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Oct 21st
Home Sections Politics If the Government Shuts Down… Is that Really a Bad Thing?
If the Government Shuts Down… Is that Really a Bad Thing? PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Politics
Written by Gerry Garrison   
Tuesday, 12 April 2011 12:08


By Gerry Garrison

In This Corner...


A government shutdown is said to occur when the government no longer provides "non-essential" services. Typically, services that continue despite a shutdown include police, fire fighting, armed forces, utilities, air-traffic management and corrections. 


A shutdown can occur when a legislative body (including the legislative power of veto by the Chief Executive) cannot agree on a budget financing its government programs for a pending fiscal year. In the absence of appropriated funds, the government discontinues providing non-essential services at the beginning of the affected fiscal year. Government employees who provide essential services, often referred to as "essential employees", are required to continue working.


The last federal government shutdown happened in 1995. It was the result of a conflict between Democratic President Clinton and the Republican-controlled Congress over funding for Medicare, education, the environment and public health. It was caused when President Clinton vetoed the spending bill Congress sent him.


The Federal government put all non-essential government workers on leave of absence and suspended non-essential services, from November 14 through November 19, 1995, and from December 16, 1995, to January 6, 1996.


On November 14, then-President Clinton had his staff release figures specific costs of the shutdown, including losses of approximately $400-million in the form of payments to laid-off federal employees.


The first budget shutdown was resolved with the passage of a temporary-spending bill. However, continuing differences of opinion between the leader of the House, then-Speaker Newt Gingrich and President Clinton could not be resolved. This resulted in the second shutdown.

So now that you know the history of the previous shutdown, you understand what could ensue if this happens again. Few options would be available to President Obama, who could threaten to veto any stopgap-spending bill from the Republican-led House of Representatives. 


The measure that was accepted as a compromise bill would fund the government for one week waiting on negotiations for a long term (6-month) plan. The Democrats are unhappy has some of the riders and $12-billion in cuts are completely unacceptable to them.


In a statement to the press, Mr. Obama said, “If we are serious about getting something done, we should be able to complete a deal, get it passed and avert a shutdown.”


Enough! After months of one “stop gap” measure after another, it is time for the Democrats to put up or shut up. The Democrats held the House of Representatives, Senate and the presidency in 2010. So why couldn’t they pass a budget prior to end of the fiscal year 2010? 


Are they afraid of the reaction from the American people? From their counterparts in the Republican Party? That didn’t seem to stop them when they passed the “Obama Health Care” plan, even though all polls told them how unpopular this healthcare plan was, nor cared what their Republican counterparts in the House or Senate had to say. 


I say, let the government shut down. If one listens to all the pundits, you would think the world is coming to an end. But I wonder if it would really be such a bad thing if the government “called in sick” for a few days.


Would our soldiers, sailors, airmen, or marines be less brave or honorable while politicians continue to try to take more money from them? The Republicans wanted to insure they got paid during a shut down. The President said he would veto that.  Why?


What if we let it get shut and liked it better that way? It would certainly be cheaper to have it shut down than it costs to have government up and running. If the government shuts down, it is estimated it would cost $14-million a day. Right now, it costs the American people $12.8-billion while the government is up and running. 


Gee, the math is pretty simple. We could save more than $11.7-billion dollars a day by just letting it shut down for awhile. If the government shut down for just a week, we could save over $82.4-billion dollars.  That is four times more than the Democrats purposed cuts.


If I were a government employee, I would try and find a way to “place nice with others”, try to keep working as you may find yourself out of a job.


Just saying... but what do I know? # # #


Life is short. Forgive quickly. Kiss slowly. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that made you smile.



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Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 April 2011 16:42

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