I’ve seen the enemy and it is us

by. Henry Meier

Yesterday, a vote by the Senate to temporarily fund the government beyond October 1 was delayed by Republican Senator Mike Lee (Utah), a leading opponent of the health care law.  This maneuver followed closely on the heels of a 21 hour filibuster by Senator Ted Cruz (Texas), again motivated by a last ditch effort to defund Obamacare.

But if you really want to know just how dysfunctional Washington has become, all you need to know is that Republican Senator Bob Corker (Tennessee) responded to Lee’s objections by saying “the reason that we’re putting this off is because they would like for people around the country that they have notified to be able to watch.”  In other words, a Republican Senator is accusing another Republican of putting his interest in grandstanding to potential national supporters above the interest of his constituents, the Senate and the country.

I personally think the Senator from Tennessee has a point and I would love to see more Republicans stand up to these so-called Conservatives before they can do even more damage to the country’s economy, but increasingly that doesn’t appear to be the case, which means that the Sunday talk shows are required watching for anyone responsible for plotting your credit union’s path given the potential trajectory of the economy over the next six months to a year.

First, it appears unlikely that the House Republicans and President Obama will be able to avoid a government shut down.  When this happened in the late 1990s, the economy had already picked up steam.  But take a look at NCUA’s most recent video recap of current economic conditions and how they are impacting credit unions and you will realize that this is no time to be playing games.  Employment rates continue to be sluggish and credit unions are already being impacted by uncertainty over interest rates.  Plus, for those of you with large numbers of federal government employees in your SEG groups, make sure you’re ready to provide whatever short-term help you can to these individuals who will find themselves with no paychecks in the coming days.

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