Members of the House of Representatives are elected every two years. Of all the jobs in government, theirs are arguably the most dependent on the will of the voting public. The founders put these guys in charge of the government's purse strings for exactly that reason: The policymakers closest to the people should have control over what gets done with the peoples' money. This isn't a bug in the system; it's a feature enshrined in the Constitution.
It is the will of the people, through The People's House, not to pay for something we don't want. Obama and Reid would rather shut down the government until they get what they want.
Who wins, and who loses?
1. Winner: Jon Stewart
The man who built a career by mocking public policy screw-ups has no lack of material during the shutdown. Obama's signature piece of legislation, the one by which his presidency will most likely be remembered, the one that they've had years to plan before implementing ... has a dud of a website. Watch JStew call out this administration on its failure to carry out the basic function of its own law.
2. Loser: This Adorable Little Guy
Even though all the animals are being cared for, it's hard not to feel for this kid. Poor guy doesn't get to run around at the zoo! Fortunately, the Congressional gyms are still open — running around in that zoo is not only permitted, but paid for by taxpayers (like this kid's parents!)
3. Loser: Our Military Veterans
4. Winner: Egypt's Military
Though our government shutdown has been going on now for 11 days, U.S. aid to Egypt's military has yet to be affected. Even with an announcement about Egypt expected from D.C. "in the coming days," it is likely that aid to Egypt's military will continue.
This photo shows the scene in Cairo on Friday. Chaos, sponsored by the U.S. taxpayer.
5. Loser: Lake Mead Homeowners
If you own a house, and that house sits on federally-owned land, you might just get kicked out. Some Nevada senior citizens have already been evicted. From the houses. That they own. Forward!
6. Loser: Sick People
The NIH typically enrolls about 200 new patients per week in clinical trials. That number has shrunk to 12 as a result of the shutdown. President Obama has threatened to veto a bill that provides funding for NIH clinical trials during the shutdown.
7. Winner: Cookie Monster
On the first day of shutdown, Obama gave to me...
$445 million to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.