When the US government runs out of money for the following fiscal year…losing its ability to pay its bills…it’s forced in theory to shutdown. And thanks to the Obama administration’s out of control spending…ignored was Economics 101 which teaches you cannot spend more than you take in…the US will hit the current debt ceiling of $16.7 trillion and go into default in mid-October, which likely will have already translated into a ‘supposed’ government shutdown.
And while some say even the threat of a government shutdown could do a lot of damage to the country…those in the know say NOT really because the government does NOT actually shut down.
Simply…Social Security checks will still be sent out; our troops will remain at their posts; and doctors and hospitals will get their Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements. In fact, every essential government agency will remain open with furloughed federal workers eventually getting paid…and TSA officers will have continued to grope people at airport checkpoints.
All will basically be as it already is.
In reality, the only ones directly affected by a government shutdown are the grossly overpaid non-essential government workers. This means 800,000 of 2.1 million federal employees (almost 1/3 of all workers) would be furloughed temporarily, because they simply are NOT required for national security. And while Congress and the president would still be working because their compensation is financed by a resource other than annual appropriations…as in the Constitution…they would NOT be paid until the shutdown was resolved. And that is a good thing as their overinflated salaries and perks need to be cut anyway.
According to the Office of Management and Budget, staying open would be ‘any agency that provides for national security including those which conduct foreign relations essential to the national security or the safety of life and property,’ meaning those who perform emergency work involving saving lives or protecting property would continue to do so; military personnel would continue in a normal duty status and the Coast Guard would still patrol our waters; law enforcement, criminal investigations and the operation of prisons would continue; direct provision of medical care for critical patients continues; the overseeing of food and drug safety continues, and federal research laboratories (also considered essential) would remain open and operational.
Also staying open would be public safety agencies like Air Traffic Control, Border Control, and FEMA. Federal courts would remain open; the Social Security Administration would remain open as it comes under the auspices of mandatory spending, and the dreaded IRA would remain open (they have to keep bleeding ‘We the People’ dry you know). The US Postal Service and the US Treasury would still continue to operate.
NOTHING wrong about that one is there…just saying.
And I’m sure some wonder why must the government shut down. According to the Anti-deficiency Act of 1870, federal agencies and programs must cease operations if Congress and the president fail to enact funding, except in cases of emergency.
And anyway our government has shutdown before. Shutdowns usually are NOT a big deal. They happened every year when Jimmy Carter was president, averaging 11 days each. During President Reagan’s two terms, there were six shutdowns, typically just one or two days each as deals were cut and all went back to normal. The last shutdown happened during the budget battle between the Newt Gingrich Republican-controlled Congress and President Bill Clinton in late 1995. Much of the federal government was closed in November 1995 for five days, and then again for 21 days from mid-December 1995 to early January 1996. Clinton said that the combined shutdowns cost taxpayers $1.5 billion; the Congressional Research Service said it cost just under $1.4 billion, but I say money well spent as imagine how much it would have cost ‘We the People’ if the government kept spending with NO treasure to back it up.
So what would be shut down…national parks, the National Zoo, and the museums along the National Mall would close their doors; passport services would be delayed which would mean upward of 30,000+ applications by foreigners for entry visas would go unprocessed each day (NOT such a bad thing actually in light of the current immigration bru-haha); the HeadStart school program would shutdown meaning parents would actually have to be with their children instead of using school programs as babysitters (sorry but I do NOT believe 3 and 4 year olds belong in school); and small business loans and federal housing loans would NOT be processed during a shutdown.
All these being shutdown would be an inconvenience for sure, but the world will NOT stop turning if they are.
And while some say that a shutdown would cost NOT save money because putting contingency plans in place costs money, and that during a shutdown user fees and other charges are NOT collected, I say this amounts to small potatoes compared with how the Obama administration would continue spending money that we don’t have, forcing us further and further into debt.
So bring it on and shut her down for the less the government is involved in our lives the better off we’ll all be. And really…can it be any worse than than what is going on now…I seriously doubt it.
Diane Sori is the Editor of The Patriot Factor and a regular contributor to The D.C. Clothesline.