April 08, 2011

110407-newtRepublicans in the U.S. House are threatening to shut down the federal government if Democrats don’t concede to their proposals to slash critical public services. Perhaps members of the GOP have short memories and can’t recall just how much voters disliked the similar game of chicken they played during the winter of 1995/96. Or maybe this is just part of their ongoing effort to turn back the clock and erase decades of American progress.

We know that a federal government shutdown would lead to the furlough of hundreds of thousands of federal workers and the cancellation of services deemed “non-essential.” But the impact on the economy could go even further if the shutdown lasts for more than a few days.

State and local budgets would be put under even greater stress. Uncertainty caused by the government’s inability to regulate financial markets or even to provide critical data that allows the housing market to operate could bring our fragile economy recovery to a grinding halt.

The new House leaders are so committed to protecting tax breaks for their corporate donors that they are about to shut down the federal government rather than compromise. Instead, they are demanding a budget that would destroy public services, jobs, K-12 schools, public safety and more.

With so much at stake in this debate, it is time to come together to find real solutions that allow us to move forward.

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