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United States Government The Almighty Buck Politics

US Government Shutdown Ends 999

Posted by Soulskill
from the nobody-surprised,-everybody-irritated dept.
An anonymous reader writes "After more than two weeks of bickering that made the schoolyard appear civilized, Congress has finally passed a bill to reopen the U.S. Federal Government. 'The Senate passed the measure by a vote of 81 - 18, followed by approval in the House by a vote of 285 - 144. The bill now goes to the President, who will make remarks on Thursday regarding the reopening of the federal government. ... Earlier in the day, Speaker Boehner conceded that the House would not vote to stop the Senate-negotiated agreement. In a statement, the Speaker said that, after a fight with President Obama over his signature health care law, " . . . blocking the bipartisan agreement reached today by the members of the Senate will not be a tactic for us." The agreement will raise the debt limit until February 2014, fund the government through January 2014 and establish a joint House-Senate committee to make spending cut decisions.' CNN adds, 'Obama, for one, didn't seem in the mood Wednesday night for more of the same -- saying politicians in Washington have to "get out of the habit of governing by crisis." "Hopefully, next time, it will not be in the 11th hour," Obama told reporters, calling for both parties to work together on a budget, immigration reform and other issues. When asked as he left the podium whether he believed America would be going through all this political turmoil again in a few months, the President didn't waste words. "No."'"
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US Government Shutdown Ends

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  • Re:Thank goodness (Score:5, Informative)

    by Black Parrot (19622) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @11:36PM (#45149713)

    it's interesting to hear that it falls short of your ideal. i haven't heard many people state that opinion.

    Its backers accepted a lot of compromises in order to get it out of committee and onto the floor for a vote. A lot of people think the original was somewhere between "substantially better" and "much better".

  • Re:Wow. (Score:1, Informative)

    by Technician (215283) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @12:27AM (#45149959)

    The fight to limit spending is a fight for the economy. I'll leave the research to those really interested. Current deficit is about 17.5 trillion. Do you know how much it was in 1980, 1990, 2000? Do you know what it was when Obama took office? Do you know how much of the GDP is just spent on servicing the debt?

    Quick personal finance question.

    If your interest payments were over 60% of your income before taxes, and you still had taxes, insurance payments, water bills, and other obligations, would you consider yourself a AAA credit risk? Would it make sense to continue to borrow to give charitable donations to your favorite cause?

    Would it make sence to trim your spending to borrow less?

    The great divide in the parties is No problem, borrow money and don't be late on payments for a fantastic credit score vs we need to curtail our spending as this is not sustainable as it will trigger hyper-inflation with plenty of examples of those who did this before.

    Can we afford ACA?
      If the middle class can't afford it, how can the poor?

    If you have a choice between housing and insurance, which will you drop? Between food and insurance? Heat in the winter and Insurance.. Oh snap, insurance is now mandentory. Ok do you drop housing, food, heat, transportation?

    Welcom to the welfare state. You voted for it.

  • by phantomfive (622387) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @12:28AM (#45149963) Journal

    Why exactly is providing healthcare to all people so bad?

    Different Republicans oppose Obamacare for various reasons, some more entertaining than others:

    1) It's the road through socialism to full Soviet communism where Obama wants to take us (really, that's what some think).
    2) Giving poor people everything they need creates a culture of dependency, and traps those people who receive welfare into poverty (this is IMO more a problem of aligning incentives properly: you need to make sure the system is set up in a way that people are motivated to get off welfare).
    3) Some Republicans think we SHOULD provide healthcare to poor people, but shouldn't force people to take buy insurance (people should have the right to make bad decisions, let them die).
    4) Some Republicans think healthcare reform is a good idea, but that the details of Obamacare are what make it a bad system (both Romney and McCain fall into this category, at least on the surface).
    5) Some think we should provide subsidies for people who can't pay for healthcare themselves, but that we should use a market based system (which generally involves getting rid of regulations, for better or worse).

    I'm not sure how many people think we should not actually help poor people out with healthcare (especially once "welfare queens" are gotten rid of). It would be interesting if someone did a survey on that topic.

