Government Spending

Obama Campaign Falls Back on the Comfortable: Fearmongering Over a Government Shutdown

Fiscal year's almost over


sky's still not falling
Mudflap DC/

The debate over Syria may be taking up all the air in Washington, but there are still other issues Congress is technically dealing with, among them a budget. The federal fiscal year ends September 30, and the Congress hasn't passed a budget to send the president in more than four years. The inability of the Senate to pass any kind of budget out of its chamber means government funding relies on short-term measures like continuing resolutions. Additionally, the federal government's debt limit, currently at about $16.7 trillion, is about to be reached. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew informed Congress just last month that that limit would be hit in mid-October, sooner than expected.  Absent an increase in the limit, the federal government won't be able to borrow more money to pay bills it doesn't have the money for.

While some conservatives wanted, quixotically, to use the budget negotiations to secure a defunding of Obamacare, Republican leadership paid lip service only to broader budget "reforms," promising to get the federal government's ability to borrow money expanded in exchange.   

Yet even the meager concessions in the "path" to a balanced budget GOP leadership is seeking is enough to trot out the old strategy of fear mongering rather than engaging the actual issues surrounding the federal budget (namely that it spends about twice as much as it collects, an unsustainable situation).

The latest campaign mailer comes via Lindsay Siler, the issues campaign director for Organizing for Action (aka

There's been a lot of talk about whether Congress will pass a budget by the end of this month—or instead, as some have called for, let the government shut down.

I want to spell out exactly what a shutdown would mean:

Nearly all federal programs—and the people they work for—would suffer. We're talking delayed military pay and veterans' benefits. Shutting down Head Start centers, and Meals on Wheels programs. Delayed applications for new Social Security enrollments, and loans for students and small businesses. 

One thing is clear: Shutting down the government will hurt the American people…

When some members of Congress talk about a government shutdown, they frame it as a viable bargaining chip—just part of the debate over the budget. 

The truth is, a government shutdown will shutter crucial services the American people depend on and wreak havoc with our economy.

President Obama has put forth a smart plan for the budget—and he's said he's willing to hear new ideas from people on both sides of the aisle. The budget Congress passes needs to continue to grow the economy from the middle out. 

So far in this debate, though, some members of Congress have shown they're just not serious about doing right by the people they represent. 

Our elected officials shouldn't use the economy, the budget, or even the threat of taking away health care from millions of Americans just to score political points with their base.

A note to Siler: elected officials, and their various hangers-on and apparatchiks, shouldn't use transparently fearmongering tactics to avoid dealing with serious issues and difficult choices.

NEXT: Dennis Rodman: Kim Jong Un a 'Very Good Guy'

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. No, fuck you, cut spending.

    1. You Know Who Else is involved with fucking and cutting?

      1. Malian tribal chiefs?

        1. Amorous fishermen?

      2. People into BDSM?

  2. Yeah, cut spending.

    And why aren’t you homos watching football?

    1. There’s a football game on? We’re watching “Homeland” on demand.

    2. Eagles are idiots.

      1. They’re looking really good in the first quarter.

        I just need 10 pts to win my league this week out of Morris and RGIII, and so far they’ve combined for a total of -4 (negative four) points.

        Vick needs to break off a couple of runs to keep people from blitzing him all the time, but other than that, from what I’ve seen so far–ain’t nobody gonna be lookin’ forward to playing the Eagles this year if they keep playing like this.

        1. I am now prepared to say that the Eagles won’t be the worst team in the league this year.

      2. Especially the ones that fly into wind turbines.

      3. Foreign Eagles fan since ’80 here. That’s some beat down.

        DeSean Jackson, though, needs to grow up. That little exchange with Hall was exaggerated. He got the 15 yards. Move on.

  3. I want to spell out exactly what a shutdown would mean:

    Nearly all federal programs — and the people they work for — would suffer. We’re talking delayed military pay and veterans’ benefits. Shutting down Head Start centers, and Meals on Wheels programs. Delayed applications for new Social Security enrollments, and loans for students and small businesses.

    You had me at “nearly all.”

    1. I’ll be in my bunk.

  4. There will be no shutdown. The Boehnergrinch who stole Christmas certainly won’t let it happen, no matter how much the Democrats and news media would secretly love it.

    1. how did you get Warty’s cellphone pics?

