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Once again America faces disaster. Yes – as of midnight this Friday the government will SHUT DOWN and America will cease to exist. At least that’s the way it is always portrayed.
Senate Minority Leader Charles “Chucky” Schumer seem cautiously optimistic as he stated that, “We’re making great progress on funding the government, avoiding a shutdown.” He did add that, “Our worry is that the president will come in and insist on certain things that couldn’t get the support of everybody.” He doesn’t need the support of everybody Chucky – least of all, you.
One of those “certain things” is of course the down payment to begin construction of on the Southern Border Wall. Trump is asking for $1.4 billion. Wow – that’s a lot of money – isn’t it. Why no – no it’s not. It’s chicken feed – not even a rounding error for the federal government.
The current annual budget to “run” the federal government is $3.8 trillion, or $3,800 billion. $1.4 billion is about 4/10000th of the budget. It would be easy to find that paltry sum. Put another way: Say you make $50,000 a year. That $1.4 billion is equivalent to $20. Can you spot me a 20?
But that isn’t the point about a shutdown – any shutdown.
The Democrats know, at least historically, that they can use a looming shutdown as a billy club to beat on spineless Republicans to get them to fund virtually anything. They know this because almost without exception, Republicans have caved when faced with the dreaded ‘S’ word (shutdown). The proof is the statement from scared little girly man Mitch McConnell after the 2013 shutdown showdown, when he emphatically stated, “There will not be another government shutdown.”
Unfortunately only a few have ever effectively advanced the notion that a government shutdown is in fact, not a shutdown at all. It’s barely a slowdown. And this dirty little secret is something I believe Democrat leadership knows and can never afford to be widely publicized.
They most certainly know that regardless of the length of the so-called shutdown, a minimum of 80-85% of government is still funded. This is an indisputable fact. One that has been stated by Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Glenn Beck, and many others – even little old me.
Another fact is that no government worker goes without pay. Every dime of back pay owed to government employees is paid to them at the end of the slowdown, which normally only lasts a few days. Think of it as paid time off – like a long holiday weekend – because that’s what it is.
Back on October 2, 2013, Rand Paul appeared on CNN to champion this very point. He told host Erin Burnett that, “85 percent of government’s running right now. Only 15 percent of government spending is shut down.”
The left leaning site (and that’s being generous) Politifact decided they would challenge this assertion, no doubt to prove him wrong. Unfortunately, not even they could prove it false, as they unfairly gave it a “half true” on their Truth-O-Meter.
After consulting with experts and looking at records from the Congressional Budget Office, they concluded that between 79 and 85% of the government is funded during a shutdown. They had to admit that Senator Paul was right, but felt compelled to add a caveat, which was of course the human toll, or more succinctly, the burden it puts on various departments.
“Estimates published in the New York Times suggest that at least six agencies were expecting to keep 20 percent or less of their workforce laboring through the shutdown, with another three expecting to continue employing between 21 percent and 50 percent,” write Politifact.
And here in lies the dirty little secret of the shutdown and why Dems can ill-afford a protracted one. Virtually no one notices a government slowdown because it rarely affects normal working folk like us. We hear the wails regarding the shutdown yet look around to find nothing has changed.
The Dems must realize that a long government shutdown might possibly show the average Joe and Joann just how bloated and unnecessary most of government is. If this were to happen, perhaps citizens might begin to question just what we’ve been paying for all these years. This is the Democrat’s greatest fear. Their job is to say and do whatever is necessary to further the lie that big government is essential.
So as we approach ‘S’ day, perhaps we should not fear but cheer the day of doom.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author and are not not necessarily either shared or endorsed by iPatriot.com.