We are back at the Casa de Animal for a while, having spent a day in Las Vegas and driven across northern Arizona and southwest Colorado. We saw such landmarks and historic sites as the Mojave, Flagstaff, the Four Corners, Wolf Creek Pass, the San Juan and Arkansas valleys and the famous South Park.
While that was going on, the Imperial government was shut down for… well, a few hours. Did you miss it? Neither did John Stossel. Excerpt:
One day, one of these shutdowns should be permanent. We would still have far more government than the Founding Fathers envisioned.
That’s because even during so-called shutdowns, a third of federal employees — nearly a million people — remain on the job, declared “essential” government workers. Military pay continues, too, although political commentators, eager to make a shutdown sound scarier, repeatedly claimed that military families were being cut off.
Here’s a list of functions that kept going during the “shutdown”:
- Law enforcement.
- Border Patrol.
- The TSA.
- Air traffic controllers.
- The CDC.
- Power grid maintenance.
- Social Security checks.
- Medicare checks.
- Food stamps.
- Veterans hospitals.
- The U.S. Post Office.
- U.S. Treasury debt auctions.
- Federal courts.
- The EPA.
Do we need more government than that? Do we even need that much?
If you love the FDA, the Agriculture Department or government websites, you might be frustrated, but the private sector (Underwriters Laboratories? Consumer Reports?) would do drug testing faster; much of what the Agriculture Department does is harmful; and private websites update information faster than government websites.
And don’t forget there are still 50 state governments, plus thousands of local governments. We’re buried in governments.
It’s been pointed out before and will be again, but one of the things we heard about this shutdown-that-wasn’t-a-shutdown, as with others before it, was that “non-essential” government employees would be furloughed. And, as has been asked repeatedly, if these employees are non-essential, why the bloody hell are we paying them?
As George Washington pointed out, government is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. It should be – nay, must be – tightly constricted. A part of that constriction must be in place in order to avoid wasting taxpayer’s money. Nobody reasonable can look today at the Imperial Colossus and see anything but rampant, runaway waste.