This Shutdown Is Really Just A Slimdown

Fox News is no longer calling what is happening in Washington, DC today and shutdown. Technically, they are correct. Just look at how much of the government remains open. I know, there’s nobody to man Michelle Obama’s free twitter account, but we did without that for centuries, I’m sure we’ll live and somehow manage to continue to drink when we’re thirsty.

Mail is still being delivered. Social Security checks are still going out. Medicare payments are still being made, probably many of them erroneously. Military personnel will be paid. The Department of Veterans Affairs is still open and delivering services. Air traffic controllers and meat inspectors are still working. The NSA can keep spying on us. WWII veterans were able to visit the World War II Memorial, even though it’s technically closed. The list goes on, not to mention that all state and local governments have not shut down.

What we have here is a slimdown, which isn’t really such a bad idea.

What the Obama administration is portraying as a “shutdown” of the federal government — complete with signs posted at the entrances to government buildings, parks and monuments — is turning out to be more of a “slimdown,” as all but non-essential workers reported to their jobs Tuesday.

The biggest impact is expected to be felt for the 800,000 or so federal workers facing furlough. But hundreds of thousands of other workers are reporting for work, and a patchwork of services remains open to the public as lawmakers and the White House continue to battle over a spending package.

Rep. Dan Maffei (D-NY) who is in favor of repealing the medical device tax, was interviewed on the local news today. He was asked how the “shutdown” will effect us locally. He said that the furloughed federal workers won’t be receiving their paychecks (although it does appear they will receive back pay once they go back to work) so they won’t be spending their money in the local economy. That was the best he could come up with. Basically what he’s saying is that a big portion of the federal government is just another stimulus program. Wouldn’t we be better off keeping those tax dollars here at home in the first place, without all of the waste and bureaucracy of Washington, DC?

In all fairness to Maffei, he did vote for one of the later CR’s passed by the House, the one that repeals the medical device tax, ends taxpayer subsidies for members of Congress and delays the individual mandate by one year. If he was willing to compromise to avoid the slimdown, why aren’t Harry Reid and Barack Obama?

Update: Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) is also willing to negotiate, but I guess nobody is listening to him anymore. They prefer the drama, like showing deject tourists turned away from national landmarks. The entire presidency of “No Drama Obama” has been like one long, horrible soap opera. It’s a shame the show wasn’t canceled last November.

Update 2: This is a good time to start talking about how much we can slim down the government for good.