Here’s Why Elizabeth Warren Isn’t Celebrating the End of the Government Shutdown

elizabeth-warren1I absolutely love Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.  While Republicans like Ted Cruz claim to be “outsiders” bucking the Washington establishment, Elizabeth Warren actually is an outsider bucking the Washington establishment.

While Ted Cruz uses his position as United States Senator to set up his 2016 presidential run, Elizabeth Warren continues to use common sense in politics.  Something most Americans aren’t used to seeing.

The latest example of this was her commentary following the end of the ridiculous government shutdown that spanned over two weeks.

Here’s the email she sent following the end of the shutdown:

I’m glad that the government shutdown has ended, and I’m relieved that we didn’t default on our debt.

But I want to be clear: I am NOT celebrating tonight.

Yes, we prevented an economic catastrophe that would have put a huge hole in our fragile economic recovery. But the reason we were in this mess in the first place is that a reckless faction in Congress took the government and the economy hostage for no good purpose and to no productive end.

According to the S&P index, the government shutdown had delivered a powerful blow to the U.S. economy. By their estimates, $24 billion has been flushed down the drain for a completely unnecessary political stunt.

$24 billion dollars. How many children could have been back in Head Start classes? How many seniors could have had a hot lunch through Meals on Wheels? How many scientists could have gotten their research funded? How many bridges could have been repaired and trains upgraded?

The Republicans keep saying, “Leave the sequester in place and cut all those budgets.” They keep trying to cut funding for the things that would help us build a future. But they are ready to flush away $24 billion on a political stunt.

So I’m relieved, but I’m also pretty angry.

We have serious problems that need to be fixed, and we have hard choices to make about taxes and spending. I hope we never see our country flush money away like this again. Not ever.

It’s time for the hostage taking to end. It’s time for every one of us to say, “No more.”

I couldn’t have said it any better myself.

Think about that for a moment.  We wasted $24 billion on a GOP political stunt.  And make no mistake, that’s all this shutdown was.  Republicans knew from the beginning they were never going to defund “Obamacare,” and at the end of the day the health care law was more or less untouched.

We wasted $24 billion on a shutdown John Boehner could have prevented had he just let the House vote on the original resolution the Senate sent to the House before the government closed.

And the worst part is, the deal was only a temporary fix, and some Republicans are already talking about the fact that they’re not afraid to shut the government down again in just a few weeks.  For what purpose and goal?  Who the hell knows.  They didn’t have a feasible one this time, why would they need one the next time?

But Warren’s email puts perfectly into words my exact feelings about this whole ordeal.  Republicans talked a lot about the veterans memorials being closed, but how many veterans could we have helped with $24 billion?

Granted, in the grand scheme of our deficits, budgets and our national debt $24 billion seems like a drop in the bucket.  But it’s still a lot of money to just waste for a pointless political stunt that accomplished nothing.  Well, nothing except solidifying Ted Cruz’s place as the top tea party darling of the Republican party.

After lives were devastated, our country was embarrassed globally and $24 billion was wasted—our government was finally reopened.

However, as Senator Warren said, our government reopening shouldn’t be cause for celebration.

Because it should have never been closed in the first place.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • Mike Williams

    Ted Cruz was born to a US citizen and a Cuban citizen. In Canada.
    Is he even qualified by our constitution? He is Canadian by birth, Cuban by birth, and an American by birth. He does hold dual citizenship.
    Here is the birther issue again…
    However this time US soil is not involved.

    • tnlib

      Unfortunately, he is “qualified” as far as where and to whom he was born. I don’t believe he’s going anywhere though.

      • Dave Brown

        That would be the nail in the coffin!

      • Mike Williams

        Well damn, that truly sucks… A Canadian Communist leading Democracy…the GOP definitely has the pulse of the people.

    • Pipercat

      Beer and donuts, for everybody!!!

      • Robert Pedrin

        ..and yet not one birther “show me your birth certificate” comments will appear when Cruz tries to run. POOF! Instant amnesia. All of a sudden, it’ll be perfectly ok for him.

      • Lisa

        One already commented “well, I don’t really consider Canada a foreign land”!!!! That get to pick and choose “acceptable” countries you can be from. Just like they tried to pick & choose what parts of government stayed open.

      • Mike Williams

        noone tell cruz canada doesn’t accept over the air statements…there is a form he must file. and then it must be approved.

      • Anthonij

        If I skip the donuts, may I just have more beer? 😉

      • Mike Williams

        well canukie beer is stronger…a good thing?

      • Pipercat

        Sure is, eh!

    • Anthonij

      Ah, mayo on fries… the Belgian way… didn’t know that was popular in Canada as well… another thing to like about that fine country… 😉

      Reminds me of one of the supremely embarassing moments in US history involving fried potatoes… When the moron Republicans, upset that the French strongly advised us against going into a morally reprehensible, militarily hopeless and financially disastrous war in Iraq, urged us to no longer use the term ‘french fries’ but instead to say ‘freedom fries’…

      That’s what passes for patriotism and statesmanship among the Republicans… lol

      • loric

        We don’t put mayo on our fries. We put cheese curds and gravy. 😉

      • Anthonij

        Bien sûr, poutine! As I said, I hadn’t heard of mayo on fries being popular in Canada… but maybe it should be!

