Americans have been having a disagreement, since the beginning of the country about Government and its size and impact on the citizens. There are those who resist the idea of a central Government. There are those who see the good a central Government can do and support a strong central Government. This argument is between the rural and urban, those who believe that a strong State Government is better than a strong Federal Government and those who don’t.
This argument came to a boil in the 1860’s and culminated in our Civil War. It was clear the majority of States were moving to abolish the institution of slavery and the minority, mostly southern states, were going to be forced to end slavery which was the economic foundation for the southern economy.
The Southern States threatened succession. Republicans led by Lincoln would not accept the succession of the southern states and our Civil War nightmare lasted 4 years. The argument was settled. The Federal Government, in national matters would be dominate. The Constitution was amended and slavery was ended. Even after thousands of deaths and the wreck of the South though, many still disagreed with the outcome of the war.
Today we are engaged in a political war that is attempting to refight the Civil War of 150 years ago. The political parties of that Civil War have changed names but the players are the same. Those who believe we would be better off with a strong Federal Government and those who do not believe in a Federal Government at all! With their opposition to the Voter Rights Act supported by President Lyndon Johnson, the Democratic South switched parties and became Republican. Republicans who supported the Act became Democrats and our current political landscape was created out of opposition to African Americans exercising their voting rights.
Republicans are making the fight this time supposedly over a law that passed both houses and was signed by the President that will provide Health Insurance for all our citizens. The Affordable Care Act is an idea that was proposed by Republicans as a counter to the more affordable ‘single payer’ plan. Republicans want to keep health insurance in the realm of profitable business as opposed to the Government plan supported by the Democrats. As soon as the Democrats agreed to the Republican plan, a plan instituted in Massachusetts by then Republican Governor Mitt Romney with great success, Republicans immediately opposed their own plan. Republicans are using their opposition to the Affordable Care Act to push their overall plan of getting rid of the Federal Government all together. Republicans have a plan they call starve the beast. Defund Government until it is so small you could, as one Republican put it, drown it in the bathtub! They want to destroy the Union nothing less! I wonder, if they win and get rid of the Federal Government will they then go after State Government?
We can thank Reagan for a lot of this current crap. His admonishment that Government is the problem is the most destructive statement in the history of the Nation. Seeing as Reagan was President of the Federal Government and he raised the Debt Limit ten times, does he then see himself as the problem? These people have confused religion with government. You hold to your faith and die for your religion. You compromise in government to do what's best for the country. These folks are willing to martyr the country rather than accept their own compromise.
Republicans knew that trying to defund a law already passed and in its third year of rollout would not fly! They knew that the funding of the Act could not be stopped with this tactic yet they have done it anyway. Now they are using the need to raise the debt limit as another threat to get what the voters wouldn’t give them. Take a look at what is happening to the bond markets already and the fact that the Heritage Foundation and other Koch funded anti Affordable Care Act entities are backing off. The Kochs put out a statement that they were not responsible and did not call for the shutdown and are calling for raising the debt limit. Funny when you realize that the Kochs spent millions pushing the agenda of the radical right! Seems Wall Street has started paying attention.
One has to wonder, if providing for the welfare of the citizens is so destructive, how come most of the modern democracies rate higher in all the categories used to rate how good a democracy is? Health care, welfare, social security, modern transit systems, roads and infrastructure, programs for new families and mothers, education thru college and much more, all of these things and their wealthy citizens are still getting rich!
We can have all of that and more and all we have to do is tax the richest fairly, Legislate a living wage for 40 hours a week of work and shift the wealth back to the middle class where it will really be spent and will really create jobs!