        1. Lizzie has the right idea about Massachusetts.

    2. Doesn’t everyone do that?

    3. In space, no one can hear you scream at someone for blackface.

    4. I just… I mean Rule 34, but… who would waste their Rule 34 on this?

  5. The Riley Cooper era in Philly is off to a great start.

    1. What’s going on? I’m still at work.

      1. The Eagles are playing superspeed offense. Moving fast.

        They then had a backward pass knocked down at the WSH 3rd and returned for a TD

        1. And a waste of a challenge.

          1. It was reviewed automatically

            1. No. Philly’s down a timeout. Nice throw by Vick.

              1. Becuse They challenged an incomplete pass

                1. That’s why I said the challenge was a waste. Maybe I sounded like not challenging the backwards pass was a waste?

                  1. Yes, I guess that’s how I read it so at least we agree

        2. Oops. How is RGIII looking? How’s the knee?

          1. they haven’t been on O much. Now they fumble and Philly scored a TD on the next play.

          2. and RGIII gets picked

            1. Oops. These first games of the season have all been pretty unimpressive. Probably just first game jitters, though.

              1. Except for Peyton Manning.

                1. Good point.

                  I cannot wait for the Jets-Patriots game Thursday. I get to hatewatch the Jets and simultaneously hope they beat the Patriots, or at least do something that gets me some Brady sadface.

                2. And the Chiefs

          3. and RGIII fumbles in his own endzone giving up a safety.

            1. Fuck. This is what I get for autodrafting.

            2. So when will Shanahan go on the hot seat? And I don’t mean Brendan.

  6. The truth is, a government shutdown will shutter crucial services the American people depend on

    I am trying hard to think of a crucial service I depend on that is administered by the federal government… I guess I depend on the IRS to rape my paycheck each month. I am sure I’d go wild and end up in a jail in Tijuana or something if they left that money in my check. Thank you federal government!

    1. But weren’t all the crucial services the American people depend on already destroyed beyond all recognition by the Unspeakably Vile, Unthinkable Sequester that was supposed to do permanent damage to the economy, destroy Working Families, leave us naked to terrorist attacks, etc. etc., etc……

    2. Yeah, I’ve been trying to figure out why the federal government takes 90% of my payroll tax yet the state government provides the vast majority of ‘public’ services I consume.

      1. Because fuck you peasant.

  7. I bit my cheek and now the left side of my face feels frozen

    1. You should get a twitter account.

      1. what’s a twitter

        1. Something used by twits?

          1. so, not for me then.
            carry on

  8. Fearmongering? A government shutdown is my fondest wish.

    1. Now, that’s just silly. If the government shuts down, who’s gonna molest the senior citizens at the airports?


    1. Too many kids on your lawn today Pantsfan?

    2. Do you ever get the feeling that women sit around and ask “What’s the one thing we can do to make ourselves the least attractive? X you say? OMG!!!! That’s our newest fasion trend, ladies!”

      1. *fashion, even

      2. Well, I’ve always felt that that’s exactly what hipsters do (male and female). And they’ve been very successful at it.

      3. Sticking it to the patriarchy, HM. They’ll not be domineered by paternal sexual norms.

    3. Think of it less as an affront to good taste and more as an easily visible way of weeding out awful potential partners.

      1. Reverse sexual selection? Yeah, I can dig that.

      2. may be a bit harder to spot than a tattoo at first.

      3. Removable tramp stamps? This is a terrible idea!

    4. Tramp stamps weren’t trampy enough.

      1. Look, everyone has a tramp stamp now. How’s a girl supposed to set herself apart as really trampy without coming up with a new thing to do?

        Personally, I find it useful. It lets me home in on the right ones.

    5. At time of writing the third post (below the fold on my computer) is an animated GIF of people fucking.

      Just a warning for the west-coasters who might be at work.

      1. I hate animated gifs substituting for video. They’re rarely funny, and usually a massive waste of bandwidth.

        1. Not to mention the dithering

    6. OK. So who was it trying to argue that fashions in the 1970’s were bad? Really?

  9. Nadal just came back from Love-40 to hold serve.

    1. You know, I had really hoped Gasquet would unseat Nadal and give us a different final than usual.

      1. We’re stuck with these 2 for the next hundred grand slams

        1. Sure, Sir Roger is on the back nine, but what about Murray?

        2. Unless Murray crashes the dominance – which I doubt. I’m so indifferent to those two. Mind you, Djokovic is an AC Milan fan so he’s alright in my book.

          1. AC Milan fan

            As a fan of BvB, I say you are both foolish.

            1. Fool’s paradise!

              Still bitter about Bayern?

              1. By the way, I remember the ’97 final when BVB upset Juve who were the most dominant team in Europe that year and among the best for the decade.

