Just like previous manufactured crises, Congressional Republicans are taking their latest and greatest manufactured crisis to the brink. And by brink, we mean the brink of Armageddon. But now with Senate negotiations on the brink of success, folks on Pennsylvania Avenue and Wall Street are breathing a bit more easily...
But is the rest of America? Not only do recent polls show bad news for Republicans, but they also show renewed fears of bad economic news to come.
Beyond its politics and dizzying array of Washington terms ("clean CR," "sequestration levels"), the current government shutdown has had real-life consequences for thousands upon thousands of Americans.
Workers have been furloughed. Paychecks have stopped or been cut in half. Small businesses catering to government workers have lost money. Children have been removed from Head Start programs. Scientistsaren't getting government grants. [...]
“We’ve both been laid off, not being paid," said one respondent from Virginia. "I’m a federal employee, my husband is a contractor for the federal government."
"My son owns a camp park, and because you’ve shut down all the forest lands ... [customers] have cancelled their reservations," said another from Utah.
"I work for a university and some of the funding for the university comes from federal grants, and so the normal route for funding to apply for grants is no longer possible as long as National Institutes of Health is shut down," said a third from California. "I was about to submit a grant but that grant can’t be submitted."
Already, the one-two-punch of austerity and shutdown has caused immense economic pain. And if the Shutdown Sh*tfest continues, we can only expect more unnecessary suffering. Why does anyone think this benefits the nation at all?
There's a reason why Governor Brian Sandoval (R) has begged Nevada's Members of Congress to end the Shutdown Sh*tfest already. And of course, Senator Harry Reid is working overtime to ensure this happens. But of course, he can't do it on his own. (Enough) Republicans must finally come to their senses and stop the hostage taking.
Ultimately, the ball is still in their court. It's time for them to make their move... So that the nation can get moving again.