Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Suffer the People: Shutting down the Government and Debt Ceiling defaults

The young right wing Republicans led by Ted Cruz in cohorts with House of Representatives speaker John Boehner. Drawn by Carl Grandohl
Nearly two and half weeks have passed since the Republican led Congress shutdown the government. Some media pundits are referring to it as a partial shutdown. However for millions of Americans it is a full on shutdown that has far reaching political and economic consequences. Hundreds of thousands of federal workers have been furloughed basically having to stay home without pay until the shutdown is lifted. These non working federal employees across the country have been dubbed "non essential staff" in the same manner of embassy staff working in US diplomatic missions abroad during times of political crisis. Only critical infrastructure ie the food administration, public safety, dams, national security, school administrations and hospitals including VA, housing, will remain functioning under the partial shutdown for obvious reasons. National parks and monuments that are generally big tourist attractions continue to be close draining the tourist industry in the capital and other cities across the country. Early childhood development programs such as head start and public funded ie government funded educational/daycare programs for women and children have also been suffering funding or had to close temporary. Contrary to mainstream media, millions of Americans do rely on government social services not only for welfare but for educational and health services which includes nutritional meals for children, care for surgeries and treatment for cancer. The shutdown is aimed at hurting the Democratic Party and President to demonstrate the incompetency of the Obamacare which the Republican Party and its young right wing led by Ted Cruz see as a form of Big Government (read Keynesian economics and social services) and socialism. The Republicans have long complained and tried to paint President Obama as a Socialist which in American politics is still regarded as a left over curse word for Communist from the Cold War Era. However, the shutdown truly harms the people, ordinary Americans and their families who have little control over ending the deadlock. Anger has been growing among Americans who are frustrated by the shutdown and closure of important services. Protesters have been holding vigils and carrying banners in front of the Capital Building but many more do not have the means to march down to Washington. Last week a man lit himself on fire on the National Mall which is both a public park and tourist attraction in DC.

Veterans who have survived World War II, Vietnam and countless other wars including Afghanistan and Iraq have removed barricades from the World War II memorial in anger and protest to dump the barricades onto the front of the White House's North lawn to show their frustration at the real harm towards the people and ridiculousness of the Government shutdown. Truckers previously threatened to block the Beltway or loop that encircles Washington, DC voicing anger at the stalling by both political parties. 

Veterans storm White House with barricades 

The dipping of the Dow and Nasdaq

As with most political instability and lack of a fully functioning government, the American economy has been dipping downward. The Nasdaq and the Dow continue to be in the red as the global financial markets reacts to the now two week old government shutdown in the United States. Fitch has warned the US that if a deal is not reached on the debt ceiling issue, the US' credit rating would be downgraded. The global economy still chuggs along. African and Asian tiger economies are experiencing slowing but continual growth. India's currency, the rupee has recently been depreciated after performing decently for a couple of years. China's growth has been stalling over the past year. However its stake in the American shutdown lies in the US debt it owes to China from decades borrowing loans via treasury bonds. Congress also has to rise the debt ceiling on October 17 otherwise the economic downturn will continue. World leaders have insisted that the US end the bickering and pass the debt ceiling to avoid loosing potential global investments and financial opportunities. Tomorrow evening we shall see if the US will default on its national debt numbering in the trillions. If the country does default on its debt which would spell gradual financial doom for the global stock market, will also deepen the current recession. Mainstream media insists that the country has been out of recession since 2009. However, the recession has always existed since the 2008 financial crisis. It has not disappeared as unemployment continues to increase and austerity measures has led to the near collapse of the PIGS economies in Europe. Thousands of protesters in Athens and across various Greek cities every other week is a constant reminder that Americans could soon be joining angry Greek protesters in taking to the streets to protest against Congress. Americans have been seeing their income and wages depreciate for years since and even before the Dollar Devaluation of 1973 when the international currency standard was replaced by Gold for the paperback US dollar. The majority of the world's petroleum, currency reserves and exchange rates rely on the strength of the dollar to keep the global economy and financial markets from dipping as the Dow and NASDAQ are experiencing. The financial markets and stock exchange are eagerly awaiting the final last minute House deal that Speaker John Boehner and his young partner in crime Ted Cruz are waiting to solve until tomorrow. The deadline for the House of Representatives and Senate to reach their deal on the debt ceiling is Wednesday at 12AM. If a debt ceiling limit is not dealt, the financial markets will panic although it may not be immediately felt. China is watching the economic events in the US and has called for the De Americanization of the world. As with previous large empires, the United States is facing an abyss that it has dug for itself. All previous empires collapsed from political instability and financial ruins as the US is currently facing. It is inevitable. A country that continuously spends more than it has or expand (military wise in three wars and spend ridiculous amounts on defense and extracting resources) regardless of political parties' in power or in the White House is bound to bankrupt itself and suffer its people financially. The independence leaders and presidents of USA have predicted that if the country is destroyed it will be destroyed from within. Even if the House does pass a deal on the debt ceiling, the markets could take awhile to recover to pre-government shutdown levels.
Birth of the De Americanized World

A history lesson

This is not the first time that a government shutdown occurred in the US. There have been some 17 government shutdowns since 1976 that are often not taught in American school textbooks nor are common knowledge. With the exception of the 1995 Government Shutdown. When the last major government shutdown occurred (lasting 21 days) during former President Bill Clinton's administration in 1995, (incidentally the shutdown began after Clinton attempted to pass a reformed healthcare bill) the economy was experiencing a boom cycle. The housing bubble had not burst and new dot com companies continued to grow the economy. While the rust belt states and cities Detroit, Chicago, Michigan, etc laid off thousands of workers as car manufacturing and production moved overseas to China, Mexico, Thailand and across the emerging economies. Outsourcing is not new but it increased greatly during the 1980s through the 1990s. Unlike today's government shutdown, the economy was not overtly effected but still experienced contractions. When the Republican Congress finally reopened the government, the United States and the world was introduced to the Contract with America that sought to pass backlogged legislation in 100 days. The contract also stated that Congress members would abide by etiquette rules and manners that would ease Capitol Hill's image as wasteful and aloof to the ordinary people's plight. There has been no mentioned of a new Contract with America from the current Republican Congress. A deal has been spoken about by the House speaker John Boehner and the Senate but it has not moved a long quickly as needed. All this is occuring while the American people's frustrations over closed public/government programs has impacted their lives financially and socially. The nation's capital Washington, DC actually relies on the Federal government for its political functions since it is not its own state or an autonomous region as are other national capitals around the world. 

Taliban mocks US Government shutdown

President Bill Clinton's remarks on 95 Government Shutdown

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