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Government Shutdown: An Oxymoron for Real Morons

Written by Gary North on September 25, 2013

I did a Google search for this phrase: “government shutdown.” I got 5.6 million hits.

The one at the top of the list was from The Washington Post. It began with this:

If the House and Senate can’t agree on a government funding bill by Sept. 30, the federal government will shut down. And, right now, the House and Senate can’t agree on a bill. They’re wrangling over Obamacare.

That sounds ominous. But then the article explained that a shutdown is not really a shutdown.

So… it’s time to start thinking about what a federal government shutdown would actually look like.

Not all government functions would simply evaporate come Oct. 1 — Social Security checks would still get mailed, and veterans’ hospitals would stay open. But many federal agencies would shut their doors and send their employees home, from the Department of Education to hundreds of national parks.

What? The Department of Education would shut down? Is this supposed to be a threat? An agency that oversees a universally acknowledged 50-year failure gets closed. Next!

The national parks will shut down. No problem! The government can raise ticket prices to make a profit. Full-cost pricing is not the same as a shutdown. But what if Americans won’t pay to visit the parks? Then the threat of a shutdown is not much of a threat. It’s shutting down what tourists don’t want to pay for.

So, the words “government shutdown” do not mean “government shutdown.” They mean “boondoggle shutdown.” They mean “special-interest-group-subsidy shutdown.”

What about the Post Office? Will it get shut down? No.

[Note to readers under 25. The Post Office is a government agency that owns the box on a stand in front of your parents’ house. You may have wondered what it is for. It is mainly for delivering printed advertising at below-market rates.]

What about the CIA? Will it get shut down? No.

What about the NSA? Will it get shut down? No.

What about the TSA? Will it get shut down? No.

What about the Department of Homeland Security? Will it get shut down? No.

My suggestion: stop worrying about a government shutdown. Instead, keep worrying about the government staying open . . . just like you did before.

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35 thoughts on “Government Shutdown: An Oxymoron for Real Morons

  1. Texas Chris says:

    The government has been "shut down" 17 times. 6 under Carter. 6 under Reagan. 5 under Clinton.

    We survived. We will survive.

  2. "The government has been "shut down" 17 times. 6 under Carter. 6 under Reagan. 5 under Clinton. We survived. We will survive."

    Question is, will you survive if government stays open for business?

  3. Just trying to scare every one.

  4. Now if we could somehow keep the boondoggles closed . . .

  5. Phillip the Bruce says:

    Of course they always threaten to "shutdown" programs that people depend on (like air traffic controllers, SS, Medicare, VA) or are very popular. They never mention their sacred cows that we, the people, couldn't care a rat about.

  6. “No one’s life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session,” which is just another way of saying, “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.” (Proverbs 29:2)

  7. They need to shut down the CIA, NSA, TSA, DHS, ATF, DOE, and any other WORTHLESS agencies that cost us money and NEVER bring any money in! All any of these agencies scream for is MORE MONEY! The DOE was put together by a peanut farmer that was supposed to break our dependency from foreign oil, HA, HA! In 2009 & 2010it cost the taxpayers $38 Billion a year and now they are spending $27 Billion a year, and they haven't save the people one thin dime. Just like all the other agencies they are a waste of time and money! CULL THE HERD! Semper Fi.

  8. If only more people knew!

  9. Great post, but you forgot the House, the Senate and the White House.

  10. OH if only it would shutdown and STAY shutdown, we all might survive!

  11. Why not Shute them down? that would much more good, they are not doing anything that is good for the nation now..

  12. All that would be shut down is increased spending. The government has a river of money coming in from taxes, fees, fines, and licenses. It is more than adequate to pay real obligations. So there is no such thing as a real shut down. The party in power, usually the Dems, will threaten the sick, the old, and veterans in an attempt to demonize the opposition. There is so much useless in government that all this is is an exercise in politics. See my blog at http://cranky-conservative.blogspot.com

  13. YES !! lets cut their pay and not pay them until they accomplish something of "GOOD" for this nation

  14. M. E. Hughes says:

    I have a question: If the money coming into the government is sufficient to pay "real obligations" why is the country SEVENTEEN TRILLION DOLLARS in debt?

  15. A government shut down has always meant the 'shut down of non-essential' activities. Why on earth do we have 'non-essential' expenditures when we can't balance the budget? I vote to keep the government 'shut down' permanently and end throwing money away for 'non essential' agencies and activities.

