Lessons from the Sequester and the Shutdown

Thursday, October 10, 2013

At a press conference this week, President Barack Obama imagined the possibility of a government default in personal terms.

"Imagine, in your private life, if you decided that I'm not going to pay my mortgage for a month or two," the president said. "First of all, you're not saving money by not paying your mortgage. You're just a deadbeat. And you can anticipate that will hurt your credit, which means that in addition to the debt collectors calling, you're going to have trouble borrowing in the future."

The truth is that during the Great Recession, a number of Americans had to make tough choices on whether and how to pay their debts, and the best ways to cut household spending, without automatic cuts through sequestration or shutdowns.

As for the federal government, while few economists would argue that automatic spending cuts are the best way to reduce wasteful spending, the cuts are in effect.

Nick Gillespie, editor in chief of Reason.com and Reason TV, and Ryan Alexander, president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, examine what the federal government has learned from the sequester and the shutdown, with regard to government waste versus programs that are worth it.


Ryan Alexander and Nick Gillespie

Produced by:

Jillian Weinberger


T.J. Raphael

Comments [4]

First time unemployment filings up by 66K
Issued mortgages falling
Treasury rates up

The insurrectionists in Congress are acting like the country has completely recovered from the Great Recession. For the broad middle, things are still lousy and these yahoos decide it is time to act up in order to prevent 45 million of us from having to buy insurance in the marketplace.

Gosh, do they have some misplaced priorities.

To paraphrase Dubya, in 390 days these people who shut down the government will hear from us!

Oct. 11 2013 10:16 AM
Ben from Fairfield, CT

Couldn't disagree with Nick Gillespie more. We pay for National Parks through our taxes by choice. We elect people who either hold those values or they don't. The reason we do this is because we treasure certain places and entrust them to the government so keep them the way we'd like to see them when we visit. Why in the world would anyone advocate turning over national park management to private companies is beyond me. Obviously, nothing matters more to corporations than their bottom line, which is to say money coming in. We make the sacrifice of preserving our lands and monuments by paying to entrust them within the national park system. They don't need to "make" anyone money or be self sufficient. Get away from that idea and stop putting dollar signs on everything - the choice has already been made on how we treat our parks.

Oct. 10 2013 03:32 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

Keeping the Debt Ceiling where it is, will allow us to move the ladder towards the center of the room where the chandelier is, and we can give our politicians a rope and tell them to go do the right thing...

But seriously folks, Hockenberry mentioned Zombies in the opening of the segment and he is onto something. If our Scientists created Zombies that all our Americans with guns could shoot in the head, the Debt Ceiling,Budget Sequestration, American Tax Relief Act 2012 could just be put off for at least another decade when we will change the name of the Debt Ceiling to a Zombie Crawl.

My takeaway is: Zombie Crawl

Oct. 10 2013 01:34 PM
S. H. Costanza from Boston

Dear Takeaway,

Today's segment on the effects of the current Federal budget crisis featured two guests, Nick Gillespie of Reason.com and Ryan Alexander of Taxpayers for Common Sense. Both these guests and their associated organizations support privatization-type cuts in government, and oppose maintenance of "commons" functions and property by government.

As such, the segment lacked balance in the ideas and reasoning presented. Instead, there should have been one guest of this perspective and a second guest of equivalent stature and experience, who would have exposed the public to reasoning in support of government help in maintaining public services and properties as "commons".

Oct. 10 2013 11:42 AM

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