      • Mike Williams

        I sit corrected, I was thinking of the other French speaking country. Please accept my deepest apologies.

      • Mike Williams

        I have stated before stamp something as patriotic, or freedom, or anything to do with independence from tyranny or communism and the too lazy lazy to educate will jump and slurp up that slop…Freedom fries…Freedom toast, Freedom Dip sandwich, Paris Freedom is nice this time of year…Then bitch when the NSA, CIA, FBI, CTA, etc etc etc Listen in every time they make a phone call to known terrorists, drug dealers, violent criminals or people who are being investigated for child porn, human trafficking or any number other reasons. Shit there are immigrants doing it the right way that know more US history than some people who have earned it by being a lucky sperm and egg combination in the right place at the right time.

        Anyway I thought we should have finished the job back in 1990.

      • cowcharge

        Sort of like calling something the “affordable care act” when it does less than nothing to make care affordable.

      • jp7654324

        Or calling something the Clear Skies Act when it actually increases the amount of pollution in the air.

      • Mike Williams


      • Mike Williams

        Oh, you mean like making insurance companies spend at least 80% of the collected premiums on actual health care instead of administration costs like ceo bonuses?
        Because if they don’t they have to give that money back to you. and I mean YOU. So if your a healthy sort you don’t pay as much. So how exactly is that not making health care more affordable to you?

        There is also the little things like making everyone insured. How. If you couldn’t afford insurance in the past and were not eligible for medicare or medicaid or state programs. We’ll now there is a little thing called the exchange that helps you get insurance that is affordable and your cost is based on your income and supplemented by the fed. That won’t affect you though right? You’ve had insurance through your company. Paid a small premium from each check? Used to be there was a benefit cap. The insurance company could drop you, not accept you, there were limits to how much coverage. Such as 10k for any illness. 100k for a lifetime…That’s everything.
        If you get sick enough and have to spend one night in a hospital you could reach that 10k in a matter of hours. guess who gets the rest of the bill.

        Well, not anymore.

        Why are gop so against the Law?
        Imagine a law that removed billions of dollars from the pockets of their supporters, or themselves.
        Imagine a law that was conceived in the GOP camp and then was put to use by the DEMs.

        This law was passed by the 111th congress.
        Sure they will tell you that dems controlled the congress…well then why did 147 House republicans vote for the bill? Including John Boehner and Michelle Bachmann? Why would they do such a thing if it was such a terrible law?

        I suspect because they thought they would win in 2012, and just remove it from the books, and go back to un-regulating businesses that paid them to deregulate them or at least make so they could self-regulate. When it works it’s a good idea.
        Can someone give me a list of deregulated businesses that self-regulate that also don’t create a huge problem the rest of the world must live with?
        Any sector…energy, banking…transportation, health care? Just one will do… Logging perhaps? maybe but not always… How’s it going in brazil with those unregulated logging companies from the US?

        My point is, they don’t like it because it takes dollars out of their pockets.

      • cowcharge

        So tell me, how does it make health care affordable for all those millions of people who used to be at least able to survive on their benefit-less part-time jobs when they could get 36-40 hrs/wk, who now, because of obysmalcare, must “survive” on 28 hrs/wk, and still without benefits? And for people who get benefits with part-time jobs, like Home Depot employees, please explain how they pay for those bennies on 28 hrs/wk? Get second (or third) jobs just to pay for the bennies of their first job?

        We will NEVER have health care reform as long as the insurance industry is in the way.

        Using insurance to provide health care is one of the stupidest ideas ever created by man. The fundamental principle of insurance, what makes it a viable industry in the first place, is that the premiums of those whose barns don’t burn down pay for the costs of those whose barns do burn down. Hence the dependence of obysmalcare on large numbers of young, healthy people participating in order to attempt to pay for it (which is clearly doomed).

        Well it ain’t fire insurance, the outcome of which is the luck of the draw, but still a fairly safe bet. In health care, EVERYONE’S BARN BURNS DOWN. All those young people obysmalcare depends upon will turn into old, sick people, and end up needing far more in medical care than a lifetime of premiums can hope to pay for (especially as medicine advances and they start needing to pay for growing new organs, etc.). Which will be paid for by the increased premiums of the next batch of young, healthy people, who in turn will outspend their premiums as they age and cost even more in premiums for the next generation, and so on, and so on. It’s a perpetually climbing drain on money that can only end in disaster. That is, if they can, in their incompetence, even get the people who want it enrolled, never mind the rest.

        And when you add a requirement to cover people with pre-existing conditions, you are forcing the insurance companies to write policies for people whose barns are already on fire. Another increase in premiums, which can only end in either insurance companies going bankrupt, or stopping the writing of health policies.

        It’s simply stupid. If you can’t see that, well then, maybe you are too.

    • Rita M Nicholson

      Just may be our friends to the North will take pity on us and misplace any paperwork he fills out to denounce his Canadian citizenship so that we will never have to see his Pondexter face constantly bombarding us with his presidential ads and debates.

