Open for Business

It’s now day 26 of the government “shutdown.”  While the partisan forces staging this sideshow remain dug in, they also remain well paid.  Nearly 1,000,000 federal employees have now lost a pay cycle; but all the Representatives, Senators, Justices, Judges, Executive branch functionaries, and staff wonks have missed a combined *zero* paychecks.  President Donald Trump, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, the faces at the front of the pro- and anti-border security forces, haven’t missed a nickel – Trump’s donation of his salary notwithstanding.

Will waste your money for food.

Will waste your money for food.

 Let’s be honest kids; were it not for the daily drumbeat of media hand-wringing over the interruption, you wouldn’t have noticed.  The prisons are still holding bad guys, the interstates are still open, and the 1st Ranger Battalion can still take any airfield on the planet in under 48 hours.  Try to think of another organization which could furlough 800,000 employees, and effectively continue general operations.

 We’re approaching the shutdown’s one-month anniversary, and outside of the Coast Guard, nearly no one’s absence has been more than fodder for liberal talking points.  I’m as anti- people being unemployed as anyone, but I can’t help but notice that the shutdown has exposed the tremendous redundancy and basic useless infecting our government.  As it turns out, the guy with a drawer-full of rejection letters from the police academy hasn’t suddenly become indispensable as a TSA agent.  The CPA who couldn’t get past the interview at PriceWaterhouseCoopers didn’t transform into a super-accountant at the IRS.  And the eco-warrior who majored in tree-hugging didn’t turn into Captain Planet at the EPA. 

 To be sure, there are people of value who are currently airing their heels thanks to the shutdown.  But there are clearly far more living on the taxpayer teat than there need to be. The feds sent home the population of a mid-to-large-sized city without even slowing down the mail.  An accountant who did make the cut at PriceWaterhouse could tell you that indicates endemic inefficiency.  The shutdown should end with more than just a border barrier down south, but a serious housecleaning back in D.C.