U.S. Federal Government Shuts Down: Again

USA Capital BuildingEditorial

USA Capital Building

The media is in an uproar over the U.S. Federal government shutdown and carry on as if the civilized world is on the brink of disaster with bated breath and reports of imminent failure of everyone’s pet programs because they are not funded in a way that pleases everyone.

The dirty little secret is that only “non-essential” departments of the federal government will shut down and that (depending on whom your source may be) constitutes only 20% of government activities. By contrast, the departments that are needed (arguably) constitute 80% which means that most of the government will still be open for business.

There will be differences in how some departments are able to carry out their duties but, really, no different than what happens every weekend or holiday. The people who work for the various departments, for the most part, close up and go home.

Considering that the longest shutdown in U.S. history was about three weeks (from December 15, 1995, to January 6, 1996), this is only an inconvenience for those who work in government. It’s part of the package they signed up for. Even though they may not be paid checks on time, they will, more than likely be paid nonetheless.

The dirty little secret is that only “non-essential” departments of the federal government will actually shut down and that (depending on whom your source may be) constitutes only 20% of government activities.

Although for many who depend on welfare and/or benefits they worked for and were promised, e.g. military compensation, this will mean tight budgeting and communicating with creditors, etc. to allow for time while the Congress addresses issues that are putting incredible pressure on the dollar, economy and strains on the federal money management issues as well.

The Congress and the President need to hammer out these policies and, sometimes, shutdowns are the only tool to persuade. Hopefully all parties will remember a few things: 1) that we are a republic and have a federal government, not a national one, 2) the fact that we are all Americans not voting blocks separated by ideology, 3) they are not responsible for every decision each person makes and government should be sized accordingly, 4) they are in position to halt spending money that will be paid by those not even born yet (living off our children).

All previous shutdowns resulted in the U.S. Federal government, with possibly a few exceptions, paying amounts retroactively not paid during the appropriate period.

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