Republican Threats To Shut Down Government Have Nothing To Do With Reducing The Deficit

Perhaps the Republicans will back down from harming the economy in the dangerous game of chicken they are playing, but for now John Boehner appears powerless to stop the extremists who effectively control the Republican Party. They still continue to push for a delay to Obamacare before they will agree to avoid a government shutdown. An example of why their demands really have nothing to do with fiscal responsibility can be seen in their demand to end the tax on medical devices.

The Affordable Care Act, in contrast to big spending measures which came from Republicans when George Bush was in the White House, was written with means to pay for the new costs it will generate. This includes a 2.3% tax on medical devices. The short-sighted medical device industry denies that having more people covered will lead to increased sales and  higher profits. They have been lobbying heavily to have the tax repealed. The Republicans have two choices. They can take up the cause of a business interest, or they can support fiscal responsibility and support this means of paying for the Affordable Care Act. There shouldn’t have been any doubt on where they would fall on that question.

The Republicans have no real interest in fiscal responsibility or reducing the deficit. As usual, Republican policies are purely centered on reducing taxes for their supporters.

Barack Obama has made some excellent responses to the GOP’s terrorist tactics:

“I’m not going to start setting a precedent, not just for me, but for future presidents, where one chamber in Congress can basically say each time there needs to be a vote to make sure Treasury pays its bills, we’re not going to sign it unless our particular hobby horse gets advanced.

Imagine if you had a Republican president and a Democratic speaker, and the Democratic speaker said, well, we’re not going to pass the debt ceiling unless we raise corporate taxes by 40 percent or unless we pass background checks on guns or whatever other list of agenda items Democrats were interested in. Does anybody actually think that we would be hearing from Republicans that that was acceptable behavior? That’s not how our constitutional system is designed. We are not going to do it.” (source)

“Paying America’s bills is not a concession to me. That’s not doing me a favor.” (source)

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