Michael Steele on shutdown: ‘We have elected a bunch of children to run our government’

Look ma, no federal government!

At some point the entire BS that is the government shutdown sinks in and we have to deal with reality: We have elected a bunch of children to run our government.

One reality that must not change about America and the free enterprise economy is that the root of America’s success has always sprung out of the hard labor of its entrepreneurs: the men and women who risk it all on a dream. Government doesn’t do that; government can’t do that. When a job is created by a small business owner they make an investment in people in a way that government can’t match. So when those same business owners have legitimate concerns about government policies that affect them, elected officials must listen in order to  preserve the conditions that allow small businesses to thrive.

The fact that politicians in Washington have lost sight of that tells me we can longer trust them to do this by themselves. Each one of us must be prepared to help set the nation’s priorities for the immediate future. We must decide what price we’re prepared to pay for a strong national defense and better schools; how much are we truly ready to spend for our children’s healthcare and to secure our nation’s borders? Which programs are we prepared to cut in order to get our financial house in order, and by how much? While these are difficult questions, they are not either/or choices, but rather complementary opportunities.

The White House and the Congress need to take a time out from the silliness of politics and the drama of blaming one or the other for shutting down the government—both political parties, the White House and Congress are to blame. Stupid lives at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue in this mess.

The president could have very easily agreed to delay-for a time-the full implementation of Obamacare given that his administration had already unilaterally delayed the employer mandate, waived the out-of-pocket caps until 2015, delayed the enforcement of key eligibility requirements for insurance subsidies, delayed the required cuts in Medicare until after the November elections and had already missed over a third of the deadlines set by the healthcare law.

In exchange, House Republicans were prepared to give the president a clean continuing resolution to fund the federal government.

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Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

While the White House and the Congress do their version of “mine is bigger than yours”, 14 million Americans woke up today unemployed—still.

The last month before Obama took office, over 145.3 million of our friends, neighbors and family were employed.  In 2010, the second year of the Obama Administration, and supposedly after the stimulus had fully kicked in, employment actually declined to barely 140 million. Remember Sen. Chuck Schumer telling us the stimulus would “create jobs, jobs, jobs!” ?

In truth, the unemployment rate is a less meaningful statistic and yet every month people in this town hold their breath in anticipation of its release. The fact is the unemployment rate doesn’t tell the whole story because it does not measure, among other data, discouraged workers—who still want to work, mind you—but who have given up looking for work because NO JOBS ARE BEING CREATED! I guess those folks are no longer considered “unemployed” by our government.

I don’t believe the people standing in the unemployment line this morning, or sitting at home desperate because the grace period on paying the mortgage expires in ten days are looking for yet another “jobs agenda” or want to be told that someone else’s employment picture is moving in the right direction. No, all they want is for somebody (at this point ANYBODY) to be honest about the numbers (the real unemployment number) and to stop looking for ways to claim credit or to pat themselves on the back long enough for all of the unemployed to get back to work.