|Señor Don Quixote, a delusional middle class American white guy, is seen tilting at windmills he believes are ferocious giants.|
The government has not shut down. The Republicans have simply cut off funding for the left hand of the state (i.e. certain aspects of unemployment benefits, housing, clinical health research, food stamps, workplace safety), in a poorly calculated political ploy to block a health care reform bill that they know is political dynamite for their dying party (that has, in recent times, come to rely on redistricting in order to prolong their inevitable death).
The right hand of the state (i.e. the military, Homeland Security, the prison system, Congress, and the judicial & executive branches), where there is no disagreement whatsoever, remains open for business—literally. In fact, the only reason the right hand of the state has not been "shut down" is that the two parties agreed in advance to not let that happen. Citizens should question why the two parties agreed to leave the left hand vulnerable.
Now, you might think there is some disagreement over the management of the "left hand of the state," but that is not entirely true. The real difference is who reaps the political capital, not ideological differences. And right now the GOP can't afford to lose anymore ground. You may read that the Tea Party faction has an ideological agenda, but that's only the surface. The libertarian image of the Tea Party is to the Republicans what "change" and "hope" were to Brand Obama in 2008: a marketing ploy. Remember, "Obamacare" is the Right's solution put forward 20 years ago by the Heritage Foundation, but was stopped by the Democrats who thought it was so awful that they couldn't let it pass.
It's not just that our political spectrum has shifted considerably to the right—it has—but that the stars have aligned in such a fashion as to allow the Democrats to use the "reform"—where taxpayers subsidize the profits of private insurers—for their own gain.
There is a lot wrong with "Obamacare."
For starters, it doesn't really address the root of the problem: the private system. It doesn't bring down costs, or insure all. It will still leave tens of millions without insurance, and force many to pay for something they cannot afford. Cutting Medicare to subsidize private corporations is, at best, a bandaid. At worst, it's cementing the corporate monopoly around our feet and plunging us back in the water.
There is one sure way to reduce spending and cover all, but it's an option that does not exist: Medicare for all. What we would spend in increased taxes would be around twice as less as what we spend in premiums, copays, ER visits, etc. Furthermore, spending would be progressively distributed. That is why the option does not exist. Both parties are business parties, and it is the interests of the business community, the Lords of Capital, that comes before the working class.
Despite this serious flaw in "Obamacare," and that it is really a Republican plan presented two decades ago, the reason the GOP oppose it so vociferously is because it will be a serious political blow to their decaying party. Changing demographics is already hurting the GOP, and this is why they have resorted to redistricting tactics. But when their less affluent voter base sees how much the subsidies reduce costs on their end it will be disastrous. That's really what motivates them to waste public money pointlessly trying to kill it. Those subsidies, while going to the problem that will continue to exist, will reduce costs for the insured.
The GOP is butthurt.
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