As you can't avoid knowing, the House of Teabag has voted to fund the government via a Continuing Resolution (CR), which included the defunding of the ACA aka Obamacare, and sent the bill to the Senate.
First, a few little factoids. Obamacare can't really BE "defunded" in the way that the teabaggers intend. First, a lot of the provisions have already been enacted (free preventive care, kids on parents' policies until age 26, etc.) and others don't actually get government funding, such as the individual mandate. In addition, some of the funding comes from mandatory payouts, such as the Medicaid expansion, which means it's going to happen anyway.
And don't think that Boehner, Cantor and McCarthy don't know this. They know.
So, the CR has gone to the Senate where the "defunding" nonsense will be stripped out and the bill returned to the House. At that point, it becomes a hot potato, as in, which chamber will actually have possession when the government shuts down on 1 October. My money's on the House of Teabag, and I think that shutting down the government will be the best of all possible options.
Let's assume for a moment that the government shuts down on 1 October. Now, we've had more than a dozen shutdowns over the last 20 years: some for a few hours, some for a few weeks, none on the first day of a fiscal year. Normally, when the government shuts down, all sorts of "essential" services continue: the military doesn't suddenly get brought home from war, for example, the planes still fly courtesy of the FAA, the lights stay on along the Federal highway system. Normally there is grousing about museums being closed, and the possibility that checks won't go out...but this will be THE FIRST OF OCTOBER.
The Federal government's fiscal year starts on this date: there are checks to go out not only for Social Security, SSI, Veterans' Benefits and other direct pays to individuals, but this is the day that monies are released for many government contracts. Huh.
Shutting down the government is always a royal pain, but it is far better a choice then the option the Boehner and company are toying with: adopt a CR without the defunding section and then hold the country hostage by refusing to raise the debt ceiling.
There's no chance that the government shuts down on the first AND refuses to raise the debt ceiling a few weeks later. Therefore, shutting is better. Once this happens, there will be a giant hue and cry and the House will have no choice but to abandon the Hastert Rule and pass both a reasonable CR (heaven forbid they should actually pass an appropriations bill, which Boehner and crowd has been unable to do in years) as well as a hike to the debt ceiling.
By shutting the government, the Feds hold onto a bit more money, which can be used to delay the cessation of paying our bills. In addition, there will be a lot of pressure not just from individuals, but from the companies that fund congressional campaigns.
Further, there is a true weariness about the teabaggers. Government by extortion is not the way our country was meant to accomplish anything. Further, anyone who can read and do basic arithmetic knows that the tebaggers are complete idiots for refusing to raise the debt ceiling. The national debt has been falling under Obama's policies even while having to deal with the little moron monkeys on his back, and a debt reduction is what they campaigned on. Yes: the idea of the government spending less money. Despite the problems these austerity measures have caused, they're all in for that. HOWEVER, the debt ceiling relates to debt we already owe, and America is the cornerstone of the world's economy. If they REALLY want to do that, not only are they dumber than rocks, but they really are anarchists.
Thanks, I feel better now.
So folks, think about what you want to see happen. Contact your reps so that they know you want/don't want a government shutdown, want/don't want to raise the debt ceiling. Certainly the best outcome would be that neither happened, but I'll take that shutdown over even the most miniscule chance that the debt ceiling stays static.