Government back in business
October 18th, 2013
01:58 PM ET
6 months ago

Four things we learned from government shutdown

(CNN) - Whew, it's all over, folks - the twin crises of government shutdown and national default countdown. At least for now.

This one wasn't easy. And we'll be talking about it for a while.

That's just one of the four lessons we take away from this calamity in our capital.

FULL STORY

Filed under: Government Shutdown
soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. rs

    The GOP, having blown $24 billion in their little coup attempt have absolutely ZERO credibility on fiscal matters.
    The GOP still wanted to crash the economy and make the U.S. default.
    The GOP still doesn't get that only a tiney minority like their tin-pot radicalism.
    That the GOP isn't very bright, or else they would quit digging the hole.

    October 18, 2013 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  2. Gurgyl

    I do not know four, but one thing is Ted Cruz is either male Sarah Palin or male Michelle Bachman. In his brain just clay from river Mississippi.

    October 18, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  3. Data Driven

    I hate these "x" things we learned from "x" stories. Soooo Politico, CNN.

    "Get style? Your own?" - Yoda

    October 18, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  4. rs

    #5

    #5. Republicans are NOT conservatives.
    ____________
    Here, here!

    October 18, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  5. Thomas

    1. Ted Cruz
    2. Sarah Palin
    3. Michelle Bachman
    4. Louie Gohmert
    5. Randy Paul
    6. Marco Rubio
    7. Rick Perry
    8. Mike Lee
    9. Rick Santorum
    10. Herman Cain ?

    They are the same people and they all want to be President !

    And the are all heavily funded and crazy !

    October 18, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  6. Thomas

    What I learned is there is a moral to GREEN EGGS AN HAM .

    Try it , then decide , you might like affordable health care , just as you might like clean drinking water or air !

    October 18, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "I don't agree with your false equivalence. The Bush administration knew going in that they would create massive deficits. Cheney said deficits don't matter, and Bush made speech to the nation apologizing for turning a surplus into a deficit. They knew going in what the problems were, but chose to ignore them as if they didn't exist.

    Similarly, the future problems should have been properly intuited based on the data at hand in November, 2011. Someone dropped the ball, and failed to pay attention to the real world. It's either a case of severe incompetence, or willful ignorance. No one can be this stupid not to forsee the traffic volume, but then again the Canadian government did fire the same contractor for exactly that a year ago, incompetence."

    You argument is that everyone should have written the law assuming that petulant, childish GOP/Teatroll red state would do everything in their power to destroy it and hamper it's implementation? I'm sorry, Rudy, I usually agree with you, but you're off in left field with these self-righteous declarations that the best, most efficient and effective way to govern and create organizational structures and systems is to build them around the assumption that partisan political shenanigans will result in massive efforts to destroy everything. If that's your baseline assumption for doing anything in gov't, then your gov't is already too broken to do anything at all....and it got that way because the people that assumption applies to brought it there on purpose. As for "properly intuiting" problems, I already explained why that's not enough. "Intuiting" doesn't pay for the best contractors or sufficient employees or force recalcitrant state agencies and insurance companies to cooperate and not drag their feet or refuse to comply with things. "Intuiting" doesn't lengthen rapidly collapsing statutory deadlines and timetables. "Intuiting" doesn't write massive databaseds covering all the services available from every participating insurance company in 26 states nor collect all that data in the first place. The GOP/Teatrolls saw how the ACA was written, how it was funded and where the chinks in the armor were, and they deliberately set out to break it. They contributed greatly to these problems and health care experts and executives across the board all recognize that fact with respect to this website.

    October 18, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    5. That when you say "we learned" it's exclusive of the GOP/Teatrolls, because based on their statements today and yesterday, they appear to have learned nothing and plan on doing this all over again.

    October 18, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  9. Tampa Tim

    Thomas – Rubio probably could not carry FL. He has angered the 4.5 million uninsured Floridians, 6 million seniors and vets, 5 million women who want government out of their bodies, and his vote against opening up government avoiding default has put a few million from the business community looking elsewhere.

    October 18, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  10. The Real Tom Paine

    -Me

    The Real Tom Paine

    -tom l.

    You know what would have been great yesterday during President Obama's campaign rally speech....errrrrrr press briefing?

    When he was talking about how Americans are fed up with Washington DC, it would have been so cool for him to say something like "People are rightfully fed up with Washington and the tone and disfunction. I, as the President, must take some responsibility for that tone. I'm the President. It's my job to bring the parties together. These aren't easy times and we have different opinions but we are all Americans. As the leader of the country, I take some responsibility for the disfunction and I'm going to work to make sure this doesn't continue"

    Instead, he tells us how it's Democrats and "some responsibile Repbulicans".... He just can't stop. Always has to blame
    ********************
    The "Democrats and "some responsible Republicans" are the only ones interested in governing. Cruz is only interested in ideological purity tests and fundraising. Yet again, giving the GOP a pass, you just can't stop, can you?
    _________________________
    No Tom, I don't think he is giving the GOP a pass, I have heard a few GOP (yes only a few) take responsibility and say it was a winless fight but does the president accept any responsibility or any Dem for that matter?? Of course not and never will if history is followed!! Bottom line, it is the president's JOB to LEAD and he is failing miserably at it! I would have MUCH MORE respect for him if he did exactly what Tom L suggested but instead he pushes blame to anyone but where it belongs, himself!!! I am no fan of Clinton but he was at least able to work together and bring the country together, all Obama has done is divide America!
    ***********************
    Clinton never faced people who were so committed to an ideology they were willing to destroy the country. Most of the Young Turks who came in with Gingrich have now either left government, were primaried because they chose compromise over principle, or have been eclipsed by people who complain they lack priciples and passion. Gingrich also based his shutdown over discretionary spending, never the debt ceiling and never did he push teh country towards defaulting. Why give in to people who would tap dance in a mine filed because they disagree with settled law? It was the role of the legislature to present a clean CR, like what Boehner wanted to do originally, and get it done witout drama. The GOP did this to themselves and to the country, not the President. You lack of understanding on the shutdown and everything else is staggering, but sadly becoming more commonplace amongst the Right. Tom L has done nothing but shill for the Right endlessly, never admitting ANY error on the part of the GOP, and displaying a criminal lack of understanding of our history and our government. This was a gross overreach by the GOP, and they will pay for it spades in Novermber of next year regardless of whether they try this tactic again or not. All signs point to Cruz doing it again, so be prepared to see a 60 Democratic seats in teh Senate and a Democratic House.

    October 18, 2013 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  11. Tampa Tim

    With the shutdown, the republican big tent now has lost business (except for Kochs and Fox ) leaving them with only Birthers, baggers, bigots, and domestic terrorists.

    October 18, 2013 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  12. Winston Smith

    Never trust politicians?

    October 18, 2013 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  13. Malory Archer

    I learned that the tighty righties get really, REALLY ugly when they don't "get their way".

    October 18, 2013 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  14. Malory Archer

    Ed

    Republicans are more intolerant of diversity in their party than are democrats. However, democrats will not support someone like Joe Liberman who actually supported the Republican candidate for president (John McCain)–that's just too much diversity for democrats.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    No, we wouldn't support him because after he became an independent he chose to caucus with the rethugs while throwing brickbats at his former party.

    October 18, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC

    Sniffit wrote:

    You argument is that everyone should have written the law assuming that petulant, childish GOP/Teatroll red state would do everything in their power to destroy it and hamper it's implementation? I'm sorry, Rudy, I usually agree with you, but you're off in left field with these self-righteous declarations that the best, most efficient and effective way to govern and create organizational structures and systems is to build them around the assumption that partisan political shenanigans will result in massive efforts to destroy everything.
    -------------------------
    The original question was *when* was a contract signed to build the web site. You're speaking of how the law was written, and I'm comdemning the someone who failed to adapt and consider the changing political climate

    The facts on the ground in November 2011 were very different from the facts on the ground in December 2009, when the first vote on health care reform was taken. By the time the contract was signed to build a web site, most all of the current state governers had been elected, and the Republicans in the bunch had already made their intentions well known. They had campaigned on them.

    Any engineer who does not design for the worst case scenario is not a good engineer. Besides, I keep hearing reports that they used outdated technology. I don't know if that means hardware, software, or both.

    October 18, 2013 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  16. Tony

    One thing we have learned from the government shutdown: Republican donors need to defund the Tea Party, or the 2014 election will induce a GOP shutdown.

    October 18, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  17. Mark in Seattle

    To much to ask, I'm sure. But I would hope that voters in states with knuckle dragging t-baggers in office learned that they need to vote these idiots out.

    October 18, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  18. Tom

    I realize there's a lot of Republican breast pounding right now declaring to fight on, but it remains to be seen how many Republicans are going to be willing to sign on for an other to-the-death budget battle in a few weeks.

    October 18, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    Sniffit wrote:

    ... ... If that's your baseline assumption for doing anything in gov't, then your gov't is already too broken to do anything at all....and it got that way because the people that assumption applies to brought it there on purpose. As for "properly intuiting" problems, I already explained why that's not enough. "Intuiting" doesn't pay for the best contractors or sufficient employees or force recalcitrant state agencies and insurance companies to cooperate and not drag their feet or refuse to comply with things. "Intuiting" doesn't lengthen rapidly collapsing statutory deadlines and timetables. ... ...
    -----------------------
    If you think that I am blaming the government, then you're wrong. I blame the apparently incompetnent contractor, along with whomever wrote the specifications that they were following. I cannot accept that by the time the contract was signed in November 2011, that no one realized that red states would try to revolt.

    McConnell was already on record for two years by that time for his infamous "one term president" remark. And then there are such things as change orders, which they have apparently used to a great extent. I see the problems with the site as two-fold: design goals, and design archtecture. Scalability is far too easily accomplished with today's hardware and software.

