Tag Archives: Government shutdown

The Shutdown Shows Us How Unreliable and Harmful Government Can Really Be, by Gary Galles

Is it a tragedy if a government shutdown stops a government from doing what it shouldn’t have been doing in the first place? From Gary Galles at mises.org:

As the partial government shutdown has continued to its record-breaking length, more and more people have found themselves discomfited, inconvenienced or harmed in some way by the consequences. That has led to a rising chorus of complaints against our current form of gridlock. With it has come an interesting form of optimism from the political left—the hope that the problems due to the shutdown will convince people just how valuable the government is to each of us, which will move people toward their side of the political aisle.

This is illustrated by a recent Daily 202 article by James Hohmann and Joanie Greve in the Washington Post. They write that “the effects are poised to become both worse and more obvious to more people. One enduring result could be that Americans collectively come to appreciate the value government provides in their everyday lives to a greater degree.” They then contrast the resulting “teachable moment on what exactly the government does and how important it is to people’s lives,” to Ronald Reagan’s statement that rather than providing solutions to problems, “Government is the problem.”

They document some of the problems due to the government shutdown. However, long wait times at airport security, problems providing food stamps, difficulties with affordable housing contracts expirations, meeting payrolls, etc., etc., do not disprove that “government is the problem.”

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Shutdown Woes Show How Overgrown the Gov. Has Become, by Graham J. Noble

When a government shutdown can have a discernable economic impact, it’s too big. From Graham J. Noble at libertynation.com:

The fact that a government shutdown can have a real impact on our economy proves just how pervasive it has become.

certain pundits, journalists, and politicians are to be believed, the United States is about to fall into a third-world state of disrepair and the economy will quickly collapse. The end time, it seems, is upon us. All this because parts of the federal government have been functioning at less than full bureaucratic capacity for 27 days.

The very hysteria and indignation that followed this partial shutdown highlights the sad fact that many people have come to view government as not only vital to every aspect of human society, but it’s most important institution. That anyone is even talking about the impact of the shutdown on the U.S. economy demonstrates how sprawling and pervasive the federal government has become.

Government Spends Too Much Money On Itself

The United States has the largest economy of any country in the world, dwarfing that of China, which now has the second-largest. As an aside to those who believe Russia represents anything close to an existential threat to the U.S., Russia’s is the world’s twelfth-largest, with a GDP that comes in around one-tenth of America’s. The point, though, is that when a partial government shutdown has any significant effect upon such an enormous economy, that government is far too big and is spending far too much money, just on operating costs – never mind what it spends on actually running federal programs.

Democrats, for whom a government shutdown is the worst thing that can ever happen, apparently, are busy appearing on cable news shows, painting grim pictures of all the things the government is currently not doing. Even if they were being honest – which is not the case, in many respects – it seems that the world continues to turn and Americans are going about their business with a few inconveniences. The well-compensated federal workers who have been furloughed will get back-pay when the shutdown eventually ends. In some cases, the private sector has stepped in to pick up the slack and there is, of course, nothing the government can do that the private sector cannot do.

 What Defines A Real Crisis?

Thousands of migrants from Central America are massing just over the southern border, at the mercy of criminals, rapists, and those who traffic in humans and drugs. These people have been made false promises and are now homeless and vulnerable to anyone wishing to do them harm – which often turns out to be their fellow countrymen. This, according to Democrats, is not a crisis – but a few government agencies temporarily scaling back their operations is. This is a snapshot of the leftist mentality: The health and welfare of the government itself are more important than that of actual human beings.

Shutdown Is Not All Bad News

One anonymous Trump administration official sees the shutdown as an opportunity. The Daily Caller published an op-ed written by this individual, who describes how the deep state is working furiously to cripple the Trump agenda and how so many federal workers, knowing it is extremely difficult to get fired, do as little work as possible. “80 percent [of the federal employees known to the op-ed’s author] feel no pressure to produce results,” he or she writes. “If they don’t feel like doing what they are told, they don’t.”

“Most of my career colleagues actively work against the president’s agenda. This means I typically spend about 15 percent of my time on the president’s agenda and 85 percent of my time trying to stop sabotage, and we have no power to get rid of them. Until the shutdown.”

