I was going to keep silent on the subject of the U.S. Government Shutdown because it is so politically charged. The object of this website is to take a non-political, neutral approach to Criminal Justice law. However, I simply cannot remain silent for although the shutdown is so political in nature, having considered the issues, the government shutdown indeed appears criminal–hence, a subject for this blog.
Why is the United States Shutdown “Criminal?”
Under the USA PATRIOT Act, which many in the current Congress signed into law, any action which poses a threat to human life is deemed a terrorist act. Of course, broadly applied, this element of the Act could apply to something as simple as not wearing a seatbelt or wreckless driving. It could also be applied to anything which could result in economic harm. This is because when the economy suffers, Americans suffer. When the economy struggles, people do not have the income for the daily necessities including health care, food, energy, and clean water. The lack of these essentials place human life at risk, especially those most vunerable and least able to fight back–children.
As of yesterday, South Carolina ran out of money for their WIC program, which provides low-income pregnant women and children with essential food stuffs. Likewise, SNAP benefits, which are in danger of drying up. are Disabled Veterans and their families nationwide have been cut off from benefits, some of which involve much-needed medical care and the head of VA Affairs has informed Congress that November checks will not be issued as of the current situation. Indeed, if the U.S. Government shutdown continues until October 17, 2013, all benefits will cease–the United States of America will effectively cease.
If the situation continues, things will only get worse. America will go the way of the USSR. This is, in short a criminally political act designed to accomplish through fear what cannot be accomplished via the Democratic process–hence, by definition, an act of Terrorism.
What makes this Shutdown Different from 1995?
This government shutdown is very different from the one in 1995. At that time, the shutdown involved balancing the budget, not striving to alter a law which could not be legally and politically altered. Indeed, had the GOP started this shutdown to eliminate waste, I would be on baord–but instead, the party started this to eliminate the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare. This makes the move a direct attack on the Democratic process.
I certainly understand the need to cut waste in Washington, but there is a proper way and this is not it. This method is going to at best, cause some to fail to receive needed benefits, many of which have been earned though service to the nation. At worst, the shutdown will end the nation. In 1995, the economy was bullish and could sustain a shutdown–today, the economy is still weak and unable to sustain attacks. This shutdown is proverbially playing with fire.
All economists have warned of the danger of default and even such luminaries in finance as Warren Buffet have warned us just how dangerous the current government shutdown is. Many in America are listening…the GOP led by John Boener is not. Watch C-SPAN to see just how dysfunctional (and criminal) the current Congress really is. Nothing is getting done toward averting total collapse. It reminds me of how Nero fiddled while Rome burned.
What Will be the Result of Total Shutdown?
The result of total shutdown, which will commence on October 17, 2013 unless Congress grows up, is likely collapse. The value of the Dollar, which is based on faith in the economy of the United States (Nixon pulled us off the Gold standard). If that faith is removed via a default, the standard upon which all monetary systems worldwide are based will errode. When the Dollar plummets in value, monetary systems worldwide will likewise plummet. Collapse Consultants describes this. The book, Survive and Thrive After the Collapse of the Dollar details what can be done to prepare for that possibility, though the time to prepare is frankly erroding fast.
Of course, an irony is that if this criminal act results in the collapse of the dollar, many of the states which attempted to seceed from the Union after the election of President Obama will get their wish–they will have their own countries. Perhaps that is the goal?