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.