  16. Stuart Shepherd says:

    It would be nice if the adjective "permanent" preceded "government shutdown." We could only hope.

  17. A "government shutdown," eh?

    You mean like the one that happens every weekday afternoon and around 1630?


    That's a bit of a worry.

  18. ambassadordavid says:

    Isa 4:1 And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.
    Isa 4:2 In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.
    all scriptures using the phrase "In That Day" are quite cool.

  19. The big gov't pols and news media are just trying to scare us. There have been gov't shutdowns before with little impact. The gov't shuts down twice a week every week, more when there are holidays, with no impact. Why are we supposed to fear a gov't shutdown when essential services still operate? Answer: so we can be manipulated.__I would like to see a gov't shutdown. It will be a non-event. Then the people will see there are places to cut gov't, contrary to the claims of Obama and Pelosi.

  20. Most normal people would never notice if the government were to shutdown. If you work for the government, sorry.

  21. "No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the congress is in session." – Mark Twain.

    I'm not sure I trust the accuracy of the citation, but I agree with the thought, regardless of who first voiced it,

  22. The framers of the US Constitution didn't intend for most people to notice the Federal government's existence. The VAST majority of interaction between citizens and government was supposed to be at the state or local level. How many people even know there is NO SUCH THING as a national election in the US? The offices of President and Vise President are the ONLY elected offices that even NOMINALLY represent more than a single state.

  23. But we DO care about their 'sacred cows'. We want them shut down PERMANENTLY.

  24. Can i suggest HUD probably wastes more money than anyone, Education. I believe the states run the schools, IRS, need a flat tax, Interior dept., do you know what they do, homeland security we did better without it. And about half of the rest plus most of the contractors and all of the political appointees. Please shut it down and give me my tax money back.

  25. Food for thought: Article 1, Section 4 of the Constitution as originally written requires "The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.

    It appears the Founders didn't see the need for Congress to be in session year round. Unlike the 20th amendment, which states the meeting of Congress shall BEGIN at noon on Jan 3, Article 1, Section 4 could easily be interpreted to anticipate a ONE DAY session of Congress.

  26. Virgil_Hilts says:

    I found that one too…probably reliable. My other Twain favorite is this: " Imagine you were an imbecile…now, imagine you were a Congressman; but I repeat myself."

  27. Interesting (well, maybe not) that our President will negotiate with Russia, Syria and Iran, but not with the Republican Party – and certainly not the Tea Party.

  28. Really Fed Up says:

    Amen! What we, our freedoms, economy & privacy are not surviving is the guberment staying open!

  29. Government agencies are not supposed to solve problems. They are supposed to create permanent employment in the public sector. Just as an exterminator will not tell you how to get cockroaches out of your house once and for all for a little bit of diligence and $6, a government agency will not solve any problems. If it did, it would no longer have any reason to exist. That's why we have wars somewhere all the time. If we actually had peace, the military would have to scale back, and defense contractors would have smaller profits. If the war on poverty were won, the Great Society would have to shut down, and the government could no longer demand tax money to pay for it with. If the war on drugs were won, the DEA would consist of a few hundred clerks processing prescribing certificates for physicians. The implicit goal of every federal agency is to grow and grow until it consumes the entire federal budget. It is like having hundreds of tumors from twenty different kinds of cancer growing all at the same time. Anytime the disease is mentioned, Congress creates a new tumor that is supposed to put all the other tumors into remission. But, of course, it doesn't.

  30. We already have 50 state governments, and untold thousands of county governments, elected by the people. some of these governments are manned by people who actually know what is going on in their local districts. The federal govermment really accomplishes little these days but to take our money, and then tell us it won';t give it back — entitlements or not. I'm really sweating whether my socail security taxes will come back to me, or if they have disappeared into the pockets of some Bernie Madoff clones.

  31. It's getting to the point when the Congress says the federal government will shut down, and the majority of the population will yell, 'Bring it on!"

  32. This is a great post, Sutekh, and deserving of far more than the one "thumbs up" it got (from me).

  33. You forgot to mention the major tributary to the "river", control of the currency and ability to create it out of nothing and spend it into circulation by various convoluted means. This, and this alone, is the "inflation" we hear so much about. I believe that the IRS and income tax were created as a cover for the money-printing operation (same year, 1913, notice?). If we weren't taxed so much, people would begin to wonder where all the money was coming from.

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  35. What? The Department of Education would shut down?