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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
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The nothing shutdown
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Opinion page editor Rick Holmes and other writers blog about national politics and issues. Holmes & Co. is a Blog for Independent Minds, a place for a free-flowing discussion of policy, news and opinion. This blog is the online cousin of the Opinion ...
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Opinion page editor Rick Holmes and other writers blog about national politics and issues. Holmes & Co. is a Blog for Independent Minds, a place for a free-flowing discussion of policy, news and opinion. This blog is the online cousin of the Opinion section of the MetroWest Daily News in Framingham, Mass. As such, our focus starts there and spreads to include Massachusetts, the nation and the world. Since successful blogs create communities of readers and writers, we hope the \x34& Co.\x34 will also come to include you.
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By Rick Holmes
Oct. 17, 2013 11:16 a.m.



Thus ends the Seinfeld Shutdown. It was about nothing, it solved nothing and it produced nothing.

First it was about repealing Obamacare, or defunding it, or delaying it, or maybe tweaking it just a little. For a heady moment, the hostage-takers figured while we’re at it, let’s demand the Keystone pipeline, changes to Dodd-Frank, malpractice reform, tax reform and easing coal ash regulations.

They thought Obama would cave, but he didn’t. They thought the Senate Democrats would be divided, but they weren’t.  So the tea partiers came away with nothing. They got a promise that income would be verified for those seeking Obamacare subsidies – which was already written into Obamacare. They got the conference committee on the budget Democrats had been seeking – and Republicans resisting – for six months.  Mitch McConnell got a $2 billion water project for Kentucky.  The tea partiers didn’t even get rid of John Boehner.

The federal workers are headed back to work.  Rob won’t have to play ranger at the North Bridge any more.

What did it the shutdown accomplish? Nothing, aside from the value of discrediting Ted Cruz and a few other jokers. What did it cost? Billions. Since the furloughed workers will all be paid, the shutdown cost the government money, especially if you factor in higher interest rates on federal bonds caused by the debt ceiling threat.  Standard & Poor’s estimates the episode will knock .6 percent off fourth quarter GDP, worth about $24 billion in economic activity.

And before Rob comes on to argue this episode enhanced the tea party brand, I’ll note that Cory Booker was elected to the U.S. Senate from New Jersey yesterday, beating a self-identified tea partier by 11 points.

 

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