The Battle of the Budget & the ECM: Sept. 30 – Oct. 1


There is a storm brewing over the potential government shutdown on September 30: the day of the ECM, 2015.75. The establishment Republicans are in a battle with the Tea Party Republicans who are demanding that legislation to keep the government open must also take away federal funding for Planned Parenthood. This is now a religious battle — not just posturing for a debt ceiling.

The establishment Republicans are worried for this may make it difficult for those holding on to their seats in more traditional Democratic areas. With re-election races on the horizon, some want to support a short-term funding bill needed to guarantee that the government will not shut down next week. However, they clearly oppose any shutdown confrontation with the Tea Party over Planned Parenthood, which has come under major attack for uncovering videos that raise questions about its practice of supplying fetal tissue for scientific research.

While the likelihood of the Federal Government actually defaulting on its debt is long-term, what this battle is highlighting is the clash with religion, not just economics. What may emerge here is something much more interesting. This could shift the focus of attention to the precarious position of sovereign debts and the need to borrow year after year with no end in sight.