  • by sjames (1099) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @12:30AM (#45149971) Homepage

    Carter and Clinton managed it just fine. They got the deficit to nothing and Clinton actually managed to pay the debt down a bit.

    Or we could raise the taxes in the upper brackets to the levels maintained by that notorious lefty Eisenhower. :-)

  • by ClickOnThis (137803) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @12:36AM (#45149993) Journal

    Proving once again that, once all other options are eliminated, the Americans will do the right thing

    If you're going to quote Sir Winston, then give him credit [goodreads.com].

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 17, 2013 @12:39AM (#45150007)

    Carter and Clinton managed it just fine. They got the deficit to nothing and Clinton actually managed to pay the debt down a bit.

    Or we could raise the taxes in the upper brackets to the levels maintained by that notorious lefty Eisenhower. :-)

    Your facts are wrong. The last time the national debt went down year over year was Eisenhower. It increased every year under every President since then - Clinton included.

  • by sjames (1099) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @12:42AM (#45150019) Homepage

    Actually, if you'll read to the bottom of your link, Obama freely admits that he was voting for political reasons and he has now come to understand that it was the wrong way to go. Yes, a politician admitted he was wrong once. AMAZING!

    At the same time, he has at least reduced the deficit indicating willingness and ability to work in that direction for the good of the country.

  • by sjames (1099) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @12:58AM (#45150105) Homepage

    It increased overall, but the deficit (rate of change) went below zero under Clinton meaning that for that brief period before Bush took office and went nuts we were paying the debt down. The deficit started a steady decline the moment Clinton took office, it just took a while to cross zero. Had bush held the course and avoided the great crash, the debt would have been paid off by now (yes, really!).

  • Re:Thank goodness (Score:2, Informative)

    by sumdumass (711423) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @12:59AM (#45150107) Journal

    I eish i wasn't replying on my phone as it eould be easier to post links and that grammar would be better. But the reason healthcare costs so much is because the government got involved in the first place. Not the market. There hasn't been a market since 1965-68.

    In 65 when meficare was created, the government found out how ecpensive careing for seniors actually was. In 68, the government created the HMO in an attempt to control costs. Medicare was supposed to be ran like one but the idea was to pawn people not being treated for a chronic condition onto insurance companies. This didn't work to well so they made some changes again to create sort of a hybref system. Still being too expensive, thr government then divided the country into 5 economic zones and averaged the costs of treatments and only paid that amount. This means the rural doc who has little overhead recieved more the he would normally change and the urban doc who pays 5 times the rent snd deals with 30% more taxes gets less. So the urban doc has to charge more to raise the averages and get what he needs.

    By this time, insurance companies where getting gouged so the government changed the way the average was calculated from the average of costs to average before discounts. They then devidef to discount themselves and only pay a percentage of the costs. So insurance companies get their discount, the government takes their discount, and the uninsured pay full price until it is obvious they won't pay the bill, then discounts are given under the guise of charity which aids the non-profit status of medical facilities, but more impotantly, will not lower the average cost formula.

    So with all this manipulation going on, the incentive is to actually increase costs . Wash and repeat a few times- including the government changing the amount of imbursements for treatment and you have a healthcare system that is the most expensive in the world.

    Again, sorry about the grammar. I'm on a cheap phone and it is dificult to post clean.

  • Re:Thank goodness (Score:5, Informative)

    by R3d M3rcury (871886) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @01:12AM (#45150143) Journal

    Actually, from what I've read, it's true. More people dislike "Obamacare" than like it. On the other hand, the "Affordable Care Act" seems to have quite a bit of support--and this government shutdown has actually improved it's support especially among those who didn't know anything about it.

  • Re:Thank goodness (Score:4, Informative)

    by ATMAvatar (648864) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @01:12AM (#45150147) Journal

    It's true. Here is the latest MSNBC poll [msn.com]. Check page 18 for the results on ACA.

    Ironically, ACA got a boost in popularity, in spite of (or perhaps because of) the shutdown fiasco.

