Federal Govt Plays Shutdown Theater

Wednesday, 09 Oct 2013 09:34 AM

By John Stossel

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Government wants you to play a role in the "shutdown" of the federal government. Your role is to panic.
 
Republicans and Democrats both assume that shutting some government is a terrible thing. The press concurs. "Shutdown threatens fragile economy," warns Politico. "Federal workers turn to prayer," laments The Washington Post.
 
If the public starts noticing that life goes on as usual without all 3.4 million federal workers, we might get dangerous ideas, like doing without so much government. Politicians don't want that.
 
They'd rather have us worry about how America will cope. 
 
President Obama gave a speech where he actually said we need to keep government open for the sake of people like the person working for the Department of Agriculture "out there helping some farmers make sure that they're making some modest profit," and the Department of Housing and Urban Development "helping somebody buy a house for the first time."
 
Give me a break. Farmers don't need bureaucrats to teach them how to make a profit, and Americans can buy first homes without HUD helping a chosen few. Americans would make more profit and afford better homes if they didn't have to spend a third of national income on federal taxes.
 
Bureaucrats, acting like bullies, protest the partial closures by doing things like cutting off access to public parks — even privately funded ones. Federal cops block access to outdoor war memorials and much of Mt. Rushmore. They block access to motels and order people out of private homes that happen to sit on federal land. The Washington Free Beacon reports, "The closure of a Virginia park that sits on federal land, even though the government provides no resources for its maintenance or operation."
 
This is shutdown theater.
 
It's similar to the fake "austerity measures" in other countries. We're told that Europe's slow economic growth is a result of "austerity" embraced by European governments.
 
But there hasn't really been any austerity. England, where a "conservative" government is in charge, increased government spending by 4 percent.
 
"Austerity" in Greece — supposedly so drastic that the public has little choice but to riot in protest — meant changes like reducing mandatory severance pay to one entire year (instead of two!).
 
In the U.S., Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told CNN the federal government has cut so much spending that there's just nothing left to cut: "The cupboard is bare! There's no more cuts to make!"
 
What? The federal government spends almost 4 trillion dollars! The government cupboard overflows! We fund entire cabinet departments that are worse than useless. The Labor Department interferes with actual labor. Commerce would flow more smoothly without Commerce Department bureaucrats channeling money to their cronies.
 
The government hasn't cut spending — it never does. After the last shutdowns, politicians even voted to award retroactive pay to government workers who didn't work. Bet they do it again this time. The federal government remains the biggest employer in the country. President Obama says so with pride.
 
Compare this to what happens in the private sector in tough times: AT&T cut 40,000 workers. Sears cut 50,000. IBM: 60,000. They weren't easy decisions, but they enabled the companies to stay profitable. With fewer workers, leaner companies found more efficient ways to get things done.  
 
And the rest of us barely noticed. We expect change and adaptation in free-market institutions. But it doesn't happen in government. Government just grows.
 
Maybe the ugliest part of this story is that the city that whines most about suffering through the shutdown, Washington, D.C., is now the richest geographic area in America. Washington got richer while the rest of America didn't. Over the past 12 years, median income in the U.S. dropped about 6.5 percent — but not in D.C.! There, it rose 23 percent. Four of the five richest counties now surround Washington, D.C.
 
No wonder politicians and bureaucrats are convinced big government is essential to keep the economy going — it is essential to keep them going.
 
John Stossel is host of "Stossel" on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of "No They Can't! Why Government Fails, but Individuals Succeed," "Give Me a Break," and "Myth, Lies, and Downright Stupidity." Read more reports from John Stossel — Click Here Now.
 

 

© Creators Syndicate Inc.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Should Rural Police Have Grenade Launchers?

Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 10:23 AM

I want the police to be better armed than the bad guys, but what exactly does that mean today? . . .

Let Private Firms Handle the Roads

Wednesday, 16 Jul 2014 12:43 PM

Roads and bridges need work. But too little transportation money spent by government goes to building and repairing road . . .

Obama Mocked for Telling Basic Truths

Wednesday, 09 Jul 2014 14:22 PM

Wars, plane crashes, mass murder , it's easy to report news that happens suddenly. Reporters do a good job covering that . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved