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 Politics Archive 2015

A government shutdown hurts the president's party in the long run
by Nathan'ette Burdine: January 3, 2015

The old saying of, “The president gets the credit when the economy is good and he gets the blame when the economy is bad” is also true.

And nowhere is this more evident than the long term effects of a government shutdown on the president’s party.

Whenever the federal government shuts down for an extended period of time, the president’s party loses in the long run.

The public sees the president, not Congress, as the leader of the country who decides how good or bad the economy is.

So whenever the economic winds shift, the public blames the president because he is the man with the power to veto any bill and prevent it from becoming law.

It happened to former President Bill Clinton in 1995 and 1996 and now it’s happening to President Barack Obama.

The 1995 and 1996 shutdowns resulted in approximately 800,000 federal employees being furloughed, and the Republicans getting a majority in Congress and reclaiming the White House in 2000.

President Obama, who is suffering the same fate as Clinton, has seen the 2013 shut down, which cost $24 billion, lead to the Republicans sweeping through the 2014 Mid-Term elections and gaining a wide majority in the House and reclaiming the Senate.

And if history is a measure of anything, the Republicans will maintain control of Congress and reclaim the White House in 2016 just as they did after the 1995 and 1996 shutdowns during Clinton’s tenure.

Republicans know this and that’s why so many of them were singing the “Government Shutdown” song.

Sen. Ted Cruz, who convinced Republicans to support a government shutdown in 2013, saw Republicans staunch opposition to President Obama’s executive order on immigration as a way to rally the troops to close the government again.

He was joined by fellow Tea Partier Rep. Steve King (R-IA) who equated the funding of the president’s immigration plan with supporting a “lawless, unconstitutional act.”

Like Cruz and King, Senate Majority Leader-Elect Mitch McConnell (R-KY) doesn’t like the president’s executive order on immigration.

However, McConnell has also said that he doesn’t support the idea of a government shutdown.

After the 2014 Mid-Term elections, McConnell told reporters that the American people elected the Republican Congress to work.

And he knows that it won’t look good for him to be a Senate majority leader without anyone to lead.

Basically, it just wouldn’t look too good to have a close government and no Congress.

One thing McConnell doesn’t want to happen is for an image like that to remain in the minds of the American people long enough for them to think that maybe they should give the Senate back to the Democrats and allow the Democrats to maintain control of the White House.

So in an effort to avoid a political catastrophe, McConnell decided that he better gather up enough of his party’s troops and join with the Democrats in order to get the $1.1 trillion budget bill through Congress.

Now even if McConnell was not able to get enough Republicans to join with the Democrats to push the bill through, the chances of the Republicans loosing big during the November 8, 2016, elections are very slim.

The Republicans have two important facts working in their favor. First, the Republicans will maintain control of congress.

Due to there not being any House seats up during the next election, the Republicans will maintain their majority in the House.

The Republicans will also maintain their majority in the Senate. In the new Senate, the Republicans will have 54 seats and the Democrats will have 44 seats. The new Senate will also have two Independents.

During the 2016 Elections, the Senate Republicans will have 24 seats to defend compared to the Democrats who will have 10 seats to defend.

The Democrats will be able to take control of the Senate if they are able to win five seats that the Republicans hold.

However, the chances of this occurring are very slim considering the fact that the Democrats must win in Red states where Republicans rode an anti-Obama wave in order to gain a majority control in congress.

The last fact the Republicans have working in their favor is that President Obama is on the same path as Clinton was when the Democrats suffered greatly at the ballot box after the 1995 and 1996 government shutdowns.

Like Clinton, President Obama has problems ranging from his low approval rating, an ornery Speaker of the House, scandals, and a lawsuit.

President Obama’s approval ratings were in the low 40s prior to the 2014 Mid-Term elections.

He’s had to deal with several scandals from the IRS, Secret Service, to Benghazi.

And then there’s Speaker of the House John Boehner who has filed a lawsuit in order to get rid of President Obama’s signature healthcare policy, Obamacare.

Due to all of the negativity surrounding him, President Obama has not gotten much credit for the good he has done in guiding the country through one of the hardest recessions.

His policies have helped to make up for the eight million plus jobs that were lost during the recession.

Since the economic recovery began in 2010, there have been over 9 million jobs added to the economy.

The additional jobs have helped to bring the unemployment rate down from a high of 10% to 5.8%.

A person would think that the improving economy would be enough for a sitting president’s party to maintain its control in Congress.

After all, the voters said that the economy is their number one issue. Yet, this did not result in the Democrats maintaining control of the Senate and gaining additional seats in the House.

Instead, the voters decided to boot the Democrats out and give control of the House and the Senate to the Republican Party.

The main reason for this is that the voters believe that the person in power is the one to blame for their “bad” economic conditions that aren’t on par with the national economy.

Before the 2014 Mid-Term Elections were held, voters said that they believe President Obama’s “lack of leadership” is the main reason why the country is heading in the wrong direction.

The voters’ response is consistent with voters who were polled after the 2014 Mid-Term Elections.

Almost half of those polled said that “life would be “worse” for the younger generation. Over 70% are concerned about the direction the economy is going.

And 34% of those polled said that their vote against the Democrats was a vote against President Obama.

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