SURVEY: Who Is Most to Blame for the Government Shutdown?

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

This morning Americans awoke to find that they now have more in common with Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo—we're a nation without a functioning government.

While those places have been victims of violence, war and poverty, the government-free condition of the United States is completely self inflicted: America has shut down its own government over a disagreement that couldn't be resolved by midnight.

Who is to blame: The executive or legislative branches, or both? Take our survey here.

Don't forget to also check out our government shutdown playlist. As we all wait, listen to some tunes that represent the gridlock. To share your own shutdown song leave a comment here, tweet us @TheTakeaway or leave a comment on Facebook.


T.J. Raphael

Comments [23]

History for the shutdown:

Oct. 04 2013 02:41 PM
Dave Posmontier from South East PA

There are people who blame the government in general for the shutdown, implying that both political parties are at fault for being inflexible and mean. HOGWASH! Anyone who has been following the facts in this story knows that the Republican party has been hijacked by the extreme right wing tea party and is making ridiculous demands which are unprecedented in the modern history of Congress. To shut down the government because Obama wont overturn a 3 year old aw which was passed by Congress, signed by the Prez, approved by the Supreme Court and by voters, is tantamount to political terrorism. This false equivalence of blame is not only false but hurts our democracy and makes a mockery out of objective reporting.....

Oct. 04 2013 01:28 PM

legislative branches

Oct. 04 2013 11:14 AM
Lori J. from Clearwater, fl

It is so sad to see people consumed with blame and name calling. We are afraid to go to the doctor, or to be able to speak our minds in our own sorroundings because we are concerned with all the people with judgment and hate. Please let's worry about solutions. Solutions of life. To start, with the very basic as it is the subject of health. Let's make it work. Let's try for all of us. Stop being consumed with our own hates and blames. Stop! Stop! Let's do what is right for you, for your brother, your parents, your children, your friends, your neighbors, the old man that can not help himself. We are Americans the most amazing country on earth.

Oct. 02 2013 10:39 PM
Vik from Portland, OR

Al-Qaeda must love the Republicans. They could not have engineered a better legal terrorist act against the USA, putting fear into millions of Americans who have to struggle to pay for food, mortgages and keep their families afloat.

Oct. 02 2013 04:59 PM
kat tappan

I'm tired of it all but stopped paying Congress and the Senate they're the ones you should be non essential

Oct. 02 2013 03:48 PM
David from San Francisco

I ought to be possible for an overwhelming majority (upwards of 70%) of Americans at the national level to be able to impeach a member of Congress who they feel is damaging the country, even though that member of Congress is backed by voters in his/her state or district.

Oct. 02 2013 03:26 PM
Maria Wagner from Minneapolis

Congress forced this government shutdown knowing Full well that their paychecks & healthcare would Not be affected. Congress IS a Culture of Entitlement! They enjoy Free Cadillac Healthcare & a sallary of $174, 000 to $193, 000. But they would Deny the Taxpayer Americans Affordable Healthcare?! They say they don't want to create a culture of entitlement. I say to congress: Look in the mirror! It's too late. You ARE what you profess to hate! I say we need to Defund Congressional ongoing paychecks and force them to buy their own healthcare!

Oct. 02 2013 02:36 PM

Micki from Texas:

The shoe has never been on the other foot, and never will be. The Democrats don't do this, pure and simple.

Oct. 02 2013 02:29 PM
Craig from Tampa FL

Just another round of the partisan bickering that has been going on for ages. I've heard ENOUGH! We elect these people to run our government and to find solutions to the problems that face a diverse population. The old saying: "you can't please all the people all the time" comes to mind. Isn't that why we put them in Washington? find the solutions that will work for the majority? I agree that there are people out there without health care and they should get health care but the annual cost increases of my company program and the continuing erosion in benefits isn't working either. Let's quit pointing fingers start talking about fixing the issues. And that includes balancing the budget and stopping the borrowing and pay off our debts. I understand that might mean a reduction in programs as well as a tax increase to get all that done.

Oct. 02 2013 02:29 PM
Derek Ryter

I am so hurt by people mistakenly using classification as "nonessential" to reinforce their disdain for government. I am a Department of Interior scientist who does work for states to help them manage water that they do not have the resources to do. Our work is much needed, but we don't have the keys to a nuclear missile or spy on our countrymen, so we are not classified as essential. Resource managers in many states will suffer. I also work with Native American tribes, and they will not have our services. I work damn hard for half the pay I could make in private industry, have been under a pay freeze for three years, and this whole mess and the venom makes me sick.

Oct. 02 2013 02:24 PM

The republicans are going to lose this battle in the end. Where they are going to really lose is in the mid-term elections. We will remember this.

Oct. 02 2013 02:13 PM
Lisa from MO

Well, if the shoe was on the other foot, then we would blame the Democrats. But it's not.

Oct. 02 2013 12:31 PM
Tamara Lamb-Ghenee from Texas

It would be great if people would stop focusing on the superficial aspects of this and pay attention to really important things. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Labor Wage and Income Office, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Health...and many other vital government offices that provide for the safety and protection of American citizens are barely functioning right now. During the 1995-6 shut down, OSHA was only able to respond to "imminent death" or actual death incidents. While the National Park Service being closed is inconvenient, we should be more worried about other vital functions that are NOT functioning.

