Patterico's Pontifications


Hey Republican House Members: If the Government Slowdown Bothers You, Why Not Fund What You Like?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:46 pm

It is now clear that a government slowdown is inevitable. (Reminder: it’s a slowdown, not a shutdown.)

Barack Obama took to the podium to complain about things that won’t get funded. He says: ““One faction of one party in one house of Congress in one branch of government doesn’t get to shut down the entire government just to re-fight the results of an election.”

Well, perhaps not. But we do hold the purse strings, Mr. President, and that too is the result of an election.

So, House Members, embrace the power to do what Barack Obama says you don’t “get to” do — namely, to decide to initiate spending. For those purposes you decide are appropriate.

If you’re worried about a specific program or department not being funded — and if you’re worried about taking blame for that program getting defunded — then here’s an idea: draft a bill to fund that program or department.

For example, the House certainly didn’t want to be branded as keeping soldiers from getting paid. So guess what? They passed a bill to pay soldiers. The Senate has already passed it. Boom. Problem solved. You won’t get blamed for soldiers not getting paid.

So: if there’s anything else you think should be funded, fund it. Think national parks should be operating? OK. Draft a bill. If it’s a very popular program or department, the Senate will pass your bill.

NPR may not get funded. The Department of Education may not get funded. For a while, anyway.

Would that really be so bad?

But instead of quivering in your boots about the public being mad about a government slowdown, figure out exactly what the public wants to keep going, see if that program or department deserves it, and then fund it.

And if it doesn’t deserve it? Then don’t.

And hold fast.

Think of these bills as pressure valves. You let loose a little of the pressure built up by the haunting and very very scary prospect of a government slowdown, and then . . . wait.

Maybe, just maybe, Barack Obama will figure out that you do “get to” fulfill your constitutional role, as the body that initiates spending, after all.

If It’s Not a Shutdown, Stop Calling It One

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:34 pm

As of right now, I refuse to call it a shutdown.

The government is not shutting own. Not even remotely.

As I noted this morning, after the supposed government “shutdown,” the mail will get delivered. Social Security and Medicare will continue. Soldiers will defend our country. The USDA will inspect meat. Air traffic controllers will keep our skies safe.

On what planet is that a shutdown?

Propose your own language in the comments. Until I hear something better, I am calling it a “government slowdown” — with a link to this post.

CNN’s 10 Ways a Government Shutdown Would (Not) Affect You

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:52 am

CNN has an article about all the ways a government shutdown would affect you, the average American taxpayer. Wow, 10 ways! Already that sounds scary! Except when you read the article, many of them are about how citizens will not be affected.

Without quoting every bullet point, it appears mail will still be delivered; taxes will still be collected; passports will still be processed; soldiers will still defend the country; air traffic controllers will continue to keep the skies safe; food inspectors will continue to inspect your meat; and workers in other “critical services” will continue to work.

9. Holiday. Celebrate: Don’t come to work if you’re a federal employee. You’re on furlough. (Offer not valid for workers in “critical services,” such as air traffic controllers, hazardous waste handlers and food inspectors.)

Do take some time to celebrate. In previous shutdowns, everyone who stayed home was paid retroactively after peace returned to Washington.

Query why we want to have workers in “non critical” services, but there I go again. At least we’ll pay them all eventually for their vacation!

Not mentioned in the article, but also true: Social Security and Medicare payments would continue to be made as well.

I guess “10 ways a government shutdown would not affect your daily life” wasn’t the title they wanted to go with . . .

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