  • by goombah99 (560566) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @01:22AM (#45150171)

    At the end of the day here's the bottom line: 144 congressmen all GOP voted to default the government. 14 senators, all Republican, including Ron Paul, voted No, and one abstained, effectively voting to default the government.

    I'm so done with Ron Paul. I wish he would resign. I feel ill that I ever voted for the man.

  • by drawfour (791912) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @01:23AM (#45150179)
    Apparently, Standard & Poors [albanytribune.com] has estimate it cost the economy $24B.
  • by Jeremi (14640) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @01:39AM (#45150269) Homepage

    And nothing of value was lost. Or gained.

    Approximately $24 billion [rt.com] was lost.

  • Re:Thank goodness (Score:5, Informative)

    by rs79 (71822) <hostmaster@open-rsc.org> on Thursday October 17, 2013 @01:40AM (#45150275) Homepage

    Balloon over time to something like the Canadian system, about 6X cheaper about 4X as good.

    Look at infant mortality rates and cost. The USA gets the least value for it's medical care dollar than nearly anyone.

    Maybe if there weren't so many middlemen? Do the math.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 17, 2013 @01:42AM (#45150285)

    It was Rand Paul and not Ron Paul. I'm not sure if you just made a mistake or didn't know. Ron Paul is retired and never held a Senate seat. Rand Paul is his son.

  • by Jeremi (14640) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @01:49AM (#45150315) Homepage

    Don't forget

    6) Republicans have spent the last 20 years telling people that "government is the problem, not the solution" -- that is, that the government can't do anything to help them. If some dude now comes along and sets up a government health insurance program that actually does help people, the Republican Party gets badly discredited. Better to keep everything broken than to risk that!

    (the fact that what the dude got passed is almost exactly what Republicans themselves were proposing in the 1990's only makes it worse -- those proposals were never meant to be taken seriously, they were only put out there as a way to stop HillaryCare, and were supposed to be forgotten immediately after that was accomplished)

  • by LandDolphin (1202876) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @01:52AM (#45150331)
    How are you surprised that he voted no?

    He didn't vote to defund the government, he voted to end all government spending except for essential operations, including paying debt. HE voted true to his mindset and word. IF you canceled Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and reduced the military to a few special ops. teams, there would be more then enough money to stary paying off the debt and no need to default.
  • Re:Wow. (Score:5, Informative)

    by complete loony (663508) <Jeremy...Lakeman@@@gmail...com> on Thursday October 17, 2013 @01:57AM (#45150355)

    The fight to limit spending is a fight for the economy

    No, no, no, no, no! Government spending reduces when then the economy is booming. But attempting to reduce spending does not trigger a boom!. Correlation does not imply causation.

    That's not to say that the level of debt in the economy isn't important. Understanding the role of debt is critical to understanding the dynamics of the economy. But you can't just focus on government debt, you have to look at *all* of the debt in the economy to understand what is really going on. Once the crisis hit in 2008, the private sector started reducing their debts. Spending from credit essentially stopped. Government spending since 2008 has helped to cushion the impact of that reduction in credit. See this graph [wordpress.com] to get a feel for the scale of the problem.

    If anything the role of government is to save for the future during a boom, and pay from those savings during a slump. Or borrow during a slump and pay it back in the next boom, which amounts to the same thing. Of course before this crisis started the government wasn't saving at all, but forcing the government to save now will have a drastic impact on the welfare of the country. Look how well austerity programs have been working in the rest of the world.

  • Re:Thank goodness (Score:5, Informative)

    by Adult film producer (866485) <van@i2pmail.org> on Thursday October 17, 2013 @02:18AM (#45150419)
    Here are the words of Markos Moulitsas, the owner of Daily Kos.. before the ACA was passed

    My take is that itâ(TM)s unconscionable to force people to buy a product from a private insurer that enjoys sanctioned monopoly statusâ¦.

    Without any mechanisms to control costs, this is yet another bailout for yet another reviled industry. Subsidies? Insurance companies are free to raise their rates to absorb that cash. More money for subsidies? More rate increases, as well as more national debt. Donâ(TM)t expect Lieberman and his ilk to care. Theyâ(TM)re in it for their industry pals.

