Democrats own this shutdown
To the editor:
Contrary to a recent letter (Oct. 10), it is President Obama and Democrats, not Republicans, that have partially shut down the government.
It’s not “outside the Constitution” for the House to not fund programs that have previously been signed into law. Spending bills must originate in the House, which was one of the “checks and balances” built into the Constitution to control spending. Spending is currently excessive so the House was doing just what the framers of the Constitution envisioned in such circumstances.
We would not be in danger of going into “default,” which means failing to make timely interest and principal payments on Treasury obligations, were the president to comply with the duties placed upon him by the 14th Amendment to prioritize such obligations. There is more than enough revenue. The president is threatening, unnecessarily, to default on Treasury obligations in a strategy to extort approval from Congress for new spending, not spending for obligations already incurred, his statements notwithstanding.
The president has gone out of his way to make the so-called “shutdown” unnecessarily painful to effect his extortion. In an interview with CNBC, when given the opportunity to reassure the markets, he did the opposite, irreparably damaging our creditworthiness, especially overseas. He has unnecessarily spent money to send federal officers to blockade private businesses like the Pisgah Inn that could have remained open. He has pulled the plug on federal websites that could have operated unattended. Some “uniter” he turned out to be.
If anyone should be charged with “treason,” as one of your readers suggested, it should be the president, because, unlike House Republicans, he is violating the laws he swore to uphold and done irreparable and serious damage to our country.