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Much Ado About Shutdown

We’ve written previously on how the looming government shutdown isn’t really a “shutdown.” Of the federal government’s 2.1 million employees roughly 800,000 will be furloughed – approximately 38 percent of the total taxpayer-funded workforce. For those of you who learned your math in a government-run South Carolina school, that means…

We’ve written previously on how the looming government shutdown isn’t really a “shutdown.” Of the federal government’s 2.1 million employees roughly 800,000 will be furloughed – approximately 38 percent of the total taxpayer-funded workforce.

For those of you who learned your math in a government-run South Carolina school, that means 62 percent of the total taxpayer-funded workforce continues working.

This includes 100 percent of the U.S. Congress, 100 percent of the Federal Reserve, 100 percent of the U.S. Armed Forces, 100 percent of the U.S. Post Office, 96 percent of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 86 percent of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 85 percent of the U.S. Department of Justice, 71 percent of the Social Security Administration and 67 percent of the Department of Transportation.

Those are percentages to bear in mind as the mainstream media begins the weeping and gnashing of teeth associated with its “blame conservatives” narrative.

Weeping? Really? Food stamps will continue to be issued during the shutdown. So will unemployment insurance benefits. In other words the dependency economy will not skip a beat. Meanwhile the IRS will continue to collect taxes. The border will continue to be secured (such as it is). The failed “War on Drugs” will continue to be waged. And the U.S. Post Office – which loses billions of dollars annually – will continue its operations.

Shutdown? Not hardly …

Oh, and the first time you hear a tearjerker tale about a poor child or indigent senior citizen being denied services during the shutdown – remember the government is continuing to spend billions of dollars spying on you. And pumping arms into the hands of al-Qaeda affiliated terrorists in Syria.

Meanwhile many of the agencies that will be effectively shuttered – including the National Park Service and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) – need to be privatized anyway.

The federal government classifies the 38 percent of the workforce it sends home during “shutdowns” as non-essential, which we believe is the best evidence yet that vast swaths of our increasingly large, increasingly unruly federal bureaucracy are totally unnecessary.

Seriously … if a government position is “non-essential,” why are taxpayers funding it?

We’re not saying the shutdown isn’t a big deal. It is. It just isn’t as big a deal as many are making it out to be.

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19 comments

Nölff September 30, 2013 at 8:25 am

Hell… shut it down. I hope everyone gets voted out of office.

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YallCalmDown September 30, 2013 at 8:51 am

The best impact will be the way people view the wack job tea partiers who are throwing a big hissy fit over a law that was voted for by the legislative branch, approved by the executive, and upheld by the supreme court. What a huge waste of time just so Ted Cruz can try to get the GOP nomination over Rand Paul on the 2016 ticket.

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Matt September 30, 2013 at 11:17 pm

Wack Job tea partiers is right. They are sadly going to destroy the Republican party. Unfortunately South Carolina has it’s fair share of these wack jobs.

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Smirks September 30, 2013 at 8:57 am

If the shutdown happens, it will be the fault of Republicans. They’re the only ones demanding that a specific part of the government to no longer be funded, and the part they are demanding we defund is mandatory spending. The government shutdown will not stop the exchanges. It will not stop the Medicaid expansion.

The bill to defund and the subsequent bill to delay have no leverage at all. If Republicans want to play a game of legislative volleyball, let them. They will lose. Hell, they’ve already lost. It doesn’t matter what the media thinks, the American people will blame Republicans for the shutdown, poll after poll shows that.

One more day and the exchanges will open.

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The Colonel September 30, 2013 at 9:26 am

They may open but the “guvamint exchanges” will not be ready to process the people seeking insurance. http://www.naturalnews.com/042259_Obamacare_evading_questions_health_insurance_exchanges.html

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Thomas September 30, 2013 at 4:16 pm

Natural News is a great site.

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tomstickler September 30, 2013 at 9:07 am

Ah, here we are, awaiting action in Congress as if it were just another form of reality TV. And in many respects, it is just like “reality TV.”

Unlike “reality TV”, however, what Congress does has real-world consequences. The immediate threat is that the federal government will “shut down.” The last time that happened, in 1995 and 1996 at the urging of then-Speaker Newt Gingrich, it was relatively harmless. Inconvenient, yes. Irritating, yes. Since the Clinton economy was booming, little damage was done by the reduced governmental spending.

Today, with our economic recovery already retarded by reduced governmental spending, further cuts could send us back into recession if the “shutdown” lasts for any length of time.

So, should Obama and the Democrats “compromise” by giving in to the extortionate demands of the Republicans? I say they should not, because there is a much greater peril awaiting when it comes time to raise the debt ceiling. It only emboldens blackmailers and terrorists when their demands are met. Hey, such tactics worked well this time, why not ask for more the next time?

A government default resulting from failure to raise the debt ceiling could have world-wide repercussions, and would irreversibly damage the good faith and credit of the United States. The US dollar is the world’s reserve currency. US Treasury bonds are used and preferred as the safest collateral.

How did we come to this juncture where our federal government has been taken over by zealots wanting to deny health insurance to millions, and willing to damage the reputation of the United States to do so?

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Centrist View September 30, 2013 at 9:28 am

“Ah, here we are, awaiting action in Congress as if it were just another
form of reality TV. And in many respects, it is just like “reality TV.””

Snooki for Congress?

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The Colonel September 30, 2013 at 9:24 am

It is true that Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines will continue working but their pay will be cut back to base pay only. For many that will mean losing the difference in pay that makes the house payment and the car payment.

