Recently by J. Paul Henderson: Freedom From Freedom
For the past couple of weeks, all the talking bobble heads in TV Newsland could concern themselves with was the looming (partial) government shutdown and the dire consequences such an event would have for all of us out here in Normal Land.
But there were so many aspects to this whole thing that seemed to escape the women with big blond hair and men with perfectly tied Windsor knots passing themselves off as journalists.
First of all, there were no Draconian budget cuts. The amount of money they were squabbling over was a tiny percentage of one percent of the budget. In the grand scheme of things, this was about as important as a husband and wife with a monthly income of $4,000 fighting over one's desire to blow eighty cents on a Snickers Bar.
Beyond that, no one was addressing the fact that the deficits, as far as the eye can see (or until national bankruptcy), are more that a trillion dollars a year. This is like that same couple with a $4,000 monthly income, spending $6,000 a month and deciding to become more responsible by cutting out one Starbuck's coffee a week.
The inmates are now in full control of the asylum.
But there are bigger issues then this. (should be than) Issues no one in Mainstream News Land has addressed. The official number of unessential federal workers to be laid off was 800,000. If they're unessential, what are they doing and why are we paying them? Why don't we just eliminate their jobs entirely? That alone would save over fifty billion dollars a year. Not to mention that those 800,000 people could no longer do any damage. Who knows how much more that would save us?
As they say on TV at two in the morning, "But wait! There's more!"
Have you noticed that whenever there's a threat of a governmental shutdown, the only things they threaten to de-fund are the few that are at least arguably useful? Things like parks. The Blue Ridge Parkway (Yes!). They're gonna save money by closing a road?
But through all the fighting over spending and all the talk of slashing the budget by a whopping one percent, no one, including the Tepid Tea Party folks could bring themselves to cut even the most insane federal spending schemes. Here are just two of hundreds — or maybe thousands — that could go: Do you know there's a federal program to pay your home phone bill? And if you can't afford your car repairs, Big Daddy Washington will pay to have it fixed. True! We actually have federal departments of home phones and car repair.
Here in North Carolina, the Fedz are proposing to spend a half-billion dollars upgrading the passenger rail service between Charlotte and Raleigh. After the half-billion dollars (plus the inevidable cost overruns) travel time will be reduced from three hours and fifteen minutes to three hours. And almost no one rides that train, anyway. Why would they? You can drive from Charlotte to Raleigh in three hours and have your own car when you get there.
This idiotic waste of money is being promoted by state and local politicians because it will create jobs. But when you take money honestly earned by one person and give it to someone to do something useless, you haven't created any new wealth; you've merely taken it from one pocket and put it in another pocket — with a big, fat management fee staying in Washington.
If we take this stupid thing, multiply it by the hundreds of other big, costly stupid things being promoted around the country, and eliminate them — we might be able to balance the budget. Or at least come a lot closer than we are now.
I believe the periodic threats to shut down the government are nothing more than big PR stunts. The propaganda that precedes the predictable eleventh hour settlement is designed to convince Americans that if these drones and leaches went home western civilization would disintegrate before our very eyes.
The main reason it's not going to happen is a partial shutdown of the government could cause things to get better. Even Boobus Amerikanus might figure out that most of the employees laid off and programs stopped were not only unnecessary, but detrimental.
And one thing the emperor hates is to be caught with his clothes off.
There's one other reason these guys don't want to shut down the government. With the partial shutdown, your Congressthing would still be working, but his entire staff would be laid off. This would mean he'd have to get his own coffee, drive his own car and have illicit affairs with himself.
Can't have that, can we?
I suggest that the next time they threaten even a partial shutdown of the government, we call their bluff and shout "Shut it down! S H U T I T D O W N !"