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Washington D.C.: Showdowns, Shutdowns, Lockdowns and Touchdowns

Hollywood has to work pretty hard to steal headlines from the political ballyhoo and drama in the capital city recently.

As for the showdown, the debt ceiling vote was seemingly taken hostage by politicians wanting to make a political statement at the cost of 800,000 government employees placed on furlough. Although the issue at stake is health care, it does not appear to represent the desire of the 22 million Americans expected to seek insurance coverage via the health insurance exchanges.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Furloughed Workers Call on Congress to ‘Get Their Act Together’,” from ABC News, Oct. 2, 2013.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Micro-Businesses Find Health-Care Rollout Is Slow,” from The Wall Street Journal, Oct. 2, 2013.]

Unfortunately, the GOP’s longer-term goals could be stymied by its short-term actions. Some political pundits believe that the shuttering of the government could besiege the Republicans on track to win control of the Senate in the 2014 elections and even lose seats in the current GOP foothold on the House. 

Recent polls indicate that there aren’t a large majority of Americans — Republicans, Democrats, or large and small businesses — who support any type of government shutdown. According to a survey that took place the first week of the shutdown, voters disapproved of the job being done by Congress by 72 percent to 22 percent. The poll also found that 64 percent oppose the tea party strategy to block an increase in the nation’s debt ceiling as leverage to defund Obamacare.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Republicans’ 2014 Senate Edge Muddied by Shutdown Message,” on Bloomberg.com, Oct. 2, 2013.]

[CLICK HERE to read the news release, “American Voters Reject GOP Shutdown Strategy 3-1,” from Quinnipiac University, Oct. 1, 2013.]

When you think about it, how many businesses will actually shut down simply because their executives or partners are unable to resolve management issues? So from a businessman’s perspective, perhaps lawmakers aren’t being very fiscally responsible. Yet unlike the impact on a businessman, these politicians’ own incomes and revenues are not directly affected by the shutdown — although re-election consequences may be forthcoming in the future.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Republicans Are No Longer the Party of Business,” from Bloomberg Businessweek, Oct. 3, 2013.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Shutdown Has Limited Impact on Employee Benefits — For Now,” from the Society for Human Resource Management, Oct. 3, 2013.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “How the government shutdown can impact your business,” from the Philadelphia Business Journal, Oct. 1, 2013.]

At the same time that the battle over the Affordable Care Act —  also known as “Obamacare” — is raging, the new health-care exchanges are so popular with Americans shopping for insurance that the online surge has caused glitches, delays and temporary shutdowns of their own.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Obamacare: What Would Success Look Like?” from Bloomberg Businessweek, Oct. 4, 2013.]

Then to cap off the showdown and shutdowns of the first week of October, parts of the capital city and government offices were on lockdown due to a shooting incident and subsequent police chase. This lockdown came just two weeks after another one involving a mass shooting in the D.C. Naval Yard.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Suspect in Capitol Hill Shooting Incident Is Dead; Police to Hold Presser,” at Fox News, October 3, 2013.]

It seems like there was a time when the biggest news coming out of Washington during football season involved Redskin touchdowns. Now we spend more time learning about the play-by-play on Capitol Hill. For the average American, it might be better to keep your eye on the ball on your side of the playing field — and worry less about the day-to-day actions in Washington D.C.

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