The 16-day government shutdown has ended because the Senate and House agreed to raise federal borrowing and avoid a debt default that potentially could have caused a global economic meltdown. President Barack Obama signed the bill early Thursday.
Obamacare has sailed through, after all, and our political leaders are congratulating themselves for supposedly saving us from the brink of a financial disaster.
To wit, a government that...
- drives a nation to the brink of a so-called financial disaster, creating political and economic chaos,
- used the fake shutdown to ruin family vacations and scare off foreign tourists by closing national parks and monuments and then staffing them with armed guards that intimidated and manhandled elderly military veterans and others,
- ignored its own labor laws by compelling some federal employees to work without pay during the shutdown,
- is $17 trillion in debt,
- is placing a financial burden on people who would have already bought their own health insurance if they could afford it,
- makes terrorist watch lists of political enemies
- Uses the IRS to harass perceived political opponents, and
- is accused of wanting 'death panels' to cut medical costs,
...is now in charge of forcing people to buy health insurance.
Nothing could possibly go wrong.
But take heart, America, because the National Zoo (this might be a euphemism for government) is reopening for business Friday.
"The gates of the National Zoo will open Friday, the halls of the National Gallery of Art on Saturday," NBC News reported. "Panda Cam, which allows admirers to check in on Mei Xiang and her cub, was still blacked out, but the National Zoo said it should be back later (today)."
The New York Times later on Thursday reported the Smithsonian National Zoological Park announced in a Tweet: "The Panda Cam is ON!"
"The panda cam had been one of the most visible casualties of the government shutdown," the nation's 'newspaper of record' reported. "Although the feed is privately financed, it requires federal resources and was therefore subject to the shutdown."
Everyone should be grateful the financial apocalypse was avoided and the Panda bears are back online, even though we still don't know exactly what Obamacare will cost or how it works.
Obama said during a speech from the White House that he knows the American people are "completely fed up" with the government.
"At a moment when our economic recovery demands more jobs, more momentum, we've got yet another self-inflicted crisis that set our economy back," Obama said.
Both sides caused the shutdown by refusing to compromise on the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. According to Obama, consumer spending slowed, business owners said they will likely pull back on hiring for six months, small business loan applications were delayed and yet another ding to the nation's credit rating will likely cause higher interest rates on the debt.
"Repeated brinksmanship" was cited by credit analysts as causing the most damage to the economy.
“Nothing has done more to undermine our economy these last three years than the kind of tactics that create these manufactured crises,” he said.
Tell us about it.
After blaming Congress for the fiasco, Obama decided to admonish bloggers, "radio talking heads" and activists for daring to criticize or express dire concern for the state of the nation.
“All of us need to stop focusing on the lobbyists, and the bloggers, and the talking heads on the radio, and the professional activists who profit from conflict and focus on what the majority of Americans sent us here to do,” Obama said.
OK government. We're waiting for you to make the magic happen.