Why did the government shutdown in 2013?
Why did the government shutdown in 2013? It’s complicated. To explain the political issues that could lead to a government shutdown, allow me to share my experience with the last shutdown the government went through seventeen years ago. I researched the issues that in my opinion prove how history has repeated itself.
Seventeen years ago conflict between the 103rd and 104th Congress and the 42nd President (in 1995 and 1996) caused the government to shutdown; and it was not all about politics.
During the 1992 Presidential campaign, President Bush (the 41st President), learned from his top Republican officials that the national education strategy he and the Republican Party had promoted for years leading up to his re-election bid would strip freedoms, dreams, and civil liberties for generations to come. The National Education Strategy was known as America 2000. Upon seeing the proof of how America 2000 would bring about strip Americans of their dreams and civil liberties through its Six National Education Goals, President Bush allowed the funding for America 2000 to expire at the deadline of the budget cycle for Fiscal Year 1993. In other words, President Bush refused to approve funding for his own education reform bill. Seeing this, the Governor of Arkansas, a leader of the National Governor’s Association, and now candidate vying to become the 44th President of the United States, stood before the American people and told us that the Republicans did not want to educate poor black children. William Jefferson Clinton ran on the campaign promise to provide an education system that would assure black children would have equal if not better job opportunities because his education reforms would prepare poor children for the global market place in the 21st Century. He was elected.
President Clinton took the Six National Education Goals of President Bush’s America 2000, added two National Education Goals and launched a political public battle against a majority Republican House of Representatives (435 members of Congress) over funding for his education reform legislation package – Goals 2000 Educate America, School-to-Work/Opportunity to Learn, and Improving America’s Schools Acts of 1994. He convinced Black Americans that the Republicans did not want to provided funding to educate the poorest Americans; mainly poor Blacks, Hispanics, Indians, and Whites that lived in rural communities or on obsolete farms.
Pilot programs for President Clinton’s education reforms had been in funded by Congress from 1991 to 1993. Congress appropriated several billion dollars for the education reforms in 1994 when the above education reform bills were passed. However, when it came time to fund the next wave of education reforms and seeing how the reforms were linked to public health, Medicare, the environment, conflicts between the 42nd President, Bill Clinton who was a Democrat and the 103rd/104th majority Republican Congress led to a five day shutdown of the federal government in 1995; from November 1Democratic President Bill Clinton and the Republican Congress 4 and November 19 and from December 16, 1995 to January 6, 1996, for 28 days.
During the shutdown, political operatives for both sides came out the woodwork. The President was very successful in turning the majority of the American people against the Republican Party. It got so bad that many Republican candidates would shy away from placing the “R” on their campaign literature. Knowing what I know now, I do not understand why the Republicans did not counter the Democrats claim that they did not want to educate the poor little black children. The Republican failed to defend themselves and as a result, the Democrats grew in numbers and their agenda was placed on a fast-track.
When Congress passed the budget, which included all of the education reforms the President ordered, states received the federal funds they wanted and public education as we knew it was in the history books…no pun intended. Nineteen ninety-six was an election year. President Clinton was re-elected and because of a scandal and the direct involvement with the shut down earlier that year, Rep. Newt Gingrich and several high profile Republican officials was not re-elected, retired, or died between 1996 and 2000.
The landslide re-election victory of 1996 made President Clinton a very powerful man. His reform agenda was allowed to move forward and fear of losing future elections forced members of Congress to compromise greatly. Before Bill Clinton left office in 1999, every area of the government had been reformed except for America’s Health Care system. That was seventeen years ago.
As with any large project, implementation takes a while and it takes even longer to determine whether the ultimate objectives of the goals are met. The reforms had to go through as series of updates and modifications; and they were not pretty. More people wrote books about what was going in with the education reforms than those who wrote romance novels. The debates of pros and cons that went on behind the scenes were freighting. The real consumers of this education did not have a clue; they were the 25 – 50 year old voting population who had come into their own having a President in the office who seemingly was more for black people than since President John F. Kennedy in 1963.
In my opinion, parents, teachers, administrators, and political officials were too close to the implementation side of the reforms to see the adverse effect the reforms were having on the students and their school systems.
Each time President Clinton made a public request, Democrats – especially black folk were his cheerleaders and number one supporters. He knew just what to say and educators, political leaders, state officials, and reform supporters all had their special set of talking points that endorsed and promoted all facets of the national education reform project. If anyone dare said anything negative about the education reforms, they were immediately ostracized and dismissed as a friend of a Republican. President Clinton could do no wrong. Even when he had the affair with Monica Lewinski and was impeached, black folk came to his rescue – citing the jealously of the Republicans as the reasons these ugly occurrences were being made public against their president.
