The big news this week was the looming threat of a Government Shutdown. Remember when I talked about the US Budget two months ago? Apparently, in all the time since then, the people in Congress still haven't figured out what the budget should be, and they argued about it all week.
The budget deadline is today (Saturday). If they didn't come up with a budget plan by the deadline, there would be a Government Shutdown, which means the IRS would stop working, and the Congress wouldn't get paid.
No taxes and no lawmakers? I'm still not sure what the downside is to a shutdown.
The budget story was all over the news this week. Eventually, President Obama decided Congress wasn't getting anything done, so he held a bunch of private meetings with the Senate Majority Leader and the House Speaker. Together, the three of them came up with the final plan, only a few hours before the deadline.
The plan cuts down spending by $38 billion. None of the news reports I've seen actually explain what has been cut, because they're focusing on the shutdown.
One of the important parts of the budget negotiation was Planned Parenthood, the non-profit organization that performs abortions, among other things. Apparently, the government gives $70 million to them each year. Needless to say, most people who are against abortion don't think the government should give any money to Planned Parenthood.
I want to say more about abortion-related legislation from a Catholic perspective, but to be honest, after seeing what the politicians said during this debate, I don't think it's worth discussing. The reasons the politicians gave for keeping Planned Parenthood are wrong. The reasons that politicians gave for not keeping Planned Parenthood are also wrong. Basically, people were giving bad arguments on both sides of the debate, and they both sort of side-stepped the real issue of abortion, while accusing each other of side-stepping the issue.
Oh, well. Congress. What are you going to do with those guys?