Despite the fact that the average federal employee earns $123,000 (2010 numbers) in salary and benefits while the average private sector employee earns $61,000, my sympathy goes out to those who have found themselves on the sidelines because of Barack Obama and Harry Reid’s shutdown. Despite the fact that they will likely get all of their backpay and perhaps a bit more, it’s always difficult to see people have their finances thrown into chaos. Nonetheless, big government is a cancer on productivity, and while a million federal employees are feeling the pinch of this impasse, tens of millions of Americans are feeling the pinch of no jobs, reduced hours and losing their healthcare because of big government and ObamaCare. Viva la shutdown!
The old saying goes: “Sometimes you have to break some eggs in order to make an omelet.” In this case a more appropriate characterization might be “Sometimes you have to break some eggs in order to put on a banquet.” Given that federal regulations are so costly to American businesses – and consequently to Americans themselves – the extended furlough or firing of the apparatchiks employed to enforce government regulations would allow for a resurgence of economic activity, leading to a return of American prosperity. According to the Competitive Enterprise Institute, federal regulations will cost Americans $1.8 Trillion this year or about $14,000 per household. How would you like to have an extra $14,000 per year to spend? Well, let’s be generous and suggest that 25% of the government’s regulations are both Constitutional and worthwhile. That would mean that the bonus would only be $11,500 per year. How much of a jolt do you think you could give your community if you and every one of your neighbors had an additional $1,000 a month to spend? I guarantee you it’s a lot more than an omelet.
This shutdown is 100% owned, lock, stock and barrel by Barack Obama and the Democrats. As wasteful as most of the government spending is, the House passed a bill that would fund every single piece of it other than Obamacare. The Senate rejected that and the President promised to veto it if it made it to his desk. They can whine as much as they want about obstructionism, but the fact is that they can have everything they want other than something that a majority of Americans don’t want. Cry as they might, the spilled milk has their fingerprints all over the bottle.
Barack Obama chose to inflict the greatest amount of pain possible. If you’ve never been to Washington to see the WWII monument, it’s a beautiful, spacious open air monument with marble pillars, arches and fountains which is accessible 24 hours a day. You don’t need to buy a ticket to see it, there’s nothing for anyone to do to make sure you can enjoy it, all you have to do is just walk across 17th St. from the Washington Monument and you’re there. You just walk around, that’s it. Barack Obama decided to actually spend money to put up barricades so that you could not visit it during the shutdown. When veterans who actually fought in WWII came to see it and ignored his barricades, he spent more money to have the barricades tethered together and then employed horse mounted Rangers there to ensure that the heroes could not visit the monument to THEM! (Until the veterans announced their visits were protected 1st Amendment activities...) What’s worse, according to one Park Ranger: “We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It’s disgusting.” If that were not enough, at the same time he threatened to arrest supplemental Catholic priests if they volunteered their time to conduct Mass for military personnel who have no priests available to them. He had police kick veterans and visitors off the Vietnam Memorial, which is literally an open air wall and a walkway dug into the ground. He even tried to close the ocean down in Florida. But if he wants to play golf the course on Andrew’s Air Force Base is open.
Like most things in Washington, words don’t always mean what they actually mean. A shutdown in plain English means that something is frozen, stopped, not functioning. In Washington parlance however, shutdown means that 83% of the budget is still being spent. So the shutdown which President Obama and the rest of the lefties are denouncing really only equates to 17% of the federal government, or about exactly what the government spent just a few short years ago.
Ronald Reagan endured half a dozen shutdowns at the hands of the stridently partisan Tip O’Neill and the world did not come to an end. It won’t end now either. This shutdown will not bring about Armageddon any more than sequester did. What it might do however is focus American’s attention on the fact that the nanny state is not as important as those in Washington would like us to believe. Many Americans might be surprised to discover that not only does the sun continue to rise during the shutdown, but the neighborhood supermarket still opens, cable TV is still on the air and their cars still run. Frankly, that’s a danger for Barack Obama and big government types of all stripes, because once Americans rediscover that they can survive without big government they just might start pushing back. And when they start the bell will soon begin to toll for much of what government has appropriated for itself over the last half century... and with it will go the confiscatory taxes that have made that encroachment possible. As such, don’t be surprised to see Obama and Co. continue to look for new ways to inflict pain on the American people. The question is, will the squishes in the GOP be able to stomach the fight long enough for Americans to come to the realization that they don’t need a nanny state to hold their hands from cradle to grave? Let’s hope they do.