Let’s take a different look at the issues that caused the government to shutdown seventeen years ago.
What if President Clinton had scheduled a public meeting with the American people and said:
“America signed agreements with the United Nations that requires us to align our education system with that of Germany, Asia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. When it is all said and done my national education reform project will convert all public schools into workforce development centers. We will start with the poor black school districts first until we migrate the rest of the school districts until the wealthiest school districts have been converted. Private schools and colleges will be next to reform.
Effective immediately, each school cluster from day care programs to high schools will be converted to become outcome-based education agencies for developing human capital. The State Education Agency will work with employers of that state to determine what skills employers need to be competitive in their industries and in order to make a profit. Each state will establish statewide workforce zones and will do the same for each school district within their state. The State Education Agency will be required to work with the federal education contractors created by the funding in this education reform package to develop a matrix of skills and proficiency levels to assess the development of these skills. The State Education agency will be required to select which schools will undergo the reforms first. I recommend the poor black school districts be the first to undergo the reforms because they parents and community leaders are not truly involved in the education process. Using the poor black schools as test cases will help us work out all of the bugs and glitches in the system and will buy us enough time to allow the wealthier white communities to get ahead of the black school districts in this new education system.
The State Education Agency will dictate to each school district the proficiency levels their schools will develop, which will determine what each student will know and be able to do. The outcome education level will be based on the high school education programs. Employers will be able to lower wages based on skills the schools produce. Within two years, the system will generate reports that show that black children are inferior to their white counterparts; this will require more federal funds for additional reforms to help black children feel good with their inability to reason and solve problems. We will have to put children on drugs that control their behaviors. Although there has been no long term testing for these drugs and because we have taking capital punishment out of schools and parents no longer discipline their children, we are certain these drugs will make our children calmer and better behaved. This will help lower crime rates, child abuse, and acting out in school.
Since the federal government will subsidize more public education than it has before, we will demand to have access to geographical data on every child, their parents, and their communities. Data collected from these students will be sold by states to help them generate funding for other projects and later to become economically self-sustaining. An example of the data that states will collect from your children is whether they have experimented with any drugs or smoking products; have they had sex before age 12; do they know anyone with a gun; are their guns in their home; and how do they feel about God? These and other items of information will be collected via in school surveys, assessments, and homework assignments that you give permission when you show up that one day of school to enroll your child for the school year. So don’t be surprised when you hear the news reporter tell you that 51% of 12 – 15 year old admit to trying a drug and having sex before age 12. The data that was collected by the state from your child during school hours while taking a test is how we were able to collect the data for that report. Don’t worry, this information is critical to the reforms because we need this information to help us determine what programs is needed for your school district to remediate your child’s behavior.
Some children will be smarter than others. Some children will have music, arts, bands, international sports, competitive games, cooking classes, high tech and science courses, and engineering programs while others will learn to get along with others, work well in groups, and read on a basic or below basic level. This is the design of the education reforms that the state education agency will be responsible for developing. While you may not like this now, over time you will come to understand that not everyone can be brain surgeons or high tech engineers. We need retail, fast food, and service workers that do not need to think critically. We need construction workers that simply do what they are told without having to solve a problem. All these people will help our economy grow because they will be paid minimum wage and because we made them be happy with their inability while they were in school, they will be content with living on a minimum wage income when they become adults. And if they want to get a degree and make more money, we will have a program that will use their life lessons and learned skills to help them go to college to learn another skill –this is what life-long-learning means, which you will start to hear more about sometime around 2002 when I am no longer in office.
We will use parent groups to agree to these programs. They will be made to feel good about the programs we will offer their schools because they themselves are insecure and they are surrounded by a poor economy. By the time we engage the parents of these students they will go along with the types of education programs our Change agents will recommend not just because they are insecure, but because with the help of third-party testing and psychological professionals skilled in the art of playing on insecurities, we will be able to label their children slow learners, ADD, ADHD, learning disabled, and in some cases we will get away with labeling children retarded. These labels will help school apply for more federal funds and they will help the parents accept their child’s inability to learn and be happy that their child will be hired by a fast food or retail business in their community. This will set this community back 5 – 10 years behind their white counterpart across town. As a result of these reforms I must tell you that the level of racism will increase between whites and blacks. Black people will start to feel inferior to whites because when I am no longer in office more whites will be managers and supervisors than blacks and some whites will miss-treat black people that work for them because the more these education reports reveal that blacks can’t comprehend basic instruction and need direct instruction to perform basic tasks at work, they will not be able to control their attitudes towards blacks. I am not worried because they will never be able to link this back to my education reforms because they will never understand how the education programs work and they will never see how the data was manipulated when we assessed and tracked the programs. When these reforms have been implemented in the majority of our school districts, every state will have migrated their state standards onto a National Standards Education System that will be completely controlled by the Federal Government. By this time, health care, environmental, and homeland security will all be linked under a universal system. You will not be able to cry racism because these programs will be in every school district for every zip code and based on the local economy.
