The latest “man-caused” disaster looming according to the drive-by media is a massive federal government shutdown. According to most reports the Republicans are holding Obama’s feet to the fire to secure nominal budget cuts in order to pass the budget. I characterized the desired cuts as nominal because what is 60 billion dollars in a budget well over a trillion dollars. Here at FramingTheDialogue I like to frame the issues using the truth and in this case there are the following factors:
- It is the responsibility of Congress and the President to pass a budget before the fiscal year begins.
- The Democrat-controlled House, Democrat-controlled Senate, and the Democrat-controlled White House CHOSE not to pass a budget for our current fiscal year. Some of the jaded among us believe that the Democrats were afraid to pass their real budget with the upcoming mid-term elections and the economic conditions in the country. To use a phrase that Obama likes, they “kicked the can down the road.”
- There were enough Republicans elected in November 2010 to take over the House with the mandate of cutting spending and that is what they are doing.
- Many, including myself, see these negotiations as a precursor to the 2011/2012 budget battle where Rep. Paul Ryan released a proposed spending plan.
- Many, including myself, see this as a referendum on John Boehner’s ability to be an effective Speaker of the House. If he folds and acquiesces to Obama and Reid, I hope that his leadership days are numbered.
I doesn’t take long for Democrats and lame-stream media hacks from trying to pull out their playbook lamenting a government shut down. Pelosi and Wasserman-Schultz have already said that people will die (mostly old people) and perhaps Big Bird won’t get paid. Senior citizens are threatened that they may not get their SS checks, parks will be closed, national galleries will be shuttered, and darkness will fall on our nation. Perhaps this is further evidence that these operations need not be operated by federal employees. Why not offer licenses to private companies to operate these facilities? Many local parks have adopted “friends of” institutions who raise money for and conduct park operations and maintenance thus freeing government to do what it is supposed to do.
The attached screen shot is from a web-site that I occasionally use. I am not sure why a government shutdown would affect a federal database, but their desire is for all to feel the pinch. The implicit instruction is to call your legislator. We’ll cash your IRS checks, but not process your refund, legislators will be paid, but not the troops, federal workers will be furloughed but not the directors and chiefs who don’t really do the work yet are “essential.”
I was privy to a discussion regarding “critical” workers during a budget impasse at a local level. I was one of the low men in the room as decisions were made. I found it sad that a clerk who really made a program run smoothly was not critical while the manager who probably couldn’t do anything was deemed a critical employee. I was not critical and was furloughed for a whole day. My feeling was that if I wasn’t critical why was I there? My local paper featured this quote from a federal worker which should tick you off to no end, “I’m looking forward to a break, to be honest.” Sounds like someone who is close to retirement and with the knowledge that in each of the previous federal shutdowns employees were eventually paid for their time off.
When you are faced with the idiotic ramblings of one of your liberal friends that you somehow tolerate (maybe she is really hot) remind them of the second point above; oh and that Big Bird is a billionaire.