“There’s a very good possibility that government will shut down. I know the Democrats have their talking points lined up. They’ll blame us for everything. What will we do?” That statement made by Representative Allen West shows perfectly the controversial point among the deadline looming on extending a stop bag spending bill on March 4th.
But there are certain important facts to look at in this issue:
- Does a probably government shut down represents an interests fight between political factions more than a lack of agreement between Republicans and Democrats working for a better America?
- Which are the interests behind?
- Who is the winner, who is the looser?
- And a really important fact: What should republicans have learned after the 1995 government shutdown?
Now to try to answer some of this basic questions we can recall what has happened in 1995 with the last government shut down in which the scenario was, I could say kind of similar with the GOP behind the process, but a clear mistake made by Republicans was that at the end they lose the sense of its message, changing the whole scenario from a weakened President Clinton to a strong reelected President Clinton which at the end humiliated the Republicans.
The 1995 government’s shutdown could be analyzed in two phases; the first one was a 5 days period in which the White House had to agree to the congressional demands to balance the budget within seven years, but the agreement failed and there was a second shutdown of 21 days from December 15, 1995 to Jan 6, 1996.
Clinton agreed a balanced budget over seven years, to tax cuts, to change in mandatory spending programs such as Medicare, but there were differences between political parties on the pace of spending cuts and on the policies behind those cuts. Clinton’s best option was the veto, but Republicans strategy was the government shutdown, although Clinton seemed agreeable to compromise within reason; and that was one of the GOP’s big mistakes.
“Never, ever, shut the federal government down again” stated Clinton more than 10 years ago, but today’s political situation lead us to what is more than a “probably federal government shut down” and also with the Congress on vacation during this week we have what I call a “funny” situation because neither the President Obama nor the Republicans, nor Democrats want a government shutdown so what is going to happen then? Democrats will be using a “scalpel instead of a machete” as President Obama himself is fond of saying? or Republicans are going to cut spending in a responsible way? Maybe we should wait for another political positions week or rather nothing to happen. Well that is my opinion on the government shut down, lets see what happens in the next couple of days.