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Who Shut Down the Government?


Thomas Sowell

Even when it comes to something as basic, and apparently as simple and straightforward, as the question of who shut down the federal government, there are diametrically opposite answers, depending on whether you talk to Democrats or to Republicans.

There is really nothing complicated about the facts. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted all the money required to keep all government activities going -- except for ObamaCare.

This is not a matter of opinion. You can check the Congressional Record.

As for the House of Representatives' right to grant or withhold money, that is not a matter of opinion either. You can check the Constitution of the United States. All spending bills must originate in the House of Representatives, which means that Congressmen there have a right to decide whether or not they want to spend money on a particular government activity.

Whether ObamaCare is good, bad or indifferent is a matter of opinion. But it is a matter of fact that members of the House of Representatives have a right to make spending decisions based on their opinion.

ObamaCare is indeed "the law of the land," as its supporters keep saying, and the Supreme Court has upheld its Constitutionality.

But the whole point of having a division of powers within the federal government is that each branch can decide independently what it wants to do or not do, regardless of what the other branches do, when exercising the powers specifically granted to that branch by the Constitution.

The hundreds of thousands of government workers who have been laid off are not idle because the House of Representatives did not vote enough money to pay their salaries or the other expenses of their agencies -- unless they are in an agency that would administer ObamaCare.

Since we cannot read minds, we cannot say who -- if anybody -- "wants to shut down the government." But we do know who had the option to keep the government running and chose not to. The money voted by the House of Representatives covered everything that the government does, except for ObamaCare.

The Senate chose not to vote to authorize that money to be spent, because it did not include money for ObamaCare. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says that he wants a "clean" bill from the House of Representatives, and some in the media keep repeating the word "clean" like a mantra. But what is unclean about not giving Harry Reid everything he wants?

If Senator Reid and President Obama refuse to accept the money required to run the government, because it leaves out the money they want to run ObamaCare, that is their right. But that is also their responsibility.

You cannot blame other people for not giving you everything you want. And it is a fraud to blame them when you refuse to use the money they did vote, even when it is ample to pay for everything else in the government.

When Barack Obama keeps claiming that it is some new outrage for those who control the money to try to change government policy by granting or withholding money, that is simply a bald-faced lie. You can check the history of other examples of "legislation by appropriation" as it used to be called.

Whether legislation by appropriation is a good idea or a bad idea is a matter of opinion. But whether it is both legal and not unprecedented is a matter of fact.

Perhaps the biggest of the big lies is that the government will not be able to pay what it owes on the national debt, creating a danger of default. Tax money keeps coming into the Treasury during the shutdown, and it vastly exceeds the interest that has to be paid on the national debt.

Even if the debt ceiling is not lifted, that only means that government is not allowed to run up new debt. But that does not mean that it is unable to pay the interest on existing debt.

None of this is rocket science. But unless the Republicans get their side of the story out -- and articulation has never been their strong suit -- the lies will win. More important, the whole country will lose


  1. Well its obvious that Obama and his followers shut down the Government. Its plain to see that he and his henchmen were planning on a shutdown. They had Rented....... Let me repeat that. Rented barricades ready to set up on day one of the shutdown.
    What is not widely reported is what directives were sent out to the cooperative jack booted enforcers.
    While and after I and about 2000 others gathered at the WWII memorial this weekend to protest the closure of the privately paid for memorial,all the Presidents henchmen made sure to cause chaos and block at every turn,with the sole purpose of spiking a riot or confrontation.

    First they blocked off the road that leads to the WWII Memorial. They blocked it off because the truckers were driving by blowing their horns in support. The truckers did not stop the flow of traffic,they simply drove by and blew horns for support. Result road closed and several more waves of trucks could no longer enter the area. Not to mention all the other people that were just trying to get around town.
    Think about that for a moment. But then it gets worse.
    After we moved to the Vietnam Memorial and opened it up we moved to the Lincoln Memorial that had been opened earlier. The police proceeded to try and set up the barrycades again.
    As we were loudly vocalizing our disgust with the process of setting up the Barrycades a Rep from Michigan stepped up and started negotiating with the Police attempting to set up the Barrycades.

    His Name...Kerry Brentivolio,from the 11th district of Michigan(please contact and thank)

    While this was going on one of the officers had a stranglehold on a Patriot asking for the Barrycades to be removed. And I mean stranglehold. His face was turning purple.
    Patriots hands on chest protecting himself,not being aggressive just vocal and self protective.