As President, I am going to give Congress a set of bills that must be funded and passed that will reform our national education system. We will start by giving state education agencies complete control over leading the mandates of these reforms. With legislation coming in 1998, we will make it mandatory for businesses to hire our new human capital here in the U.S. and we will give large tax incentives to businesses that pack up and move to another country to hire human capital over there. By 2001, we will have completed the implementation of establishing national and global workforce zone and regions. Oceania and Eurasia will become legitimate global regions.
If we hope to ever live in a peaceful world, it is important that America does it part to build a global economy.”
What if President Clinton had told American Citizens that this is what he planned for America? Would we have begged for the reforms to proceed? Would we have voluntarily applied for the money and implemented these education reforms in our schools? Would we have voted for the State Legislators that promoted these programs and supported this President?
Of course not! And that is why I believe the conflict between the President and Congress seventeen years ago grew to be so great, the government shutdown not once, but twice within three months.
Have you ever heard the saying: “If you don’t know your history, you are bound to repeat it?” What about the saying: “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything?” Here’s a good one: “If it an’t broke don’t fix it!”
Well, let us look at the government shutdown of 2013.
In November 2009, President Obama introduced his Health Care reform proposal to Congress. The Affordable Care Act of 2010 was passed and signed by President Obama in March of 2010.
President Obama dedicated the passage of this bill to the now late Senator Ted Kennedy who died of brain cancer in August of 2009. Ted Kennedy was known as the “Lion of the Senate” and the second longest serving Senator in U.S. Senate history. Sen. Ted Kennedy wanted his legacy to be that of being a progressive. He sponsored every education reform bill from 1965 to 2009. And just like his progressive idealist views on other global reform laws he sponsored or co-sponsor over the 40+ years he served on Congress, Sen. Ted Kennedy wanted to bring Universal Health Care to America. Three of the strongest reasons I believe Sen. Ted Kennedy helped Barack Obama become President Barack Obama was because he was a progressive Democrat, he agreed to continue with the education reforms, and he agreed to reform health care in America.
Today is October 7, 2013. The government shutdown occurred on October 1, 2013. It has been six days and it looks like the end is near. I believe the government will reopen for business sometime this week because Congress passed a law that will make all payrolls retroactive once the government shutdown is over.
Note: The Affordable Care Act of 2010 was passed the second year of President Obama’s first term; it had a start dated, enough funding to get it started, and it legal enforcement. If there was going to be conflict between the President and Congress that shutdown the government, one would think the shutdown would have occurred in 2009; not in 2013 when the law was scheduled to go into effect. What the F Happened? President Obama had the pleasure of having a majority Democrat House and Senate! That is not the case when mid-term elections were held in 2010 when the Republicans took control over the House. The problem is that the law was scheduled to go into effect and a shutdown was not going to stop it from happening.
What is the difference today in 2013 than when the government shutdown in 1995/1996? For starters in 1995, America was not in a recession. There was enough money in the federal budget to make deals and allow for negotiations that funded pet projects or earmarks as some would call what members of Congress did when they wasted money. The economy was great! Everybody that wanted to work was working and making a very good living. People were buying and selling without regard to credit or concerns about being laid off. Today, everything is just the opposite. There is no wiggle room. In fact, the national debt ceiling needs to be lifted or America will default on its ability to pay its bills – A big no-no to the rest of the world.
Just as the government shutdown in 1995 over education reform and other budget issues, what if just before President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act on March 23, 2010, he looked America in the eyes and said: “My fellow Americans. In an effort to make sure that ‘every’ American has health insurance, I am about to sign into law the Affordable Care Act of 2010. On January 1, 2014, four years from now, whether I am your President or not, this law will go into effect. There are several hurdles that I want to prepare you for as we move down the road of providing affordable health care for every American. First, this health care is not going to be free. In an attempt to stop this massive system from being revamped, I suspect several lawsuits will be brought. Do not fear, I believe justice will prevail. Children with pre-existing health conditions will immediately see relief and start receiving the health care they need and deserve. Insurance companies will not be able to turn down request for coverage. Hospitals will not be able to turn people away. Seniors will be able to purchase more prescriptions as a larger percentage of the donut hole will be closed. Insurance companies will receive tax credits and incentives to provide ‘free’ preventive care health services. Medicare and Medicaid will be scrubbed and reformed to provide more services for more people regardless of age but our senior citizens will see an instant benefit immediately in the first wave of reforms invoked by the signing of this bill into law.
