On October 1st, the Congress failed to pass a spending plan for the 2013 fiscal year. The federal government shut down and hundreds of thousands of federal employees were furloughed as a result. All those deemed non-essential employees were dismissed without pay or benefits.
In the meantime, the political leaders who failed to pass this funding plan still receive payment and benefits because of the 27th Amendment. This merely reminds me, as Machiavelli wrote, “People cannot make themselves secure except by being powerful.” In theory, in a republic the power rests with the electorate. The national good placed over the good of the representatives. Sadly, this appears to be the case in theory alone. In truth, every decision made in the Congress for the past week was made seeking to secure their power.
Since the shutdown, House Republicans have attempted to fund the government through a series of continuing resolutions aimed at funding the government one piece at a time. At every turn, Democrats in House and Senate have opposed and killed the measures. Senate Majority Leader; Harry Reid, argued that Speaker Boehner promised a “clean” continuing resolution before the August Recess provided that spending would not exceed $998 billion. As such, Reid will not consider any compromise until the House passes a single funding plan free of any provisions to defund Obamacare.
Reid believes that if he compromises, people with believe he and his party will break down any time the Republicans try to renegotiate the terms of an agreement. This unwillingness to compromise has upset the balance of power between the two houses of Congress. It is the responsibility of the House to pass any spending measure, and it is merely up to the senate to revise the measure. The House is not meant to be beholden to Senate Leadership.
That being said; Republicans are not without blame. Many Republicans now in the House were elected on platforms that involved repealing Obamacare. As such, failing to do so would be failing their campaign promises. This could lead their constituency to replace them. So, they decided to take a gamble to defund it.
Before the shutdown the Republicans were on a political high. After several scandals within the administration and tensions of war in Syria, they were in a position to potentially seize control of the Senate in 2014 and the White House in 2016. Now their gamble makes them look like petulant children to many Americans. What’s more, their gamble for absolute victory puts American stability and economic prosperity in jeopardy.
There are many that claim that what is going on in the congress is a reflection of in fighting amongst the people, or they simply want to blame it on the other guy. The simple truth is that America has bound itself to bureaucracy through hegemony, and a blind admiration and love for our the sweet words of a politician that it horrifies us when see them in full duplicate splendor and we see just how hollow their promises are.
If our nation is to be secured and our future preserved, we must cast down dogmatic bureaucracy and pursue government reform to limit federal power. If we don’t, then we will remain pawns to those individuals who recognize the truth of my words and as such allow their own Machiavellian ambitions to be their salvation.
Content published on the Young Americans for Liberty blog is only representative of the opinions and research of the individual authors. It does not necessarily reflect the views, goals, or membership of YAL.