    When the Rep Kerry Bentivolio realized that there was no negotiating he yelled out. Step back folks a few times and then turned around to our fellow patriots and said take it away.
    Instantly 4 guys grabbed the Barrycades and dispensed with them. Poor Jamiekins was knocked down in the process.

    Jamie has a video around this time-frame that shows one of the cops walking past a Patriot and shoving him for no reason.
    This type of treatment is minor compared to the absolute combative attitude we were subject to. ( Part 2 of this in next Post )

  2. ( Part 2 of My first post ) Then we moved on to the White House with Barrycades in hand,We first went to the South side of the House. Not much room for all the Patriots. So we moved(Barrycades in hand) to the N Front area. and piled the Barrycades up in front of the fence.
    This apparently frightened the Kings men. They thought we were piling them up so we could climb the fence.
    Mind you not one person was standing on them and they were a few feet off the fence.
    Soon after the blue helmeted Riot police came around the corner and gathered formation in the center of the street.
    They then proceeded to run at an angle towards the Whitehouse fence where we were gathered,standing,sitting. and yelling our thoughts towards the occupiers house.
    We reacted by moving toward the WH fence in direct angle of force.
    The riot police proceded to baton "BUNT" anyone standing still in their path.
    They mowed us over.
    Then they got to a trained vet at the axis of the fence.
    I am two feet /one person behind him.
    This Vet had his hands at his side and his feet in a brace position. The riot police raised their batons and struck at him. He raised his arms in a crossed defensive mode.
    He never struck back.
    He and the rest of us chanted shame on you and tried to talk to them asking why are you doing this etc....
    They, at some point ,placed a stun gun to his chest and demanded he move aside.
    One Riot cop with a baton and another with the stun gun.
    This calm Patriot vet talked calmly while refusing to move. Continually asking why am I being treated this way.

    The Riot police eventually backed away and snuck around our flank and used our transported Barrycades to separate us from the WH fence,and stood behind them.
    I want to say that I grew up in the DC area. I have been witness to dozens of protests in that same area in front of the Whitehouse,and I have never (in 30 years )seen that number of armed /dog backed guards on the lawn of the Whitehouse.
    I have seen multiple attempts at scaling the gates. Never was there the reaction of the Riot police and the Mounted police like there was this Sunday when there was not even a hint at a gate scaling.
    There was pure intimidation at every turn. And you should be as proud as I am at how we stood our ground and refused to succumb to the obvious and relentless intimidation.
    It was very obvious the order went out. MAKE THEM REACT VIOLENTLY. And we didnt.
    Jack booted Chicago thugs =0 Patriots with a cause +1000

  3. Thanks for both going and posting your account. Spathy I am going to repost it on my Facebook page so others can read. Thanks again

  4. Its the least I can Do Jer. Every one of us needs to find the time/strength/funds to do all that can be done. Its that critical.
    And My visit to Washington this weekend was a real eye opener. It is/we are now ,
    witnessing a very real and coordinated police state that is hell bent on their way or the gulags. I dont make that statement lightly.
    This weekend was directed intimidation at the highest level.
    I cant believe this is the country I grew up in.

    You could see it in the officers expressions. There were those that were disgusted by us Patriots,(the few) and those that were disgusted by their fellow enforcement officers following orders that were despicable.

    You could plainly see the officers that smiled every time we Patriots and vets did our duty,and the scows from the few that loved following disgusting orders.
    Out of 20 officers,only 3 were the instigators of chaos and violence.
    I paid very close attention to each and every officer of the law and his /her facial /body language represented and changed with the circumstances.

    It was also quite telling that the most aggressive officer at the Lincoln Memorial was one of the first to show up as an aggressor in front of the Whitehouse.
    The leaders had their orders and the subordinates werent ready to take it to the limit. Thus they backed down. I could see the next in line Riot police talking in the earpiece. And then backing down.

    The aggressors were not supported by their fellows.
    That is a very hopeful insight.

  5. How fitting. If you dial the number 1800F**KYOU you will be connected to Obamacare. I am not kidding.

  6. The process of stopping the gates from being put back up at the Lincoln Memorial. Around the 7 min Mark you can see Rep Bentivolio attempting to negotiate with the police.


  7. At about 1.5 seconds into this vid you can see the police office walk past a Patriot and shove him for no reason.