Whether it turns truly apocalyptic or ends up just being a short break in standard operating procedure, there’s plenty of blame to go around when it comes assigning responsibility for the government shutdown.
The one thing that shouldn’t be slighted, though, is that it is ultimately Barack Obama’s fault. He’s the deciderer, right, the top dog? The eight years of his time in office will be known to future generations as the Obama Years and not the Boehner Perplex or the Reid Interregnum.
With great power – and Obama insists he has the unilateral right to kill anyone, even a U.S. citizen, that represents a national security threat – comes great responsiblity.
Instead, President Obama is indulging in incredible displays of peevishness such as this one yesterday during an interview with NPR’s Steve Inskeep. Asked what he might offer to House Republicans, who have called for, most recently, a delay in Obamacare’s individual mandate and a bunch of other late-breaking proposals generally unrelated to how much the government will be spending over the next 12 months:
“Steve when you say what can I offer? I shouldn’t have to offer anything,” Obama said. “They’re not doing me a favor by paying for things that they have already approved for the government to do. That’s part of their basic function of government; that’s not doing me a favor. That’s doing what the American people sent them here to do, carrying out their responsibilities.
Yeah, you shouldn’t have to offer anything, Mr. President. What is it that you like to say in such situations? I won. Get over it.
But you do have to offer something now because you didn’t make sure to get a spending plan in place when there was more time to screw around.
Indeed, the shutdown is happening because the federal government doesn’t have a budget for fiscal 2014, which starts today. The reason it doesn’t have a budget is because the Republican-led House passed a budget calling for $3.5 trillion in spending, the Democratically controlled Senate passed a budget calling for $3.7 trillion in spending, and President Obama issued a proposal calling for $3.77 trillion in spending. This happened back in the spring. The House and the Senate passed their budget plans in late March. The president’s proposal, the last to be issued, came out on April 10.