A Curious Bystander

Megan Chrisler, Features Editor

While the government shutdown was a huge deal, a more looming issue is the debt ceiling. If the government doesn’t reach an agreement by Oct. 17, the nation will lose its ability to borrow money, a huge part of what keeps our debt-burdened economy afloat.

“[A] default would be unprecedented and has the potential to be catastrophic: credit markets could freeze, the value of the dollar could plummet, and U.S. interest rates could skyrocket, potentially resulting in a financial crisis and recession that could echo the events of 2008 or worse,” the Treasury Department said.

Others have gone even farther than the consequences for America. President Barack Obama has said that, if this crisis occurs, “the whole world will have problems,” and the head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, has said that the debt ceiling issue is a global economic threat.

Spokesmen and women, along with fellow lawmakers have differing opinions on Speaker of the House John Boehner’s reaction; some say he will be willing to bring a resolution to the floor that does not have Republican majority support, and others say that he remains true to his party. Either way, they add, he knows the detrimental consequences of not finding a solution.

“This isn’t just some damn game!” he said to reporters in Washington. His emotional outburst came after reading a Wall Street Journal article that had an anonymous Democrat stating that the administration is winning, and that the length of the shutdown doesn’t matter.

Obama kept face for the Democrats.

“I’m happy to negotiate with you on anything,” he said. “I don’t think any one party has a monopoly on wisdom. But you don’t negotiate by putting a gun to the other person’s head.” He added that he will talk about issues — excepting the debt ceiling — only when the government is reopened.

Republicans will be — and are — blamed for the government shutdown as the instigators of the threat. If no agreement is made by the October deadline, they’re really going to be screwed. Americans will remember this during election season, and we all know what will be in the Democratic campaign ads, ignoring the fact that the Democrats aren’t being as reasonable as they say they are. Although a government shutdown isn’t that big of a deal in the long term, a threat to U.S. credibility is and isn’t worth “the win.” Giving way to Democrats after the shutdown will be a real punch in the face for the Republican party, but this wasn’t a battle they should have fought anyway. If Obamacare won’t work, at this point the American people will have to find it out the hard way — but if Washington can’t get along by mid-October, perhaps the Republicans will win after all.