If you make over $250K, I am going to raise taxes on you to help fund the Affordable Care Act. Parents, if you have a child that is under 26 years old, your insurance company will be required to provide full health coverage until that child reaches 26.
If you are an employer with 50 or fewer employees, you will be required by this law to provide health care for every employee or face financial penalty. Effective October 1, 2013, people that do not have insurance will be able to go to http://www.healthcare.gov or go to one of many online insurance markets to select an insurance policy that is right for you. You cannot be turned down because of a pre-existing health issue. However, please understand, because of your pre-existing health issue insurance companies cannot blow up your premium and they cannot refuse or deny you health insurance. Depending on what state you live in, you will be able to receive full dental and vision care and most of these services will be free for children under 18 because in this bill dental and vision care for children under 18 is listed as an essential service. You must sign up for this insurance by December 31, 2013 so that the insurance can take effect on January 1, 2014. In those rare cases, where you are eligible to Medicare, you will receive free health coverage across the board. For those that want to know if they can keep their current plan…the answer is yes for a while. Let me be frank, sooner or later, most HMOs and local health care providers will eventually close their doors because they will not be able to compete with the low prices of services that will be provided by the cooperative health care alliances.
The goal is to convert Medicare and Medicaid into one Universal Health Care System. In this system you could wait up to three months to see a doctor for minor health issues. We are looking at setting up schools and some community non-profit organizations such as churches to provide non-life-threatening emergencies. This means that these facilities will be required to treat all people regardless to their race or sexual orientation; including prescribing the Morning After Pill if a patient request this form on abortion. You are gonna love this one…now that the federal government is subsidizing all health systems in America, we will be able to collect data on everyone. Soon, we will have enough data to sell to high tech companies that will be able to embed your personal data unto a ‘chip’ that your healthcare professional will implant in your body. This is important for the security of our nation. If you are ever in an accident, plane crash or God forbid a fire, we will be able to identify you and in the case where you are still alive, we can provide emergency life-saving healthcare because the chip will help us know everything we need to know about your body to protect and save you. We’ve been doing this in animals for years now and I can’t tell you how many pet owners are glad they chipped their dog or cat.
I expect that technology will expand to the point where you will be able to one day protect your finances and be able to buy and sell from the chip placed on your forehead or forehand.
I am excited about signing this bill into law. I am certain it will be met with much resistance and legal battles. We will prevail because it is what the majority American people want. Oh, one more thing, if you do not have health insurance and do not purchase insurance as mandated by this new law by December 31, 2013, the IRS will impose a tax levy upon you for each person in your home that could cost you several thousand dollars. As soon as it becomes available, get on board so as not to be amongst those that will regret not adhering to the mandate of the Affordable Care Act. On behalf of my dear friend, the late Senator Ted Kennedy, I sign this bill into law. Thank you and God Bless.”
If the President had said these words, would we have agreed to promote the reforming of our healthcare system? For the life of me I can not figure out why the Republicans fail over and over again to tell America why they oppose these progressive – regressive reforms. Why is it that the Republicans find themselves constantly on the whipped end of the whipping stick? What is it with the Republicans that they are unable to come out and tell Americans what these reforms will do in the short and long term to our economy, our culture, our bodies, and our freedoms?
Oh well, this is my take on why the government shutdown in 2013. Look for the Democrats to use this against every Republican that will dare to run for any political office between now and 2016 when Hillary Clinton is elected as the first female President of the Unites States of America – where under her administration, America will cash in its Constitution and Representative Republic.
Want a laugh? I received the email below a few days ago:
I wanted to let you know that earlier today I received my “Obamacare enrollment packet” from the White House.
An aspirin and a band-aid.
An ‘Obama Hope & Change’ bumper sticker.
A ‘Bush’s Fault’ yard sign.
A ‘Blame Republicans first, then anybody and everybody’ poster.
A ‘Tax the Rich’ banner.
An application for unemployment and a free cell phone.
An application for food stamps.
A prayer rug.
A letter assigning my debt to my grandchildren.
And lastly, a coupon for a machine that blows smoke up my ass.
Everything was made in “China” and all directions were in Spanish.
Keep an eye out. Yours should be arriving soon.
And the beat goes on.