Well, the government shutdown is entering its second day, and from the weeping and gnashing of teeth emanating from DC, you’d think something had really happened. Spoiler alert: Nothing has. Some über-clever aid over at Whitehouse.gov had the brilliant idea of posting a cute caveat on the White House web page which read:
Due to Congress’s failure to pass legislation to fund the government, the information on this website may not be up to date. . . . [Boo hoo.]
Any reasonable person would gather from this grave pronouncement that “the government” was left entirely devoid of financial support, hobbling along feebly on federal reserve fumes before finally collapsing completely. Well, we aren’t so lucky. The sky isn’t falling, and “government shutdown” doesn’t mean… Well, let’s just say it means very little. Because the government is not unfunded. In fact, the most useful and necessary government functions have not been affected at all. For that matter, many of the most unnecessary government functions have not been affected at all.
If the government were actually unfunded at this moment, how is Congress even in session? Why hasn’t everyone gone home to hit up the DC craigslist looking for jobs? (“Useless parasite seeking position as…”) Most of them didn’t become Congressmen in order to uphold principles and long-standing convictions (that guy already retired), and they certainly wouldn’t stay without pay. What’s that you say? Congressional salaries have been etched into legislative adamantium? So the funding legislation, the absence of which has… shut … down … the … government … hasn’t affected Congress at all? Okay. Well, I guess that’s good.
What about the Judicial branch? Federal Courts? Still open. Though perhaps they will become more clogged. (I don’t know how that’s possible. That’s like saying a dike in Holland will become more clogged.) Well, that’s two of the three branches of government I remember from civics class. But you’re still holding that the government is shut down?
Let me see if I’m clear. What you’re saying is that the taxpayer is still paying for Congress to argue about laws we didn’t want to be written which will then, against our wishes, still be declared constitutional, only to be delayed by filibuster and government shutdowns, but the usual next step in the process—the part where the law is forcibly crammed down our throats anyway—that has been defunded? Oh, I get it! When you say “the government,” you just mean the Executive branch. Well, I can understand why everyone is so upset then. How will all our brand new bought-and-paid-for laws be enforced without an Executive branch?
And wait. What about the best part of the Executive branch—the military? Oh my. Without that, we’ll be sitting ducks. Terrorists and criminals who don’t work for the government will be roaming the streets, locking down cities, stealing all my private information, and killing and bombing and looting at will! Hurry! Fund the government. For pity’s sake, fund the government!
What’s that? The White House, the military, the FBI, TSA, NSA, CIA, and the whole alphabet soup of homeland security agencies all have funding too? Okay. Well, that’s so very comforting. But … that’s all three branches of “the government,” isn’t it? What did you mean by “government shutdown” again?
Do you mean our “government” overseas? Are our foreign embassies getting defunded? I mean, I wouldn’t want foreign diplomacy to become even less important than it already is… Oh. Those are all funded too? Hmmm.
Now, I’m just spitballing here, but please don’t say they’re maybe shutting down all the air traffic control stations on the planet again? I remember how the moon turned to blood when they did that during the sequestration. It gives me goose pimples just thinking back on it. Planes falling from the sky in flaming fuselage cocktails of shrapnel and exploding jet fuel! We’re all going to d… Oh. Air traffic control is funded too?
Okay, but what about all the people on Social Security and unemployment and welfare? They’ll die if they don’t get their checks. How can you leave them in the lurch? You cold, heartless Tea Bagging Republi… Oh. Okay. That’s still funded.
But the mail? Who will charge us postage fees to deliver our huge piles of useless junk mail every day but Saturday? We’ll have to use better, more efficient carriers for all our first-class mail! What? The Postal Service has outside funds?
I’m at a loss then. Why use a term like “government shutdown” when, clearly, the government is not shut down? Correct me if I’m wrong, but it almost seems like a shameless manipulative ploy to scare the American people into supporting a bloated and untenably debt-ridden tyrannical Leviathan that uses our money to make our lives miserable.
Honestly, this situation is stupid. Everything about it smacks of thespian posturing from the Histrionic Social Club. Are we so brain dead that we’re going to fall for this again? Probably. Because they’re telling us that this two-day horse and pony charade is going to hurt our precious economy. They tell us that 800,000 hard-working Americans have already been “laid off.” Unemployment just bumped up a notch or two right there! See! The economy! Just think about the shrinkage of the economy that will occur if contractors don’t get jobs (JOBS!) to build new government centers for basket-weaving. If all of those bureaucrats at the Ministry of Silly Walks don’t have jobs, they won’t have money to spend at the local taco stand. The economy! Washington DC alone could lose $200 million a day in commerce revenue! Oh my. God forbid any city should be forced to deal with the consequences of its own inefficiency, corruption, bloat, uselessness, and bad management. Except for Detroit of course. That city is apparently expendable.
And yet, for some reason, we still believe they’re telling us the truth about our economy and our government even while they have both hands lodged securely in our pockets—pockets they keep making shallower through their restrictive policies and misguided social action plans. We already know whom they serve: themselves. They even said it. I read the following in a whiny little missive penned by some lackey over at the White House:
If the United States government shuts down tonight and our economy takes a hit, it will be because House Republicans let it happen. Instead of allowing a simple yes or no vote on a bill that funds the government for a few more weeks, the government that these Republicans were elected to serve will close down.
Excuse me? They certainly were not elected to serve “the government.” They were elected to serve the American people by pursuing faithful justice. That’s why they are called our representatives. They’re supposed to represent us. Why is this so difficult?
And contrary to the White House’s predictions, this so-called government shutdown will not ultimately affect the economy adversely even if (especially if) it is made permanent. It will help the economy. Obviously. Why can’t people figure this out? Let’s say I invented a machine named “government” to generate wealth. All you had to put into this machine was two pounds of gold, and it would spit out one. You aren’t an idiot, so you tell me, “Look, you’re machine isn’t making wealth at all. It’s just consuming half of mine!” And I say, “Well, you better not shut it down! You’ll miss out on a pound of gold!” Would you fall for that? Well, we have. Every one of us. We believe it when they say that a government shutdown will cost “the economy” 10 billion dollars a day. It might. And what’s the annual government budget at? How about we just keep our two pounds of gold. We’ve proven we know how to generate wealth. Our civil government hasn’t. And can’t. They don’t make wealth. They can only take it. Duh.
All in all, government shutdown looks a whole lot like government spending being made only slightly more manageable. But it’s not even small enough after an apparent “government shutdown.” I say keep it going indefinitely. And while you’re at it, you can include all three branches of government in the “layoffs” and start from scratch with people who actually care about truth and justice. If they exist. I’m beginning to wonder.
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