At this point, it is irrelevant who is to blame for our nation's demise. History will look back and point to specific causes (real or imagined) for our collapse but the reality is simple: weak and greedy leaders. Will a last minute deal be penned in time to avert a default on our debt? This is not the question we need to be asking. Once we allowed the media and our leaders to substitute perception for reality, our fate was sealed.
One reality that will be in the forefront in the immediate future is the effect Obamacare will have on our economy. As working people are now finding out, this is the largest tax put upon people in history. And this tax will have an immediate impact on our economy as the term "discretionary spending" is removed from our lexicon. The unemployment rate will explode once the shutdown is over and the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its latest figures. Companies have reduced the hours for their employees in the service and retail sectors just prior to the October 1st shutdown. Convenient timing for a government shutdown. Hospitals are laying off thousands across the country. Just in time for Christmas.
The double (and triple) digit increases on medical premiums will have an impact on every working family. Couple unemployment claims, the virtual elimination of discretionary spending in a consumer based economy with a quickly shrinking tax base to understand that we are nearing their endgame.
So the pResident and Congress are playing a game of chicken to see who will wield the power in Washington, D.C. No matter which party wins, America loses. Does America still have the spirit that our forefathers had when they rebelled against a lesser tyranny? We saw a small flame rekindled by our veterans in Washington on October 13th. At this point, I can only pray that we have the strength to rebuild a moral and virtuous country for our children based on the lessons that our "leaders" have taught us.
A lone senator could push the nation past the Oct. 17 debt-limit deadline even if a bipartisan deal is reached.
Senate leaders on Monday indicated they are inching towards a compromise deal to fund the government and raise the nation's $16.7 trillion borrowing cap before the nation is at risk of default.
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has warned Congress the nation will be left with just $30 billion in cash by Oct. 17, and could be in danger of being unable to pay its bills beyond that point.
But if a senator or group of senators wanted to prolong the process as long as possible, experts warn, the Senate could blow right past that deadline even if there are enough votes to overcome a filibuster.
"People should recognize that it is going to be a major legislative effort to get any deal that's reached passed by the end of Thursday," warned Steve Bell, a longtime Republican Senate staffer who is now with the Bipartisan Policy Center.