The official goes on to point out that, during the shutdown, most federal agencies are actually functioning more efficiently since the lack of funding means that only essential employees are at work. This unnamed writer – whose identity is known to The Daily Caller – suggests senior government officials can use the now extended shutdown to refocus, reprioritize, and “weed out the saboteurs.”

Ultimately, no-one will starve to death or meet any other form of untimely end as a direct result of the shutdown. The nation continues normal activity, albeit with some extra-long flight delays. The federal government itself continues to function in its usual, dysfunctional way. The only people who are really freaking out over the shutdown are Democratic politicians and other leftists who cannot imagine life without the constant overbearing interference of the almighty administrative state.

 

Decentralization Is the Solution to the Government Shutdown, by Ryan McMaken

Ryan McMaken is correct as far as he goes: decentralization in government would be a wonderful thing. Not much analysis, though, on why centralization occurs (hint: it’s in somebody interest for it to occur), or how decentralization can happen. From McMaken at mises.org:

The partial shutdown with the federal government has helped, perhaps more than any other recent political event, to illustrate some of the biggest problems that come with centralizing an ever-larger number of government activities within a single, centralized institution.

Were the US government more decentralized, we’d not now be facing a nationwide systemic failure that has continues to cripple the private sector in many ways.

Held Hostage by a Shuttered Regulatory State

The federalization of resources and regulatory power over the past century has created a situation in which numerous industries depend on licensing and regulatory approval from federal regulators to function. And yet, thanks to the shutdown, these industries can do little when facing a federal government that imposes mandates, but won’t provide the agency “services” necessary to allow agencies to function under those mandates.

For example, As The Washington Post has reported , those areas where the federal government has a large regulatory footprint — such as Alaska — are at the mercy of politicians thousands of miles away.

Most (61 percent) of Alaska is government land managed by five different federal agencies, according to the congressional Research Service. The state’s main industries, including fishing, tourism and oil and gas, all depend on the day-to-day actions of federal workers and regulators.

The fisheries have so far avoided major disruption, despite a few close calls. Most boats are still getting by on licenses and inspections which occurred before the shutdown.

But time is running out. Major commercial boats are required to carry onboard observers to monitor their catch. But when they return from a trip, those observers must be debriefed by the National Marine Fisheries Service — and it’s not holding debriefings during the shutdown.

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Doug Casey on the Government Shutdown

Bring it on! Doug Casey celebrates the government’s shutdown. From Casey at caseyresearch.com:

Justin’s note: The U.S. government is shut down.

It has been for 28 days now – making it the longest government shutdown in U.S. history by a wide margin. And there’s no telling when it will come to an end.

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the media’s having a field day with this. But I can’t help but wonder if this is as big of a deal as people are making it out to be. So I got Doug Casey on the phone to see what he thinks…


Justin: Doug, the U.S. government shutdown is now 28 days old. Are you surprised it’s lasted this long?

Doug: I’m not surprised, but I’m definitely pleased. There have been a number of shutdowns in the past. Sixteen days under Obama. Twenty-one days under Bill Clinton. Five separate shutdowns on Jimmy Carter’s watch. This one, like its antecedents, is no more than a tempest in a toilet bowl – just a nuisance for a small segment of the population. A proper shutdown would include the IRS [laughs].

In this case, the shutdown is because Trump isn’t getting the $5.7 billion he wants for his wall. But this begs the question… should there even be a wall? My answer is “no,” for a number of both practical and philosophical reasons. Keeping illegal aliens out is a good idea. But it would happen naturally if just two things were done.

Point number one, get rid of the welfare benefits that draw the wrong kind of people. During the 19th century, and up to the 1930s, there were absolutely no welfare benefits for immigrants – or anybody else, for that matter. As a result, you attracted opportunity seekers.

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‘Senior Trump Official’: “I Hope A Long Shutdown Smokes Out The Resistance”, by Anonymous

Every day the government shutdown goes on, President Trump gets stronger and the opposition weaker. From an anonymous writer from The Daily Caller via zerohedge.com:

President Trump just retweeted the following ‘anonymous’ op-ed from The Daily Caller saying it is “worth the read.”

The Daily Caller is taking the rare step of publishing this anonymous op-ed at the request of the author, a senior official in the Trump administration whose identity is known to us and whose career would be jeopardized by its disclosure. We believe publishing this essay anonymously is the only way to deliver an important perspective to our readers. We invite you to submit a question about the essay or our vetting process here.

