The typical theme you might read in the papers goes something like this: the off-their-rocker Republicans (and they are) shut down the government because of a maniacal obsessive hate of Obamacare but the president and Democrats, particularly in the Senate, are just tough bastards and are holding the line. The problem is: the Democrats have already given in when you look at the big picture.
But, wait, isn’t this part of the big picture of “big government” and “too much spending.” Yes. And the Democrats have already bought the Republicans line, as the people from the Citizens for Tax Justice point out:
The “continuing resolution” (CR) approved by the Democratic-led Senate would keep the government funded for another six weeks — at the levels demanded by Republicans.
If you do the math for the whole year, it comes out to $986 billion in discretionary spending and:
That’s roughly the same as the $967 billion called for in the most recent “Ryan Budget” (the House budget resolution, named after House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan).
That’s considerably lower than the $1,058 billion that the Senate sought to spend in the budget resolution it approved in the spring, and much lower than the $1,203 billion in spending in 2014 that President Obama called for in his first budget proposal.
Once the Republican spending level is agreed to for the short-term CR, it is far more likely that Congress will continue funding the government at that same level for the rest of the year.
Put a different way, Congressional Democrats have basically conceded that sequestration of funding for federal programs under the Budget Control Act (across-the-board spending cuts that no one thinks make any sense) would remain intact for the time being.
So, let’s sum up and be clear: the fight now is about a really insane group of Republicans stomping their feet because they can’t get their way on cutting the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). But, in the bigger picture — meaning, will we have a functioning, health society — the Democrats have already caved in by agreeing to the stupid argument that government “spends too much” and agreeing to cut billions of dollars from things that every person needs.