Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Shut down Congress first

When the Newt Gingrich House of Representatives shut down the government in the 1990s, Gov. Bill Clinton won the war by partially closing down the government. One of the first departments he shut down was National Parks. Irate Americans rebelled against the GOP saboteurs who were denying their access to public parks, and the battle was quickly over. Clinton could have withheld funding from Agriculture or Transportation or Commerce, but nothing would hit home with constituents like locked gates at public parks.

Now, as Republicans contemplate another government shutdown over debt limits, President Obama might try a similar but different tactic. Instead of shutting down National Parks, if he is forced to curtail spending because of GOP intransigence over the debt limit, Obama should sequester all spending on the legislative branch of government. That would mean NO salaries for members of Congress, their staffs, their district offices back home, their heat and lights in their offices, and their many perquisites of office.

Let's see how long they will hold out when their paychecks are withheld and their offices are dark.

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