  10. So have the Production Code and the Comics Code received a bad rap? They did prohibit the depiction of rape.

  11. How well I remember the Government Shutdown of ’95. Congressional revolutionaries slashed spending to the bone and the president was too traumatized to respond. All trade stopped because no one told people what to buy or sell. Schools didn’t know what to teach. National parks returned to a state of nature. There were no declarations of national weeks to commemorate uninteresting things. Everything…just…stopped.

    Then the shutdown ended and it all went back to normal.

  12. What this shill Lindsay Siler heard herself say:

    We’re talking delayed military pay and veterans’ benefits. Shutting down Head Start centers, and Meals on Wheels programs. Delayed applications for new Social Security enrollments, and loans for students and small businesses.

    What I heard:

    It’s gonna cure your rickets, your polio, and your lupus. Your male-pattern balding will slow and eventually reverse. The fungal rash around your bathing suit area is as good as gone, and that hangnail is right out. I imagine it might even get rid of those gnarly precancerous intestinal polyps, and I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if you lost weight. You’ll be trimmer and healthier, with a full head of hair.

    1. Shutting down Head Start centers, and Meals on Wheels programs. Delayed applications for new Social Security enrollments, and loans for students and small businesses.

      Yes, I’m interested now… Go on.

      1. I especially like the ‘loans for small businesses.’ If we didn’t hyperregulate them, the cost of opening a business would be lower and they’d be able to open without loans. Instead, you steal from the business through unnecessary regulation and licensing regimes and then steal from other people in a desperate attempt to make up the money you’ve already stolen.

        It would be like breaking someone’s arm, giving them a cast, and then asking them to thank you for the cast.

        1. Why in the world would a sane, rational human being support the proposition that, the very same entity about which you animadvert, should somehow be trusted, nevertheless, as the only entity which can coin and regulate money, adjudicate disputes and defend one’s neighbors?

        2. I agree Irish. When I started my business, outside my renovation costs, there was a lot the government could have done to help me out.

          I don’t give a shit about them or bank giving me a loan. Give businesses an amnesty – one year or something – on payroll taxes (or any taxes). Give the business a chance.

          Instead, the municipality forced me to buy a $1300 sign I didn’t need.

          Partners my ass.

    1. That’s what My Cousin Vinny taught me.

    2. Especially when the clerk is openly carrying.

    3. The best part (besides nobody being hurt) is that the store owner apparently fully supported the clerk in defending himself, and the DA declined to press charges. I’m certain that most U.S. cities would jump at the opportunity to persecute an armed thrownback.

    4. Missourah is the South? I’ll be dead in the cold, cold ground before I recognize Missourah.

      1. Well the southern tip of Misery is further south than Kentucky, and a lot of people consider KY to be south.

      2. Well, it’s funny, despite officially being in the North in the Civil War, we were treated like a Southern state, which caused a guerrilla war to start up against the occupation, and led to the western part of the state being ethnically cleansed.

    5. …or a 30-year Army veteran with multiple tours in the middle east.

  13. Dear Magical Internet Voices,

    Today was an exciting day. When my proggie coworker tried to start a political discussion, instead of trying to point out logical flaws in his arguments and trying to explain my positions to him in good faith, I used him as a source of amusement. I started agreeing with him, and tried to find the most fascistic statement he would agree with. By the end of the day, he had agreed that the only rights we have according to the Constitution are the ones explicitly guaranteed therein, and everything else we are allowed to do is privilege granted at the government’s pleasure. He also agreed that technically, the constitution only guarantees blind people the right to own single-shot muskets.

    He seems to think I’m a little edgy, but thoughtful, and is more comfortable around me now that he knows my heart is in the right place.

    It was the best day ever.

    1. “One of Marx’s central insights is that Capitalism is much more than an economic system. It is also a system of power. The secret of capitalism is that political powers have been transformed into economic relations. Capitalists seldom have to use brute force. Capitalists are able to coerce workers through their power to dismiss workers and close plants. Capitalism, therefore, is not simply an economic system; it is also a POLITICAL system, a mode of exercising POWER, and a process for EXPLOITING workers”

      Posted by a very nice Womens Studies PhD candidate I know. I spent all day typing responses and then deleting them, because why lose a friend who never will actually read Marx and know why this is both a tautology and entirely misses the point of Marxist theory.

      1. I had a little outburst with a lefty, anti-war friend a coworker on the way home today. I imagine he’ll be anti-Syria right up until the rubber hits the road, then full war boner.

        I try not to get into it. I realized my only reason for arguing it is to make him feel bad. Even if he realizes the fascistic things, he’ll be fine with them if the right parts of Team say so.