  • Pipercat

    The left must not get too enamored with the 24 billion dollar talking point. Use it, then move on. I see it being parroted all over the news much like the data that’s downloaded into conservative drones which is then parroted in places like this.

    • Sandy Spence Cudmore

      Sorry but this $24 billion is going to be biting the GOP on the ass for quite some time!!!

      • Pipercat

        As you can see below, this is what I am alluding to. They’re in a corner and the best way to keep them there is to call out their attempts to project their way out.

    • Anthonij

      I’d like to see one citation of this that spells out specifically where the major losses were incurred… It is an important point but it won’t ‘have legs’…

    • gordothemag

      like the tea baggers do with Bebghazi?

      • Pipercat

        Yep! The finest example of a political straw man that money can buy!

  • C K

    Half of it is all a lie! BOTH sides lie Lie LIE and I haven’t a clue what to believe any more. $24 billion…..PROVE IT. ….and not a single thing she listed was a matter of urgency.

    • Sandy Spence Cudmore

      The data come from S&P you know Standard & Poor’s and is being reported by everyone from print to network news. Can’t you read. Oh no, you would rather just shoot your mouth off and call someone a liar without checking your facts!!! It’s people like you that shouldn’t have the right to vote!

      • Umm, no

        Sorry, but she throws out the $24 billion cost to the economy – which is a useless number when she starts listing the services that would have benefited – it wasn’t $24b in the government coffers – so like C K said, both sides lie, or twist the info to sound different in the grand scheme of things. Look up with GNP means, like I did BEFORE commenting.

      • Mike Williams

        It’s 24 billion in GDP that was lost.

    • Carolyn Jones

      Both sides lie, the entire Washington clan needs to go home & let us find a way to start fresh with people who have never been in Washington before, & certainly have never been in politics there! We need some NEW, CLEAN blood in office & appointed positions alike!

  • michael

    “While Ted Cruz uses his position as United States Senator to set up his 2016 presidential run” Ted Cruz was born in Alberta, Canada and is not Constitutionally able to run for President of the United States of America

    • Dave Brown

      He is able to run and hold the office, because,his birth mother is an American citizen.

    • Heather Robertson Barbour

      Because his mom was a US citizen, and satisfies some other requirements, he is a natural born citizen (he was never naturalized). So it doesn’t matter where he was born. What will really get me, is if ANY ‘birther’ who doesn’t believe Obama is eligible to be president supports Cruz. They’ll be the biggest hypocrite possible.

    • cowcharge

      Didn’t stop Obysmal, that requirement’s already been rescinded.

      • gordothemag

        What requirement? I know you’re intelligent (perhaps too intelligent for your own good), so you must have something in mind. I suppose you blame the shutdown on the Dems. Well, it was the House that had to vote on the budget. And I suppose you don’t fault the repubs (tea party) for the billions of dollars the shutdown cost and the number of people who had their lives ruined. And I suppose you don’t mind the billions of dollars wasted on the 42 votes to reverse AFC. And I suppose you find no incongruity in the fact that these same people who wasted all those billions of dollars are the people who denounce the “takers” (poor unfortunate souls down on their luck, I call the 95% of them that are) and want to defund programs that help them and help feed their children and help provide health care for them. We need to do these things because the gov’t is bloated and wasteful and needs cut back everywhere it can except for defense of course, which is the biggest, most bloated and wasteful department in the government. Of course they can’t win a war, but that’s another story. And I suppose you agree with these people that Medicare should take some shots even though the people paid for it. And I suppose you feel the same about SS which the people paid for (or maybe I should say “bought)” and which the gov’t “borrowed” from twice and never paid back and has no plans to pay back (the people’s money). Now, there is nothing in here specifically meant to piss you off. Maybe you can refute all these suppositions. I’d like to see that. don’t hold back.

      • cowcharge

        What requirement? The one that requires you to be a natural born citizen in order to run for president.
        As for all your “suppositions”, I don’t have the time to address all the staggeringly incorrect assumptions you made about someone about whom you know nothing, even if I were inclined to explain myself to you.

      • Mike Williams

        Take the time…lets hear how this law is affecting you personally. Tell us so that we may take up the torch and bear it for you to the hill. Well.. How has this PPACA directly impacted your life. Not your buddy’s, not some ass-clown in Alabama bitching about the war still… the one ‘tween the states…You personally is what I mean. HOW has it affected YOU?

      • cowcharge

        You mean besides being cut to less than 29 hours a week and having to pay a fine?

  • Nighthellcat

    We need 99 more Senators, and 435 Representatives with this same attitude.

  • cowcharge

    That’s a hell of a lot less than what goes down the toilet every day the government is operating.

  • teeveedub

    Ted Cruz initiated a shutdown that cost the nation 24 billion dollars so he could raise a couple of million dollars for a conservative PAC. Nice work, Ted. His next trick: blowing up a jewelry store so he can catch a pinkie ring when it explodes.

  • Steve Mitchell

    republicans are the 1s playing games. anyone that doesn’t see that is blinder than a bat.