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Government Shutdown

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.
October 1, 2013 1:42:07 PM PDT
So if the feds aren't spending all this money, does that mean we get a tax refund?

I heard that question a couple of times today. And how to argue with that basic logic? Even the MTA, hardly an org that likes to give back money, says it will offer refunds to Metro North commuters for the New Haven line being out of service.

But despite the common sense approach of the question, the answer is no. We are not getting a tax refund.

What's at play here is far more complicated than just political wrangling. The Tea Party and conservative activists came to Washington to shake things up, and their singular goal is to do that. They have, since the beginning, tried to undermine anything that has Pres. Obama's stamp of approval. They have, since the beginning, vowed to slash the size of government. They have, since the beginning, promised to slash taxes on the wealthy.

The ends, it seems, justify the means, and if that means shutting down government, so be it. The moderate Republicans have now aligned themselves with the far right, and they likely find themselves in a situation where breaking up might be hard to do.

Or at least that's the take of many observers.

How to end all this? That is the big question. Remember that the last shutdown, 17 years ago, turned around the presidency of one Bill Clinton. Just sayin'.

Mr. Obama putting responsibility on the Republicans. House Speaker John Boehner putting it right back on the President. Stalemate. And it could last a while. We're covering the latest on the showdown, tonight at 11.

We're also covering the aftermath of a brutal attack this morning at the southern end of Riverside Park on the hugely popular walking and bike path. A homeless man attacked five people with scissors. Among the victims: An 18-month old boy, and his dad, who was trying to protect him.

Crimes involving emotionally disturbed people not hard to document in New York City. In fact, the NYPD receives about 90,000 calls a year from peeps complaining about emotionally disturbed people. The bigger question is why this is happening: Why are we not dealing with troubled folks? Why are they thrown on the streets and left to flip out? We're taking a closer look tonight.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11, right after 20/20.

BILL RITTER

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