Weekly Comments Archive
Archived Issue
Sunday, December 16, 2018
ISSUE #956
Weekly Comments: The Shutdown Puzzle

You probably know that President Trump wants $5 Billion to continue construction of The Wall. He said he is willing to take the blame for “shutting down” the government December 21, if Congress does not add this to the roughly $4000 Billion already in the budget. Yes, you read that right; $5 Billion would increase government spending by 0.13 percent. But Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are adamantly opposed, even though ten years ago they were in favor of a secure border to keep out illegal aliens.

Here are four observations on a possible government shutdown.

First, the budget for three-fourths of the federal government has already been funded (including the military), so the impact of a shutdown would be minimal.

Second, most of the expense of a shutdown happens before the shutdown because everybody has to waste time planning for a possible shutdown.

Third, whether a shutdown lasts one hour, one day, or one month, employees are always paid for the time they sat at home. The idea that a couple of weeks without any federal government activity would save money is a joke.

Fourth, the shutdown would start on Saturday, Dec. 22, and essential employees would still be on the job. Here’s a question: How many non-essential federal workers are planning to take vacation days during the Christmas-New Years week? Would you believe, all of them? So political haggling could result in a 10-day shutdown, until January 2, and most of us wouldn’t even notice. And  those workers would get the days off, without being charged vacation leave, then get paid later anyway. What a country.

Now, I don’t mean to joke about a shutdown. I know it is a serious issue and is not desirable for anybody directly affected.

Concerning the $25 Billion total cost of The Wall, and why doesn’t Mexico pay for it… imagine a solid wall had been in place for the last ten years, with only needed workers allowed in, legally. No freeloaders. No drug dealers. No MS-13 gang members. Does anyone doubt we would have saved over $25 Billion in various government services already?

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“There is very little dignity, very little sportsmanship, or very little anything in politics.” DT #1949, Nov. 2, 1932

“Politics is not the high class, marvelous thing that lots of you picture.” Nov. 10, 1932

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