Let’s Talk About Madness

Congressman Steve Cohen certainly enjoyed scolding Republicans for what he calls “the shutdown madness.” He said in his email report, “This week, our nation turned the page on a sad chapter in its history when President Obama signed a consensus agreement to re-open the federal government and prevent our nation from defaulting on our debts for the first time in history.”

Funny, I didn’t see many people suffering or sad because of the shutdown, did you? Long faces, teary eyes, Memphians collapsing in hunger and despair on the street because of the shutdown; no outbreaks of rabies. Not even on the lapdog media reports.

Anyhow, Cohen continues. “After 16 days of the Tea Party’s unnecessary, reckless, and irresponsible shutdown, Speaker Boehner finally allowed the House to vote to re-open all of the government—something Democrats and even many Republicans had been calling for since the shutdown began.

“I was not pleased with everything that was in the agreement passed by Congress this week, but our nation could not afford another day of the shutdown—a new report shows that the 16 days it lasted cost our country $24 billion dollars. That’s billion—with a “B.” It was too important to put our government back to work for the American people.”

Besides the disingenuousness of Cohen’s “facts” (actually the U.S. has defaulted. Twice. Once in 1812 and more recently in 1979 and the debt cost rose somewhere north of $300 billion the first day after the shutdown ended), he should talk about recklessness and irresponsible behavior.

With a debt of $17 trillion, the U.S. keeps on spending. Rep. Cohen takes credit for some of this in his weekly email. He brags about his weekly grant announcements. Many of them are not even for our own country. These are some he listed last week:

Department of the Interior
National Park Service
American Battlefield Protection Program Battlefield Preservation Project Grants

Department of Labor
OASAM
African Youth Empowerment and Development Initiative Modification 7

Department of Labor
OASAM
Combating Exploitative Child Labor in Morocco Modification 3

Department of Labor
OASAM
Morocco: Increasing Gender Equality in Work Modification 1

USAID
Agency for International Development Ethiopia USAID-Addis Ababa
Reading for Ethiopia’s Achievement Developed (READ) Community Outreach

And there are more, visible here: http://cohen.house.gov/sites/cohen.house.gov/files/13.09.30.pdf

This is why you are tightening your belt, rationing your own spending and purchasing fewer goods. That way you can have tax money when Uncle Sam comes to your door with his ravenous appetite.

How is this helping the U.S. or Americans? It seems mad, reckless and irresponsible. Now tell me why again why the shutdown of more such programs for our bloated government was a catastrophe.

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