As one of the senior officials working without a paycheck, a few words of advice for the president’s next move at shuttered government agencies: lock the doors, sell the furniture, and cut them down.

Federal employees are starting to feel the strain of the shutdown. I am one of them. But for the sake of our nation, I hope it lasts a very long time, till the government is changed and can never return to its previous form.

The lapse in appropriations is more than a battle over a wall. It is an opportunity to strip wasteful government agencies for good.

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The Mainstream Media Warns America Will Be Facing An “Economic Hellscape” If The Government Shutdown Continues, by Michael Snyder

The real danger for those issuing these kind of warning is not their “economic hellscape,” but rather that millions of people discover that their lives are either unaffected or positively affected by the government shutdown. Has anybody noticed that the stock market has been rallying since the government closed down? From Michael Snyder at theconomiccollapseblog.com:

Is the mainstream media overhyping the economic impact of the government shutdown for political purposes?  Of course they are.  Once upon a time the mainstream media in the United States at least attempted to maintain a facade of objectivity, but those days are long gone.  In this case, they want to stir up as much public resentment against President Trump as possible in order to try to force him to end the government shutdown.  And when NBC News breathlessly declared that the U.S. “would face an economic hellscape” if this shutdown stretches on for an extended period of time, their article quickly went viral all over the Internet.

But will it really be “an economic hellscape”?

Here are some of the things that they say we will be facing in their “doomsday scenario”

  • 38 million low-income Americans lose food stamps
  • 6 million face an uncertain timetable for collecting tax refunds
  • 2 million without rental assistance and facing possible eviction
  • 800,000 paycheck-less federal employees plunged into dire financial straits
  • Shuttered parks and museums while overstressed airports cause tourism to tank
  • Federal court system slows to a crawl
  • Disaster relief money doesn’t get to storm-ravaged areas

Yes, things would certainly be unpleasant for a lot of people, and there would be a whole lot of anger around the country.

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The Dreaded Government Shutdown, by Robert Ringer

Nobody and nothing has yet forced those who rule us to spend less. That day is coming. From Robert Ringer at lewrockwell.com:

The average low-information voter, who depends on getting his news from the FNM, is trembling in his shoes right now because the life-ending government shutdown he has heard so much about has finally arrived.  How in the world can the United States possibly survive such a calamity?

But let’s get serious:  Every reasonably well-informed individual with an IQ above 32 realizes that a government shutdown is not only not a bad thing, it’s actually a positive.  Let’s face it, the only way to stop government spending and borrowing is to close shop.  And, amazingly, when that happens (as it has 18 times in the past), the anti-Armageddon truth is that the average person is totally unaffected!

While the amount varies from month to month, the government brings in, on average, about $200 billion a month from (mostly unwilling) taxpayers and pays out, on average, about $20 billion in monthly interest charges.  That’s a tenfold coverage.

Second, Social Security and Medicare are easily covered by government revenues each month, at least right now.

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Blow Back, by James Howard Kunstler

Is the government shutdown, which the Democrats will mostly be blamed for, misdirection from the burgeoning FBI and Justice Department scandals? From James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:

Is there any doubt that the Democratic Party will be blamed for the government shutdown brought on by the DACA showdown? They insisted on a DACA deal that would have enabled everybody-and-his-uncle in a DACA person’s family to migrate to this country, a formula known as chain migration. Did they really believe that would go over? Or is it just more identity politics posturing?

I’m not the first observer to point out that it looks like the Democratic Party puts the interests of non-citizens above everybody else in the country. That’s what will be remembered about this gambit at the polls in November. It also looks like an engineered misdirection away from the more ominous fast-developing story about political corruption at the highest level of the Justice Department and its subsidiary, the FBI.

Unlike the allegations in the slow-cooking Russian Collusion story — allegations so far uncoupled from evidence — there’s plenty of evidence that FBI leadership deliberately mishandled several concurrent Hillary Clinton inquiries and, along with other players in the giant NSA matrix, launched the Russia Collusion story to derail Donald Trump’s legitimacy in office. Former President Obama and his White House aides are implicated in these machinations. Whether you’re a Trump fan or not, this ought to raise troubling questions about the legitimacy of the FBI.

