The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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September 25, 2013

GOP actions on ACA hurt economy


There are about 40 people in a 435-member House of Representatives who are so angry they are ready to blow up the economy. They are part of a reactionary political movement funded by corporate interests and plutocrats like the Koch brothers to oppose government.

A recent tax filing showed the Kochs spent at least $250 million supporting such activities in 2012, and probably even more for which no disclosure is required. They have created dozens of front groups such as Freedom Partners, Freedom Works, and Americans for Prosperity, “astroturf” groups that pose as grass-roots organizations.

Their real fear is that Obamacare will work, that people will become “hooked” on it and refuse to give it up. If 30 million uninsured people get health insurance at the projected prices on exchanges in Minnesota, California, and New York, they might indeed get to like the program.

Because of this radical faction, the government appears headed for a shutdown Oct. 1, and possibly a first-ever default on the federal debt. Former Reagan Treasury Secretary James Baker III has said, “A failure to pay what is already due will cause certain and serious harm to our credit, financial markets, and our citizens.”

He could have added that it might also result in the dollar being displaced as a reserve currency, inevitably causing interest rates to go up. Baker noted that Reagan raised the debt limit 17 times during his eight years in office.

The reality is that no administration can spend a dime unless it is appropriated by Congress. In other words, the entire debt was agreed to by the House. Having spent the money, they now refuse to allow the government to borrow enough money to pay the bills. Meanwhile, the House just passed another spending bill at the same time they are undermining the country’s credit rating.

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