    I reject the "stuff happens" rationale in this case. The traffic problems should have been caught with proper testihg, which was obviously not performed, or executed very poorly. I would compare this to building a bridge across a river, and by the time the bridge actually opens it is too small because nobody noticed the giant sports complex that was being built at the same time on one side of the bridge.

    October 18, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    "The facts on the ground in November 2011 were very different from the facts on the ground in December 2009"

    Precisely. You admit that but are somehow missing the point, Rudy: Because the "facts on the ground" were what they were when the ACA was written, certain solutions were made either impossible or more difficult by its statutory structure IF it later became faced with a situation where its fundamental underlying premises were deliberately dismantled by a concerted effort to dismantle them. There wasn't the flexibility you presume to have existed. The funding was a number in black and white. The general fund from which additional funding could be pulled wasn't meant just for the website. The procedures and powers and authorities were all in black and white. This is true of any legislation or statutory framework or organizational structure. If someone decides that they want to break it, they can create situations that stress and/or break it, and the proper response frequently requires amending and modifying the law itself to accommodate the necessary solution. Flexibility is a necessity in the context of problem solving. That option and that flexibility was taken off the table by the GOP/Teatrolls' blood oath never to help implement or fix anything about the ACA. If you think that the sky was the limit and that any option under the sun was available to address the issues created, then you're not being realistic. There was already a framework, duties in place, deadlines written, limited funding available, all sorts of contract bidding and other procedures in place and, in some cases, already past and done and not able to be repeated, etc. The ACA, like any statutory schema, limited the realm of possible solutions. Moreover, there's only so much flexibility afforded the executive branch in enforcing the law per Heckler v. Chaney.

    Also, keep in mind that the election happened AFTER the ACA was enacted, not vice versa. A lot was "written in stone" by the time we had the new batch of idiots from November 2010 all announcing their intentions to break this part of gov't just to prove it is broken.

    October 18, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  21. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    The original question was *when* was a contract signed to build the web site. You're speaking of how the law was written, and I'm comdemning the someone who failed to adapt and consider the changing political climate

    Any engineer who does not design for the worst case scenario is not a good engineer.
    -------------------------------------------------
    The site should've been created to accomodate a much larger number than was EXPECTED to log in.
    Contingency plan.
    It appears Sniffit that whoever built the website did a piss poor job of that.
    As you well know I hold both you and Rudy in very high regard, but Rudy's got this one. They botched it up by not taking into account the fact that more people than they expected would log in. Now they need to fix it.
    NO Congressional hearings necessary!

    October 18, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    "Any engineer who does not design for the worst case scenario is not a good engineer."

    Engineers do not work under the assumption that "worst case scenario" is defined as a deliberate, concerted effort to break their products. Cars are still subject to people sticking a cloth in the gas tank and lighting it on fire or to someone deliberately driving it into a tree. Windows get baseballs through them or break if you slam them. You cannot cover all possibilities and the further afield you go, the more cost and waste you introduce. The premise has to be that end users are rational not an assumption that they will behave irrationally or in a deliberately destructive manner. Otherwise, there's no end to it.

    "I keep hearing reports that they used outdated technology. I don't know if that means hardware, software, or both."

    If true, then again, the ACA limited the solution as a result of the budget it made available. There was no way to increase it or make more funds available because the GOP/Teatrolls would have blocked it...laughing the whole time that they made it necessary to increase the budget and then blocked it being increased. Did they prefer a certain technology but settle for less due to the budget constraints introduced by the project becoming far larger than reasonably anticipated? Probably. It's a legit question for the hearings. But it won't get asked. These hearings are for messaging what the GOP/Teatrolls have already decided, not getting answers to legitimate questions in order to understand the problems and craft a solution for them. No no...this is entirely about trying to justify NOT solving any problems.

    October 18, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  23. w l jones

    Most of these con.......tive like returning from space travel.
    1. They can^t raise there hand without premission from their pack. 2. it^s impossible for them walk alone without help. 3. To dizzy think for themself. 4. Four have slur speach if caught they always say i did not say that. Bless them.

    October 18, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    "Any engineer who does not design for the worst case scenario is not a good engineer."

    Engineers do not work under the assumption that "worst case scenario" is defined as a deliberate, concerted effort to break their products. Cars are still subject to people sticking a cloth in the gas tank and lighting it on fire or to someone deliberately driving it into a tree without their belt on. Windows get baseballs through them or break if you slam them. You cannot cover all possibilities and the further afield you go, the more cost and waste you introduce. The premise has to be that end users are rational, not an assumption that they will behave 100% irrationally or in a deliberately destructive manner.

    October 18, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  25. Gunderson

    What Say?,
    1. Inmates still running asylum.
    2. Where get Free Lunch.
    3. Liberal's Promise Free Lunch.
    4. Conservatives say you want Free Lunch, No can do.
    5. People in Hell want Ice Water. That on order.

    October 18, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
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