Split in Two, What to Do? Elephants vs. Donkeys in the Wake of Government Shutdown

Posted by - Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

By Brittany Stepniak

Once upon a time, a group of elephants and asses met in a fancy room to have fancy conversations about the ways of the world. Tough problems need solid solutions, and solid solutions need sophisticated thinkers.   But when a contemplative donkey is sure he's found the perfect cure, a quarrelsome elephant is sure there must be something more.  A tale often told, the story always sounds the same.

It's really nothing new; a bi-partisan policy is no simple feat.  But, the economic crisis in the United States won't simply sit and simmer while the Republicans and Democrats stall until an agreement may be made.  With each passing day climbs an increasingly realistic fear of the first government shutdown in 15 years.  Tension is deep and time isn't cheap.

From Bloomberg:

House Speaker John Boehner insisted during the more than hour-long session that any agreement contain “both significant cuts and policy limitations” on the Obama administration, even as he expressed a “strong preference” for a bipartisan deal before the end of the week, according to an account of the meeting released by the Ohio Republican’s office.

April 8th.  That's this coming Friday.  Both parties are separately preparing for shutdown if a compromise isn't reached by then.  However, the Republicans have a plan that would buy them more time.  One more week.  April 15th...next Friday.

So both groups do have to agree on one thing: time is running out.  Disagreement lies within what is fair and practical in terms of dollars and sense.  Alas, the Republicans are in discord with the Democrats' offer to cut spending by $33 billion for the remainder of the year.

More from Bloomberg

Balking at that offer, House Republicans prepared a new stopgap measure that would slash $12 billion from current spending, fund the Pentagon through the Sept. 30 close of the fiscal year and keep the rest of the government operating until April 15. That would buy more time for talks on a package that Republicans say must contain deeper cuts than the $33 billion Democrats are offering.

Initially, Republicans asserted a need for $61 billion in cuts-- immediately deemed quite unreasonable by Obama and Senate democrats. 61 vs. 33. 61 BIILLION DOLLARS vs. 33 BILLION DOLLARS! Elephants vs. Donkeys.  There is $28 billion of disagreement between sides.  And they've got less than three days to play tug-of-war before the government shuts down...


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