Well, guess what, folks? Approaching seven in the morning, almost seven hours following a shutdown of the federal government, Reginald the rooster is crowing, the sky is lightening in the East preparatory to a sunrise, and my coffee brewed just fine. I'm alive, awake and, frankly, I don't seem to notice anything different about life this morning. And since I opted several months ago to shut down DirecTV and turn off the TV, the only way I even know the government is closed is through perusing the internet or listening to talk radio.
Just like the sequester, President Obama's threats of gloom and doom have fallen hollow. Of course, for those of you who insist that TV news is actually news, you will hear the same old stories that were used seventeen years ago during the last shutdown: the poor will go hungry, the school's won't be able to cope with the uncertainty, the poor family planning a trip to a national park won't be able to visit a site that is closed, and, of course, all of those poor employees in Washington, D.C. will not be able to pay their bills. Most of what you hear, however, will be malarkey. So let's take a moment to review what will continue to operate relatively unchanged.
First, let's look at the federal civilian employment picture. Of the over two million employees, only about 800,000 thousand employees will be furloughed. Most of these are "paper pushers" and policy types working for agencies which many of us see as a negative. They are those considered "non-essential", which makes me wonder why we have federal employees who are not essential in the first place. Just as an example, I'll give you the EPA. Most of these employees will be furloughed and, frankly, I think that every day the EPA is closed is one more day when they can't destroy more of our infrastructure. The functions of this overly powerful and extremist organization that are valid could easily be absorbed elsewhere. We can eliminate the snail darter data team right now and open so many of our resources. Sorry for the sarcasm, folks.
Now let's look at the major functions that continue unabated:
1. Law enforcement and border security will continue to function. Safety matters will be handled as usual.
2. Mail delivery will continue. The postal service is a quasi-private entity which will stay open.
3. The largest and most important government entity, the military, will remain operating and our service members will continue to be paid.
4. Va hospitals will continue to operate and veterans will be able to receive treatment.
5. Social security and medicare payments will continue to be issued.
6. The TSA and Air Traffic Control will also be fully operational, airlines will continue to operate.
7. And Obamacare is open. How ironic, the cause of the entire problem is unaffected.
You won't be able to go to national parks or receive passports and many general supportive administrative offices will be closed. Just sit back, relax, and wait a few days and this too shall change. As I alluded to earlier, most of us will hardly notice any impact.
So what's the big deal and why did this happen? Well, despite what Harry Reid and the President keep droning on about, they are the ones who caused this. American national government operates by compromise and with the House of Representative under the control of the Republicans, it is certainly not unusual for that body to have policy disagreements with the Democrats who control the Senate and the Presidency. Since this argument began, the House has offered multiple compromise positions while Obama and Reid just refused to budge one iota. Not only that, but they decided to get surly and snarly publicly with name calling and innuendo while the Republican approach was measured and clear. You'll never get the biased media to admit to that, however.
One last point. Obama keeps using the "Law of the Land" argument as to why the House needs to relent. Well, if you want to really know the truth, Obama himself violated this position by picking and choosing which parts of the law he wanted to change, clearly illegal to do so. And "laws of the land" are constantly undergoing change by future Congressional action, and that is all that the House is trying to do. Why should big corporations and political leaders and their staff be treated any differently than the rest of us? And why should a law that most Americans hate be allowed to perpetuate its bias and mistakes due to poor construction in the first place?
So sit back, folks, get the popcorn popping and let time take its course. Hopefully in the end we will get something that will be positive for the general population, not something which expands government and with it the President's ego.
Have a great day and God bless America.