Funding for the federal government will only last three more days, and leaders of both parties say they have no interest in working out a stop-gap measure for another week or two. "Secret negotiations led by Joe Biden" — which in the late '70s, at least, was Capitol Police code for late night swingers' parties in the Congressional Gym — haven't proven to be very successful. Will these dumpheads ever agree on a compromise to their $30-$60 billion in harsh social services cuts that won't have any significant effect on budgets during a time with massive unemployment and suffering and death everywhere?
We won't see that agreement today, at least. Even our post-partisan, post-racial, and post-good president wasn't able to knock these heads into line today, according to the very biased Speaker John Boehner. From the Washington Post:
President Obama and Republican congressional leaders failed to reach agreement on a budget deal Tuesday at a White House meeting aimed at averting a federal government shutdown, according to the office of the GOP House speaker. [...]
After the meeting, Boehner's office suggested that Democrats were trying to put him "in a box" on spending levels. "As he has said for the past week, the speaker reminded those present that there has never been an agreement on $33 billion as an acceptable level of spending cuts, and that $33 billion in cuts is not enough, particularly when it is achieved in large part through budget gimmicks," Boehner's office said.
It's hard to tell what percentage of the news about "talks breaking down" is just posturing to satisfy the warrior mentality in a certain party's base. It wouldn't be surprising to learn that they've reached a basic deal already, and Boehner is just trying to show the Tea Party folks that he's not caving. The Democrats will throw a few billion more in cuts at the last minute, and they'll pass it.
Since shutdown contingency plans are in a holding pattern at government agencies and those directly dependent on the flow of federal cash, we'd like to hear from readers who could be directly affected by a temporary shutdown. If you're a federal employee or have a federal contract/benefit/mole/etc., what are your bosses telling you to prepare for? What would life be like in the event of a shutdown? Share your stories of impending horror and/or elation with firstname.lastname@example.org, please!
[Image via AP]