    If you want a similar model, watch how universities increase tuition to absorb increased financial aid opportunities.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/12/15/814776/-Remove-mandate-or-kill-this-bill [dailykos.com]

    Of course now he's the biggest champion of the ACA.
  • Re:Thank goodness (Score:5, Informative)

    by drsmithy (35869) <drsmithy@gmailSLACKWARE.com minus distro> on Thursday October 17, 2013 @02:28AM (#45150465)

    Australians; we buy insurance to cover the free healthcare.
    Actually, we buy insurance to buy better healthcare than the free stuff.

  • Re:Thank goodness (Score:5, Informative)

    by DrXym (126579) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @03:17AM (#45150617)
    Many countries offer broad, sometimes universal healthcare. It doesn't stop someone taking out a private health insurance policy on top. Often that means you get a private room, faster consultations, treatments etc. But everyone else still gets a good standard of service, but one obviously subject to budgetary and resource stresses.

    It's still vastly preferable to the US system.

  • Re:Thank goodness (Score:4, Informative)

    by Killjoy_NL (719667) <slashdot@remco.p[ ]i.nl ['all' in gap]> on Thursday October 17, 2013 @05:47AM (#45151057)

    The Netherlands is at 17th place, pretty darn good I think and our healthcare is more like the ACA, it's been like that for many years.

    Watch some of these, it isn't perfect but we are doing a darn good job
    http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=dutch+healthcare&oq=dutch+healthcare&gs_l=youtube.3..0.533.2156.0.2326. [youtube.com]

    I recommend this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHeZJS4K6J0 [youtube.com]

  • Re:Thank goodness (Score:4, Informative)

    by misexistentialist (1537887) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @07:27AM (#45151487)
    You realize the name "Affordable Care Act" comes right out of Propaganda Naming Department and has less connection to reality than "Obamacare" does?
  • by nharmon (97591) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @07:29AM (#45151509) Homepage

    Carter and Clinton managed it just fine. They got the deficit to nothing and Clinton actually managed to pay the debt down a bit.

    That isn't true. Under Carter and Clinton the public debt went up every single year [treasurydirect.gov]. In fact, the last time we managed to actually pay down the debt was in 1957.

    Or we could raise the taxes in the upper brackets to the levels maintained by that notorious lefty Eisenhower. :-)

    Go ahead. Just be sure to add every loophole and tax deduction that was available during Eisenhower's times. Otherwise you're just advocating confiscation of wealth, which is not such a lovely road for us to go down. But hey, high tax rates with generous deductions would encourage spending, and that would be fine by me.

  • Re:Thank goodness (Score:5, Informative)

    by Joining Yet Again (2992179) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @07:42AM (#45151603)

    Your comments:

    "like a sausage machine"
    "pumping out dead bodies"

    My observations:

    1) One scandal in one hospital managed by one Trust;

    2) Based on applying private sector style compartmentalisation and management to public service;

    3) Fully identified and admitted to by the service;

    4) Resulting in widespread recommendations and a degree of return to pre-Thatcher management of the service as a whole, IOW with the ability to easily study mortality rates across the country rather than delegating essentially cooperative work to competing Trusts.

    Having experienced Western continental European healthcare, the NHS is one of several fine models to recommend to the US - but then so is almost every first world model when contrasted with the US one. And if a US healthcare provider fails in its duty, it's just a failed business dealt with by "the market" - if any NHS subsystem fails, it's (rightly) regarded as a big deal by the whole country, and the whole country will learn lessons from it.

  • Re:Thank goodness (Score:3, Informative)

    by madro (221107) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @07:44AM (#45151623)

    Just like 'No Child Left Behind' and 'Mission Accomplished'

  • Re:Thank goodness (Score:3, Informative)

    by fldsofglry (2754803) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @08:31AM (#45152043)
    Was trying to decide whether to mod you as offtopic or just trying to troll. But I'll bite:

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2012/jun/27/top-5-falsehoods-about-health-care-law/ [politifact.com]

    Admittedly, this is a from a year ago, don't know if much has changed.

The tree of research must from time to time be refreshed with the blood of bean counters. -- Alan Kay