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johnq September 30, 2013 at 9:58 am

Hard to believe the republicans would do that to the troops.

Disgusting.

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The Colonel September 30, 2013 at 10:05 am

Yeah, “Republicans” are doing that to the troops.

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Jan September 30, 2013 at 1:12 pm

Wow, we agree on something.

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ScrewedNSC September 30, 2013 at 9:35 am

WHO WILL BLINK FIRST?

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Tyrone'sBabyDaddy September 30, 2013 at 10:55 am

Shut it down. The GOP will be blamed. If Obamacare were the wreck they say it is, they would be saying, “Bring it on !” so that the public would experience the badness of it all. By demanding that it be defunded, they are tacitly admitting they fear it will be wildly successful.

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bogart September 30, 2013 at 11:25 am

All of this just so Ted Cruz can get attention and and pull in campaign funds……and Republicans follow behind him like little puppies waiting for a pat on the head or at the very least a little green eggs and ham.

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Manray September 30, 2013 at 12:30 pm

Government by spoiled children — too bad we can’t just send them to their rooms and take away their cell phones.

Maybe they need a refresher on how things work in our system. Here goes — the people vote and elect a president, representatives and senators. They pass laws, budgets, CRs, etc. The president does or does not sign them — as he sees fit. If he does, they are laws which we are supposed to obey. If we don’t like it, we can oust the elected representatives, senators and the president (or his party), and then overturn the unpopular laws. However, if your gang in DC doesn’t include the president, doesn’t have enough senators in office, or can’t swing enough weight in the House — you’ve lost!!! There is no constitutional justification for pointless obstructionism — it is simply nihilism. For the Repubs: if you hate the current fiscal situation and despise the ACA, take your case to the people, elect enough reps, senators and a new president — that’s how it works. But wise up, it ain’t gonna happen. Just keep acting crazier and crazier and get ready to be a permanent minority in power in a few southern and prairie states.

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9" September 30, 2013 at 12:54 pm

Republicans can’t come to grips with the fact that ,Obama was REELECTED.

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Some guy September 30, 2013 at 4:07 pm

Lots of numbers cited without a source in the third graph. A little enlightenment, please?

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Thomas September 30, 2013 at 4:14 pm

“Non-essential employees, about 1/3 of the federal workforce,

would be furloughed. The distinction between non-essential employees and those
who are needed is discretionary but is guided by instructions from the Office
of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

Memorandum issued by OMB in 1980 defines “essential” government services and
“essential” employees as those providing for the national security, including
the conduct of foreign relations essential to the national security or the
safety of life and property; providing for benefit payments and the performance
of contract obligations under no-year or multi-year or other funds remaining
available for those purposes; and conducting essential activities to the extent
that they protect life and property. With that (and subsequent guidance),
federal agencies are required to determine which of their employees are
“essential.”

Other federal employees would continue to work but, as in
the mid 1990s, they would not be paid until the shutdown was resolved. And yes,
that includes the President and the Congress.

Federal contractors could work, in theory, since those funds
have already been approved – but there may not be adequate staffers to issue
paperwork for jobs. And you know how D.C. loves paperwork.

HeadStart programs – those grants for preschool children to
attend school – would not be funded, meaning that school would be out for
thousands of children.

Federal courts would remain open – for about 10 days. If the
shutdown goes beyond 10 days, only “essential” work would continue. Most of the
judiciary, including staffers, would not be paid until the shutdown was
resolved. But Supreme Court justices and federal judges would collect
paychecks.

Social Security benefits would still be paid out but if the
shutdown continues beyond a few days, other services provided by the Social
Security Administration – including Medicare applications and the issuance of
Social Security cards – would likely be put on hold.

Foster care and adoption assistance services funded with
federal funds or reliant on processing of federal paperwork would cease.

Agencies that focus on public safety would remain open. That
means air traffic and border controls would not be affected. National Security
Agency offices would likely remain open (monitoring those emails and phone
calls can’t wait) as well disaster assistance. Remarkably, however, the Center
for Disease Control would likely be shut down as it was in the 1990s: that
means no disease surveillance in the heart of flu season.

Small business loans and mortgage insurance applications
tied to government funding or agencies would not be processed.

Workplace safety inspections would stop.

Visas and passports would not be processed. In 1995,
20,000-30,000 applications by foreigners for visas went unprocessed each day of
the furlough and 200,000 U.S. applications for passports went unprocessed. The
loss to the tourism industry was said to be acute.

Internal Revenue could see some furloughs (something they’re
familiar with) but personnel to collect taxes would stay at work. As a rule of
thumb, most of the folks who handle money would be safe from the shutdown. But
the folks following the money? Agents and investigators would likely be told to
stay home.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms would delay
processing alcohol, tobacco and firearms applications.

National parks would close their doors; in 1995, that meant
the loss of 7 million visitors, including those hoping to see the Grand Canyon,
which was closed for the first time in its history. National museums would also
remain shuttered; in 1995, that was an estimated loss of 2 million visitors.
The loss to surrounding communities reliant on tourist dollars was estimated to
be $14.2 million.

Closures would extend to national cemeteries, where, among
other things, headstones would not be laid. Additionally, medical and financial
services for veterans would likely be put on hold.

The mail would continue to run: remember, the U.S. Post
Office is not reliant on government funds.”

forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/2013/09/20/government-shutdown-101-what-happens-when-the-lights-go-off/

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