Republicans force shutdown

There are two basic things to remember about the now imminent government shutdown. First, this is what Republicans said they wanted–(via KD):

In the meantime, Republicans face a listless summer, with little appetite for compromise but no leverage to shape an agreement. Without that leverage, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Tuesday, there is no point in opening formal budget negotiations between the House and the Senate, because Democrats have no reason to consider the kind of far-reaching changes to Medicare and the U.S. tax code that Republicans see as fundamental building blocks of a deal.

“The debt limit is the backstop,” Ryan said before taking the stage at a debt summit organized by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation in Washington. “I’d like to go through regular order and get something done sooner rather than later. But we need to get a down payment on the debt. We need entitlement reform. We’re very serious about tax reform because we think that’s critical to economic growth and job creation. Those are the things we want to talk about.”

Democrats are urging Republicans to initiate talks well before the next deadline and at last resolve the long-standing dispute over whether to tame the debt solely by cutting spending, as Republicans demand, or also by raising taxes on the wealthy, as Obama insists.

They can’t get what they want in negotiations, so they’re using the threat of a shutdown to try to get it–it’s part of their strategy, so it’s on them if there’s a shutdown.

Second, remember that the main thing that Republicans want to accomplish is to get rid of Obamacare. They have never given a real replacement (Obamacare is roughly the plan that Republicans put forward as an alternate to Clinton’s plan), so this means that they are fighting to make sure that tens of millions of Americans do not get health insurance. And they’re willing to shut down the government to do it.

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