  14. “Nearly all federal programs — and the people they work for — would suffer. We’re talking delayed military pay and veterans’ benefits. Shutting down Head Start centers, and Meals on Wheels programs. Delayed applications for new Social Security enrollments, and loans for students and small businesses.

    One thing is clear: Shutting down the government will hurt the American people?”

    Hmm, let me think about this . . .

    1. 1. Military pay and veteran benefits – why they would be ‘delayed’ is beyond me. The vast majority are on autopay and the only one’s to be affected by this are those whose pay changes during this ‘shutdown’. They should still keep getting paid at the old rate. Even if they don’t, nobody on active duty is going to starve and, quite frankly, if you can’t afford your bills on active duty then get rid of some of those bills and go see the Navy/Marine Corps relief Society (or your service’s equivalent).

      2. Head Start centers and Meals on Wheels? Fuck you if your using Headstart (full disclosure: I was in it and don’t have anything particularly bad to say about it) Headstart is glorified government provided babysitting. It doesn’t provide any academic advantage beyond your first year, maybe two of school.

      Meals on Wheels? Seriously? These people are really going to starve because they have no other way of getting food?

      Delayed applications for SS and student and small business loans? The only downside to this is the applications are only delayed and the programs aren’t being permanently canceled.

      If you can’t afford college on your own dime then go to a trade school. If you can’t get a loan for your business from a bank then its probably gonna fail anyway.

      New SS enrollments? I’m thinking that we’ve got some time to handle the enrollments – babies aren’t gonna be making calls on SS anytime soon.

      1. If you can’t afford college on your own dime then go to a trade school.

        I don’t see anything wrong, per se, with a private institution lending a college loan.

        1. Funny, I thought we were talking about the effects of a *government* shutdown.

      2. Washington Monument gambit, friend. It doesn’t need to make sense; the people at whom it’s aimed are either mindless lefty lapdogs, dumb, or inattentive. Or all three.

        1. I know it is and I can’t understand how anyone would be fooled. She lists some of the *least* important stuff the government does as if the world will end without those services.

          1. I imagine she’s hedging her bets. She recites a litany of noble but inessential services that few would specifically want to see defunded. When the fiscalpocalypse fails to manifest, nobody remembers her lukewarm predictions. If she’d said Social Security checks will bounce, people would remember.

    2. But just remember that the Medicare cuts made by Obamacare are painless! NO services will be reduced. We’ll just spend less for them! I find it amusing that the same logic can’t be applied to the rest of government spending…

  15. The police apparently found no gun when they responded to Zimmerman’s house and Zimmerman offered them tapes from his home security system to prove he never threatened his wife with a gun.

    So the only evidence that Zimmerman threatened his wife is the word of the wife, a woman who has already pleaded guilty to perjury and is currently mired in an emotional divorce. On the other hand, no gun was found when police arrived and Zimmerman was confident enough to provide them with footage in order to prove himself innocent.

    It looks like the media seriously jumped the gun once again.

    1. No, racist Zimmerman had an accomplice *hide* the gun away from the house and Zimmerman had a pre-recorded tapes of an earlier (non-gun) argument with the time stamps modified available and that’s what he gave to the cops.

    2. Oh, but they didn’t arrest him immediately – just like last time – so we all know he is just taking advantage of his white-male privilege again. Will we ever see justice in this world?

    3. Would I be shocked if I learned that the government secretly demanded that the wife fuck over her husband as a condition of a more lenient sentence for perjury? No, other Barry, I would not.

  16. Sneak Peak: RGIII at the half

    1. Even the Redskins’ kicking game looks awful.

      1. Turn around in the 2nd half. Effen Avant. Shifted the momentum that fumble.

    2. Don’t worry, he’ll be sitting on the bench saying that the whole 2nd half if Shanahan isn’t an idiot.

      1. so he’s an idiot.

        1. Is it the 2nd half already? I went to do something interesting.

      2. I don’t want to say it’s over, but..

        1. can we just start the Chargers game early?

  17. Not borrowing doesn’t mean a government shut down. It just means the government is limited to spending “only” the few billion they bring in that day.

    1. It’s neat. They haven’t had to borrow since the debt limit reset in May.

      Or at least not new borrowing, just rolling over debt.

    2. Madness, man! I can’t even keep the monocle farm operating on a few billion a day!

  18. you’d think there would be no need for fearmongering and that the democrats would love a shutdown to demonstrate how indispensable government is, but oddly they’re afraid of that.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.