Fox News First recaps the latest “deal” from Washington, DC:
“My government shut itself down and all I got was this lousy T-shirt” – From today’s Power Play column, The Government that Cried Default: “The cliff turned out to be one more speed bump on the highway to fiscal oblivion and political dysfunction. What began with the White House calling its opponents ‘suicide bombers’ turned out to be a dud. In what has become a hallmark of his presidency, Barack Obama yet again walked to the microphones late at night to tell the country that nothing happened. Never mind. Sorry for all the racket. See you in three months.”
State Senator Dave Lewis (R-Helena) sent me this via email:
We only need to know two numbers to understand deficit. Federal government spends $10 billion a day and gets $7 billion a day in Revenue. This must stop now. Hope the House Republicans hang in there.
Former Montana Secretary of State Bob Brown attended former Treasury Secretary John Snow’s speech in Bozeman, and gives this recap in The Flathead Beacon:
To give this perspective, consider that the value of what we produce, our Gross Domestic Product, is about $16 trillion, which, disturbingly, is now less than our debt. Interest on the debt is about $20 billion a month; government takes in about $250 billion a month. So, we aren’t exactly bankrupt quite yet. But our debt is still increasing at more than $700 billion a year.
Snow estimates that with baby boomers entering Medicare eligibility at the rate of 10,000 a week, nearly all other government services will be squeezed out of the budget within a generation. Unless there is serious reform.
–TWO LEADING THEORIES inside the GOP about who lost the shutdown, per Alex Burns : 1) “Ted Cruz preened his way into a massacre” … 2) “Leadership wimped out and made everything worse … According to [this] line of thinking, the party’s congressional leadership erred badly by dismissing the ‘defund’ movement as a fool’s errand until it was too late, allowing the party to stumble into a shutdown with no strategy and no clear demands, rather than cooperating with conservatives to force President Barack Obama’s hand. If the leaders didn’t think defunding Obamacare was achievable, … then they could have pursued another set of demands using the leverage of the budget and the debt ceiling. By the time House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan proposed entitlement reform talks in an Oct. 8 Wall Street Journal op-ed, the battle lines were already drawn.” http://goo.gl/QJUzdB
Washington Examiner: US Debt at $123,000 Per Worker
The U.S. debt, which has jumped 55 percent under President Obama, is now so high that if working Americans had to pay their full share, the bill would be over $123,000, according to a new Harvard University Institute of Politics study of the nation’s empty bank accounts.
Politico’s Morning Energy:
DOESN’T INCLUDE REIMBURSING STATES FOR PARK OPENINGS: The deal won’t repay the states for kicking in funds to the National Park Service to open national parks and monuments during the shutdown. According to the deals between the Interior Department and the states, Congress would need to specifically authorize the repayment of any money spent that states had donated to fund the sites – which it could still do at a later date. Goode has more: http://politi.co/1bXyuMv
Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) is getting slammed for noting the congressional gym is without towel service during the shutdown. Rep. Steve Daines’s adversaries have dubbed the closure “Steve Daines’ shutdown” even though the Montana Republican just got to Congress this year. And Rep. Shelley Moore Capito’s opponent says the safety of West Virginia coal miners is at risk because of her support for Republican leaders during the government closure.
I think Politico’s narrative may reflect the feeling of conventional wisdom in Washington, DC- that the shutdown is going to hurt Republicans next Fall. However, in Montana, most of the anger has been directed at a federal government which has been blocking veterans from seeing their memorials, and hunters from hunting on wildlife refuges. Our two US Senators were silent on these issues, and their staff didn’t even answer their phones for the last two weeks, while Congressman Steve Daines was offering solutions to try and open the parks and continued answering constituents.
At the end of the day, the GOP lost two important statewide races last year because base conservatives, who complained that the GOP was no different than the Democrat party, threw their votes away to a Libertarian candidate. If the conservative base in Montana will now stay united, the fact that House Republicans stood up and fought Obamacare, and fought the increased federal deficit spending, will actually help the GOP in Montana.
Politico’s Morning Energy earlier this week:
ISSA, GRASSLEY WANT DOCUMENTS: House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa and Sen. Chuck Grassley said the National Park Service’s response to the government shutdown “appears to be ad-hoc, inconsistent and without sensible guidance to states, local communities and the public at large.” In a letter yesterday to Jarvis, Issa and Grassley criticized the park service’s shutdown protocols. The letter asks Jarvis to provide by Oct. 29 all communications and emails related to the shutdown. The letter: http://1.usa.gov/19Q6B7b