Oct. 02 2013 12:30 PM
Matt from Eugene, Oregon

Why do we elect so many politicians who don't believe in government? Politicians who don't expect government to work? Politicians who don't expect government to affect positive change? And why are we shocked when they prove their point?

Oct. 02 2013 12:27 PM
Micki from Texas

What if the shoe were on the other foot and the Democrats were holding up the funding for something they really wanted, say gun registration and/or background checks. How would that play out? Of course, this is the republicans' fault.

Oct. 02 2013 12:25 PM

re cpklapper - I appreciate your comment. I agree that members of Congress should "represent their constituents" but I think that there is also a responsibility to govern. While one interpretation of why they were elected is "to repeal Obamacare" another interpretation may be they were elected to "push back but ultimately find a reasonable middle ground especially since any major, state wide or nation wide toss up election was won by Democrats in 2012."

I don't think anybody is "pouting" or "throwing a tantrum" over the way the House is behaving. Well, maybe Jeff Flake, Peter King, John McCain and other REPUBLICANS are because they, like the American Public, realize how flawed and short-sighted this "plan" is. Republicans will take the full blame for the shutdown and eventually will cave. Failure to do so will mean they will be out of a job in no time.

Oct. 02 2013 10:47 AM
Sharon Ginnus from Jay, NY

Solution: No second terms for anyone.
Lengthen the terms
Political campaigns should be paid by we the people with a flat rate for all candidates.
Limit campaigns to three months.
All elected servants of the people in Washington should be paid only when they are in Washington. They should receive only health insurance as a perk. Since they will never be permitted to run again, there is no need to go home when they should be working.

Oct. 02 2013 09:26 AM

I hope this "Survey" is just one of many to come in the future. Public radio surveys always illuminate how far left public radio audiences are, in comparison to the rest of the country.

So in this case, we see that more than 83% of The Takeaway's audience blames Republicans. I have the feeling that more than 83% of The Takeaway's audience voted for Obama. And as we know from the surveys of its own staff in presidential years, their staff (as well as The Takeaway's?) voted for Obama with about a 90% majority.

So by all means; more polls, please.

Oct. 02 2013 08:33 AM
Sal from CT

1. We have no insurance program, go with it fix what it lacks and improve what works to make it better.
2. We need something, this is a first and we should try it and at least be able to say we tried
3. My mind is made up - I cannot ever vote for GOP! ever! This is something expected from another world not the USA

Oct. 01 2013 09:36 PM

I have heard a lot of nonsense about what is supposedly the job of Congress. You all need to take a look at the Constitution some day! The job of Representatives is to represent their constituents, not Harry Reid's constituents, not the previous Congress, not the legacy of any President, just their own constituents. If their constituents voted them into office to repeal Obamacare then, by golly, it is their job to repeal Obamacare. In doing this job, their job, it is their responsibility to use every legislative trick and stratagem they can to repeal Obamacare, just as it was Harry Reid's job to use every legislative trick and stratagem he could to pass the darn thing in the first place. Harry Reid, as I recall, did an excellent job at that time. He should be applauding the Tea Party Republicans for doing as excellent a job.

The other thing I have heard is that it is supposedly the job of Congress to pass a budget. Really? Show me where the word "budget" even appears in the Constitution. I will save you some time; it isn't there! It does say that no money is to be drawn from the Treasury without an appropriation made by Law. So it is the job of the Treasury to wait for a law appropriating money for X before spending any money on X, even if there is another law saying X is the law of the land. Congress is under no obligation to ever pass such a law, to ever put X into practice or to appropriate enough money to appoint the implementation of X with the finish furnishings and kickbacks. Congress might be a newer one than passed X, or Congress might think X is a good idea for the President to take up as a hobby, but not worth the people's money. So here, too, Congress is doing their job.

The Democrats might not like how the House is doing its job, but it is not their job to like it, or to pout about or to throw a full-out tantrum over it. One indeed might argue that it ought to be the job of Senators not to throw a hissy-fit every time they don't get their way. Have some decorum, please!

Oct. 01 2013 08:55 PM

Your mail isn't sitting anywhere, Mr. Information. The post office is up and running as usual, unaffected by the shutdown. And if you knew anything about socialism, which you patently do not, you wouldn't connect Barack Obama with it. The really cool thing about this shutdown is exactly the same as happened when the Republicans engineered a shutdown under Bill Clinton. It ended up boomeranging and biting them very hard on the ass. Expect something similar this time.

Oct. 01 2013 08:44 PM
Jim L from Sunderland ma

Obama is an ignorant socialist, he is still blaming Bush because he has no clue. He is too blame because he is in the white-house and better start leading. He has fooled the foolish and now cant figure it all out. Watch him squirm, he lives in fear of O'Reilley, Hannity and of course Rush. Watching him sweat and look the fool is worth the fed being closed and my mail sitting.

Oct. 01 2013 08:33 PM

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