largest school system in the country—spends the money to expand comprehensive sex education to five-year-olds in kindergarten.

It seems that lack of common sense and moral courage, both individually and institutionally, has no bounds.

SEE RELATED: Obama to Wall Street: Be afraid - be very afraid

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is suing the Obama administration. The lawsuit charges that the HHS mandate that employer insurance coverage include contraceptives, sterilization, and abortifacient drugs violates religious freedom. Meanwhile, the USCCB’s international charity, Catholic Relief Services, granted $64,656,809 to 23 organizations that primarily promote exactly the same things—contraception, sterilization, and even abortifacient drugs.

The USCCB money was for humanitarian projects, like distributing anti-malarial mosquito netting. Judie Brown, president of American Life League, points out, “[A Catholic agency] funding these groups is a little like paying wolves to tend the sheep.” Maybe that illogic helps explain how 51 percent of Catholics (who account for 27 percent of all voters) helped reelect President Obama, the most virulently pro-abortion president in history.

In his book Common Sense, Thomas Paine wrote, “Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil in its worst state an in tolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamities is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer!”

When we take the path of least resistance, when every behavior and material thing becomes a right, and when we complain but never act, we furnish the means by which we suffer.

As the comic character Pogo of Okefenokee Swamp quipped 50 years ago, “Yep, son, we have met the enemy and he is us.”

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Paul E. Rondeau

Paul E. Rondeau's research and writing on social issures has appeared in law journals, private publications, and  the popular press.  His work has been cited at the U.S. Supreme Court, United Nations and by best-selling authors.  He serves as executive director at American Life League.  He can be contacted at


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