On Sunday, the FBI revealed that it had lost five months of text messages between Trump antagonists Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. The agency offered a lame explanation that “software upgrades” and “misconfiguration issues” interfered with the app that is supposed to automatically save and archive communications between officials on FBI phones. This was the couple who chattered about an FBI-generated “insurance policy” for the outcome of the 2016 election with Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. When will these three be invited to testify before a house or senate committee to inform the nation exactly what the “insurance policy” was?

To continue reading: Blow Back

Washington’s Bloated Big Engine That Can’t—Why The Shutdown Threat Matters, by David Stockman

Time inexorably moves on and debt inexorably grows and the reckoning draws ever closer. From David Stockman at davidstockmanscontracorner.com:

We have been here before—-in the blow-off stage of a stock market mania that is being driven by nothing more than momentum. Speculators and robo-machines alike are buying the market solely because it is going up (almost) every day.

Their excuse is FOMO. But their downfall will be utter failure to have noticed headwinds gathering everywhere—but most especially in the Imperial City.

The fact is, the current Continuing Resolution (CR) impasse underscores that Washington has been reduced to a state of operational dysfunction, policy fracture and partisan paralysis like never before. The pols can only keep the lights on 4 weeks at a time—or maybe even less as tonight’s shutdown showdown will determine.

To be sure, the talking heads of bubblevision bravely insist that this latest shutdown threat doesn’t matter because when push-comes-to-shove these CR and debt ceiling impasses always get resolved, enabling the market to live for another day. No sweat!

Au contraire. Each time the fiscal can is kicked down the road by one of these pathetically short CRs, it is actually a measure of defeat because under today’s macroeconomic and financial circumstances, time is the absolute enemy as the pressure in the cooker inexorably builds to the explosion point.

Everything is out of sync and behind the curve—on the monetary, fiscal and macroeconomic fronts.

The Fed has dithered for 100 months in failing to normalize interest rates and reduce its hideously bloated balance sheet. Belatedly, however, the knee-jerk Keynesians who inhabit the Eccles Building have become positively desperate about re-loading their “dry powder” to combat the next recession.

So they have put shrinkage of their massive portfolio of govevernment and GSE debt on automatic pilot. This means that for the first time in history the Fed will be dumping bonds on the market at a $600 billion annual rate come October.

To continue reading: Washington’s Bloated Big Engine That Can’t—Why The Shutdown Threat Matters

 

We’re With POTUS, by Bill Bonner

The only people who think shutting down Washington would be a bad thing are residents of Washington and a few wayward souls scattered on the coasts (see electoral map). From Bill Bonner at bonnerandpartners.com:

It doesn’t seem to matter what he says; the press is all over him.

A presidential tweet: “Our country needs a good ‘shutdown.’”

The commentators couldn’t believe it. It was “unthinkable,” they said, for a sitting president to suggest closing up shop of his own government!

But once again, we’re with the POTUS.

“The Donald” is right: A shutdown is what the country needs.

No Money for the Swamp

Shut down the whole shebang.

No money for the swamp. No money for the cronies. No money for the zombies. No enforcement of employment rules… minimum wages… SEC regulations…

Send the snoops at the NSA and the CIA home. Stop collecting taxes. Stop telling everyone what to do!

Stop the win-lose deals.

Wow… we’re getting giddy just thinking about it.

Readers will reply that Mr. Trump is being irresponsible and that a shutdown would be “disastrous.”

Think of all the museums and parks that would be closed. Think of NPR off the air. Think of the bombing that would have to stop. Think of all the boondoggles, insider deals, and sweetheart contracts that would be put on pause.

The Labor Department… suddenly out of a job! The Department of Education… sent home from school. The Agriculture Department… yanked up by the roots. The Energy Department… out of gas.

Yes… sounds good to us!

Still in Business

Seriously, most of what the government does is “non-essential.”

Even in a shutdown, the feds would still be in business – taking our money… spying on us… asking rude questions at airports… and droning foreigners.

If the president really wanted to shake things up, he should shut down these “essential” services, too.

Take the Department of Homeland Security.

Please. Essential?

Twenty years ago, it didn’t exist. Now, it employs 240,000 people.

To continue reading: We’re With POTUS