Government Shutdown 2013: Obamacare, Debt Ceiling Fight Merges October 1
A government shutdown in 2013 over Obamacare and the debt ceiling is looking to happen on October 1.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Obamacare funding is at the center of the government shutdown threats.
Republicans feel the economic impact of Obamacare is too great and are saying Obamacare must be defunded if the Federal debt ceiling is raised once again. While both the business and individual mandate for Obamacare has been delayed until 2015, much of the Affordable Care Act is still steaming full ahead, with Obamacare state exchange signups beginning this October 1. Some independent studies claim the Affordable Care Act could cause people to leave their jobs, and even Unions are criticizing Obamacare.
The Federal debt ceiling crisis of 2013 will face a $16.94 trillion debt and majority of Americans say the Federal debt ceiling shouldn’t be raised again. Current US Federal spending levels have exceeded $3.5 trillion and the US Federal budget deficit is a little under $800 billion, down from the $1.3 trillion peak. So in some ways a fight over a government shutdown is unavoidable.
Republicans and Democrats are fighting over how to handle the October 1 debt ceiling deadline, with the former wanting to cut spending and the latter wanting to increase taxes. The US Federal tax revenue is almost $2.75 trillion and growing, so with the extra costs of Obamacare Democrats would have to add an additional $1 trillion in taxes to make a marked difference.
The disagreement over the debt ceiling affects many areas of government spending. For example, Social Security disability benefits are running out of money by 2016. Social Security disability claims rose rapidly and 14.5 million Americans are receiving benefits, which means the Social Security program is now running out a deficit instead of being self-sustaining as originally designed. The Congressional Budget Office projects Social Security to cost over one trillion in 2018, which is over one-third of the entire budget. Assuming an average five percent Federal interest rate, Federal interest payments on the national debt will quickly be reaching unsustainable levels and would exceed $1 trillion by itself. The only goods news is that a government shutdown won’t affect Social Security checks.
Government Shutdown 2013: How It Will Affect You
During the 1995 government shutdown hundreds of thousands of government employees simply chose to not show up for work when their salaries were put on hold. President Obama will have some control over how the government shutdown is implemented. The IRS, US mail delivery, “essential” judicial work, and critical government functions will still operate normally under a government shutdown. But Federal contractors will be put on hold, which can affect many private sector jobs. The 2013 government shutdown will likely affect “air traffic control, national security, the handling of hazardous waste, food inspections, border protection, maintenance of the power grid and disaster assistance,” and Federal programs, museums, and parks. Ironically, since much of the implementation of Obamacare is being handled at a state level the Federal government shutdown wouldn’t slow it down much.
But in 1995 the unemployment rate was good. In 2013 we’re faced with an official 7.3 percent unemployment rate and the unofficial unemployment rates that consider all other factors are hovering in the teens. For example, the unemployment rate for those making less than $20,000 has topped 21 percent.
This time around, Americans are not ready for a government shutdown. Yet, at the same time, if Federal spending is not put under control a Federal debt default becomes much more likely, which would hurt the United States credit rating. This would lower the value of the US dollar and the risk of hyperflation becomes likely, which means the cost of everything would double within months or even weeks or days. This final fiscal super cliff would make a government shutdown permanent in certain areas, with the Federal government unable to provide many of its basic functions that US citizens have come to rely upon.
What do you think should be done about the government shutdown in 2013?