Wall Street Journal editorial board on Republicans strategy on the budget showdown: Self-contradiction is not a good sound political strategy (video)

Examples of Services That Would Be Affected


The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) would not endorse any single-family


mortgage loans or have staff available to process and approve new multifamily loans.


FHA single-family lending represents a market share of more than 20 percent of overall


loan volume (home purchases and re-financing).


No new approvals of SBA-guaranteed loans for business working capital, real estate


investment or job creation activities would occur.


National Parks, National Forests, and the Smithsonian Institution would be closed.


Those filing paper tax returns would not receive tax refunds from the IRS, and many


taxpayers would be unable to receive service from the IRS to help them meet their tax


obligations.  For example, 400 walk-in service centers would be closed.


The Mine Safety and Health Administration would not be able to conduct regular safety


and health inspections.


Only emergency passport services would be open; normal processing would not.


Department of Commerce grant-making programs for economic development would


cease, as would most payments by HUD’s Community Development Block Grant


program to State and local governments.


USDA would not be able to approve any grants, loans or loan guarantees for its rural


housing, utilities, business, and community facilities programs.


Farm loans, farm payment, and enrollment in conservation programs would cease.


Agricultural export credit and other agricultural trade development and monitoring


would stop.


The Community Development Financial Institutions Fund would suspend its grants and


technical assistance to communities across the country, delaying investments that


finance businesses and create jobs in distressed neighborhoods.


Inspections of stock brokers, receipt and publication of corporate financial disclosures,


and routine oversight of financial markets by Federal agencies would cease.


Enforcement actions would be postponed in all but a few cases.


Certain FEMA flood mitigation and flood insurance operations would be suspended.


Agricultural export credit activity and other agricultural trade development and


monitoring would cease.


Most of the Veterans Benefits Administration customer support services would be


suspended.


Most Department of Defense budget planning and preparation would cease; military


personnel would not receive paychecks during a funding lapse.


Customer service would be reduced across the federal government.


Department of Justice civil litigation activities, including civil rights enforcement and


defensive litigation (where the U.S. government is a defendant), would mostly stop.


Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) processing would cease.

As we write this (a little before 8 a.m. on Friday morning),  the Democrats In Washington D.C., led by the President himself, have decided that they can capitulate no more to the growing demands of House Republicans as a government shutdown beckons tonight at midnight.

As those of you following the negotiations are aware of, the central disagreements between the D's and R's involved about $7 billion in more cuts to the fiscal year 2011 budget, and barring federal funding to Planned Parenthood, the national network of 800 women's health centers - which the GOP wants to defund because some of those centers offer abortions - even though they are not paid with any federal funds.

The pressure today isn't really on President Obama anymore.  He and his party leaders in the House and Senate have bent significantly to the GOP in terms of spending cuts, to where they now have agreed to $33 billion in spending cuts, which originally was what House Republicans had demanded.

But tea party activists want more, much more, putting significant pressure on House Speaker John Boehner, who yesterday insisted on ABC's Good Morning America that there was "no daylight" between himself and his caucus of tea party members, as the deadline for a government shutdown loomed ominously close.

You don't think that the Republicans are the ones being unfair in asking for more demands?  Even their best friend in the mainstream media, the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal, says they take the victory and settle before the clock strikes midnight tonight, writing:

We're not sure what the GOP strategy is at this point, if its leaders even have one. Even $33 billion in genuine cuts would reduce the budget baseline and leverage much greater cuts in future years. Republicans run the risk of going to the mattresses in pursuit of relatively small additional gains that they may not get in any case.

We understand that some in the tea party and certain cable TV hosts want a government shutdown for their own reasons. But these are the same cable pundits who insist that even though $61 billion in cuts are trivial, Republicans should still shut down the government to get them. Self-contradiction is not a sound political strategy.

Republicans also say that if they back down now they'll have no credibility for the bigger fights to come over the debt limit and Congressman Paul Ryan's 2012 limit. We think the opposite is more likely. Republicans will have more credibility over fights that really matter if they show they're willing to compromise now. And if Republicans back down next week after a shutdown begins, as they did in 1995, they will look even worse to their own supporters and have squandered even more political capital for very little return.

Meanwhile an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll reported on Thursday that 68 percent of self described tea partiers do not want the GOP to compromise.  But that same poll shows among political independents, who are critical swing votes in any election, want GOP lawmakers to find compromise, by a 66 to 30 percent margin.

Meanwhile, listed below (courtesy of Senator Bill Nelson's offices) are services that would be affected if the feds shut down tonight:

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