Government shutdown due to excessive federal spending

Unsustainable federal spending is the underlying cause of the current government shutdown. Photo: Obama campaigning - Public Domain

SAN JOSE, October 2, 2013 — The news regarding the government shutdown resulting from the continuous and contentious political wrangling over the funding of the federal budget often focuses attention away from the essential reality of the current administration’s efforts in generating the impasse in Congress. Unsustainable federal spending to expand  and operate the expensive machinery of government is the underlying cause of the current financial breakdown.

SEE RELATED: Shutdown threatens to shutter military academies

The way the members of Congress are behaving seems comparable to a family squabble over the household budget, but with more potentially catastrophic consequences than an inability to make a mortgage payment. One party is like a spouse who promised during the engagement that he or she was on the same page as the other with genuine concern over living within means; and on the other side of the equation is the party like the spouse who tentatively believed in such promises and accepted the commitment. When promises were broken and spending went well beyond capability to pay bills and pay down debt, all hell broke loose.

The nation is now captive like the children of a dysfunctional marriage. Citizens are now witnessing the political struggle over money on a national level. Ironically, financial problems are the greatest cause of divorce in the United States. According to research on the major causes of divorce from many sociologists and other professionals, struggles over money are the greatest cause of divorce in the nation. With the contemporary U.S. divorce rate around 50%, that is not good news for the country one way or another.

Common sense would simply indicate that if people cannot agree on how to spend money in the family, there could be some fundamental problems brewing in the home.  This is exactly where the two political parties (if there are really two) appear to be today. Today the Democrats want their cake, and want to eat it too. But they deceived the American people and continue to do so. People who paid attention during the 2012 presidential debates would have noted the fact that similar arguments over the distressed economy and unsustainable national debt arose during the presidential debates of 2008. Déjà vu?

In each presidential election campaign, the issue of the economy took center stage. An obvious irony is that President Obama and his party, the ones primarily responsible for increasing the national debt even more than the Republicans (culpable as well), claimed they would do something to actually reduce it. However, liberally spending as much of the taxpayers’ money as politicians can get away with appears to be the norm within today’s political arena – for both parties!

SEE RELATED: Administration’s management of shutdown is malicious and absurd

Indeed, there are a few fiscal conservatives within the political arena today, but they are in the minority and are certainly shunned by the popular media for their concerns over spending too much of the people’s money. Because some people have the audacity to question the logic of continuing to spend more money, they have deftly been marginalized by the dominant party and cohorts in the mainstream media. The party line that Obama and his compatriots are trying to feed the American people is that the Democrats are not to blame for the government shutdown; the ones to blame are the fiscal conservatives.

Orwell’s Newspeak has effectively manifested in the Land of the Free. The major media outlets spew out the illusion of logic to the people and paint the minority party as the obstructionists and the one responsible for the shutdown. Tragically, the mainstream media have seemingly devolved into mere propaganda organs with truth seldom getting in the way of spin. How many of the major media served as watchdogs in catching the party in its shallow political promises and outright distortions of truth?

During the 2008 presidential election debates, Barack Obama led the American people to believe that Democrats could be trusted to get government spending under control and   get the economy moving. During the campaign, then Senator Obama chastised President George W. Bush as being “unpatriotic” and “un-American” for the incredible amount of spending during his eight years as the chief executive.  But by January of 2009, the victorious Democrats were readying another humungous bill of spending that added essentially $787 billion to the budget. This sum was added to the $400 billion that the Bush administration had saved and had transferred to the incoming Obama administration from the $800 billion bailout bill.

This incredible additional spending was generated after the Democrats campaigned on cutting spending. When Senator Obama was on the campaign trail in 2008, he pledged to cut the deficit in half by the end of his term. In reality, the Democrats raised the spending bar and tripled the national debt. Over a trillion dollars in new debt was added to the federal deficit just after Obama took the oath of office. But, that was only the beginning of the Democrat spending spree. An intelligent observer could ask the obvious: what would happen if Obama and the Democrats were not trying to cut spending? It looks like business as usual.

Politicians, of each party can often mislead, manipulate, and lie to get into office, only to fulfill their true intentions after their victory. The American people have been misled and the unfortunate reality is that there is a very real cost for such unsustainable government spending. The American people are the ones who end up suffering while the political elites argue back and forth over the details. Sadly, in spite of attempts by officials and supporters to juggle the books, fair estimates indicate that the Obama administration has thus far outspent the George W. Bush administration by more than one trillion dollars each year Obama has been in office! Will that be the subject of a CNN exposé?

The national debt has not been cut; it has been tripled due to the Democrats and their spending spree. Yet the mainstream media yawn. It is just business as usual. The people should not worry. The national debt has climbed to nearly $17 trillion, despite the Democrats promising to reduce the deficit while they were in control. The major media yawn. It is just business as usual. The people should not worry. The spending continues with Obamacare, which is incredibly controversial and will cost American taxpayers even more than what the politicians will admit. The mainstream media yawn. It is just those damn Tea Party zealots, trying to interrupt the business as usual.  The people are not to worry, the Democrats will save the country. Maybe it’s time to interrupt the business as usual.   

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Dennis Jamison
Dennis Jamison
Dennis Jamison reinvented his life after working for a multi-billion dollar division of Johnson & Johnson for several years. Now semi-retired, he is an adjunct faculty member  at West Valley College in California.  He also currently writes a column on history and one on American freedom for the Communities at the Washington Times.


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