Guest Opinion: Shutdown the brinkmanship


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We are writing in response to a collection of recent editorials published by The Daily Iowan on the topic of the government shutdown, its impact on the economy, and the congressional brinkmanship over the debt ceiling. While the University of Iowa College Republicans respect the opinions of Daily Iowan Opinions Editor Zach Tilly, we are thoroughly disappointed by his misleading assertions and unfair conclusions on the previously mentioned topics. 

On Oct. 1, Americans awoke to a partial shutdown of our federal government. Although the government shutdown has ended since then, the blame game between Republicans and Democrats has not. As the country moved closer to the predicted debt default on Oct. 17, Democrats, including the far-left Tilly, increased their criticism of the Republican acts in the House of Representatives.

Specifically, the concept of hostage-taking was thrown around a lot by Tilly, especially in a piece published in the DI on Sept. 30 titled “Ask the Hostages.”

What exactly did Tilly mean? Did he mean that the shutdown was brought about because Senate Democratic legislators and President Obama have failed to make hard choices regarding government spending and the future of the American people?

If so, that certainly doesn’t sound like Republicans took hostages. On the contrary, it sounds like the Democrats kicked the proverbial can down the road instead of doing serious work.

But then again, when has a Democrat ever done serious work?

Many members of the Republican Party viewed the debate over the government shutdown as one way of editing Obamacare, a costly law passed without a single Republican’s support that will add to the national debt. One must remember that the purpose of the Affordable Care Act was to increase accessibility, but not necessarily reduce costs — a surefire route to unsustainable levels of government spending.

Republican leaders wanted some concessions from their Democratic colleagues as a way to establish a balanced budget, something that Congress has failed to do for years. But with Obama in the White House, debt-financed deficit spending will certainly continue.

The Democrats, including Obama and Tilly, fail to see the importance of a balanced-budget agreement for the future of the United States. Instead, they would rather mortgage our children’s future.

Recent Tilly editorials also discussed the (supposedly) large and crippling impact of a debt default on a sluggish American economy. However, Tilly only told part of the story. Many on the Left claimed that dysfunction by a small faction of the House would lead to a default on the debt. But during the debates over the debt ceiling that involved a Republican president and Democratic congressional majority, the roles were switched altogether. Then-Sen. Joe Biden was among the staunchest opponents of raising the debt ceiling.

If Tilly were logically consistent, he would have also accused Biden of hostage-taking.

Unfortunately (although one can only hope), experience has shown that Tilly is, in fact, logically inconsistent.

We look forward to a response by the Daily Iowan Editorial Board but hope that in the future Tilly and his colleagues make claims based on factual considerations, not empty rhetorical brinkmanship.

The University of Iowa College Republicans

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