Oh, dear! Another fake government shutdown looms. Whatever shall we do?
How will we survive if President Trump is forced to go on permanent golf vacation? If Congress members can no longer meet to investigate one another’s sex crimes? If the U.S. military has to stop bombing weddings and hospitals along with the terrorists it helped create? If the IRS stops collecting taxes?
I jest, of course.
A federal government shutdown is to a real shutdown (of a business, say) as a federal budget cut is to a real budget cut (of a household, say).
Whenever you see a bureaucrat weep and wail over his budget being cut, it’s almost always a cut to his requested increase from the year before that has him gnashing his teeth. Actual cuts are rarely ever on the table.
Similarly, a federal government shutdown is never a real shutdown. The worst that generally happens is that average Americans are shut out of the national parks and monuments they’re paying for, until the “crisis” is resolved.
Ever notice that when politicians play their games of chicken, they deliberately inflict as much pain as possible not on themselves or their hirelings, but on their “customers,” the taxpayers?
It’s as if your local supermarket shut down the ice cream aisle in a ploy to anger customers enough to “force” management to resolve some internal dispute — perhaps by raising prices as it planned all along.
No market-based business would operate like that, of course. For that level of irrationality, meanness and contempt you have to look to “government,” i.e., the state.
A real shutdown of this fake government will come one day, I believe. The ticking federal debt bomb practically guarantees it.
I call it fake government, by the way, because it operates by coercion and violence (actual and threatened). Real government is voluntary and peaceful.*
You’ll know it when the real shutdown begins. Not because tourists can’t get into the Washington Monument, but because Social Security, welfare and federal payroll checks stop going out. Or they continue to go out but they no longer buy anything at the store.
No amount of magical thinking, or believing that somehow “they” will fix things, will prevent an inevitable real shutdown of the fake government. It would be less painful to begin now to dissolve that so-called government, and transfer its services to the voluntary sector.
Then — maybe — we could begin to enjoy the peace and abundance that real government brings. I’m not holding my breath, though.
One thing’s certain. “Government” by crisis and political gamesmanship, and above all by crude force, has become tiresome. And unsustainable.